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Heisman Rankings Week Twelve

Our penultimate rankings are here -- see who leads our writer poll in Heisman Rankings Week Twelve for this week.
Heisman Rankings Week Fourteen

Fickle, thy name is Last Word Heisman voters. Our Heisman Rankings Week Twelve sees a complete reshuffle of the board from last week’s rankings. This comes just in time for Rivalry Weekend. What hasn’t changed are the names on the leaderboard. It’s still a three-man race between superstar quarterbacks.  This is shaping up to be the most exciting Heisman race since Charles Woodson intercepted the award from Peyton Manning.

2023 LWOCFB Heisman Rankings Week Twelve

And then there were three. A lead pack has clearly separated themselves from the rest of the field with only one regular season week to play. Heisman ballots aren’t due until after the Conference championship games, so some of our contenders might have two chances to make closing statements. Here’s how we stand in our penultimate poll. 

Here are the top five Heisman Rankings Week Twelve from our panel of 14 voters.

1. Bo Nix, Oregon (62) [Previous: 2 (53)]

Oregon’s Bo Nix was blazing hot in the Tempe desert last weekend. He torched the Sun Devils for 404 yards and six passing touchdowns. This was on only 24 completions and 29 attempts. Most of Nix’s damage was limited to the first half, as Oregon put Arizona State away early with a 42-0 halftime lead. Nix continues to lead the nation in completion percentage (78.1%), is second in rating (191.35) and touchdowns (35), and fourth in passing yards (3,539).

Nix jumped rival Michael Penix, Jr. with his effort. But Nix shouldn’t quite get comfortable in our poll. Penix held a strong lead last week, only to slip to third after a dominating performance as well. Nix does have a clear path ahead of him — the Ducks get 16th-ranked Oregon State this weekend and, if they win, get a rematch with Washington in the PAC-12 Championship Game. If Nix stays this hot, it’s his award to lose.

2. Jayden Daniels, LSU (56) [Previous: (3) (50)]

LSU’s Jayden Daniels also jumped last week’s leader after a dominating performance against a powerhouse program from Georgia. Wait, not that Georgia — but the Georgia State Panthers. The Panthers are bowl-eligible with big wins over <checks notes> Coastal Carolina and Connecticut and currently stand sixth out of seven teams in the mighty Sun Belt East Division. But stats are stats, right? Daniels smashed the Panthers for 413 yards and six touchdowns on 25-for-30 passing. 

Daniels leads the nation in passing touchdowns (36) and passer rating (208.34), is third in passing yards (3,577), and seventh in completion percentage (72.6%) for the three-loss Tigers.

If Daniels can make that kind of leap against Georgia State, he could very well jump Nix with a big game against Texas A&M this weekend. Penix and Nix will both get one extra game in before Heisman voting closes, and that bodes poorly for Daniels, at least with our panel. There’s little doubt that he’ll get an invite to New York, though.

3. Michael Penix, Jr., Washington (46) [Previous: 1 (64)]

Michael Penix, Jr.’s fall from the top spot followed his pedestrian 162-yard, two-touchdown performance at Corvalis against 11th-ranked Oregon State. It’s by far Penix’s lowest output of the season, and it came in a hostile road environment and under adverse conditions. But as is the sport of college football, it’s about “What have you done for me lately?” Penix is still the nation’s leader in passing yards (3,695) and third in passing touchdowns (30). 

Penix is also the only player in the top trio to lead an undefeated team. The Huskies will put their undefeated season on the line in the Apple Cup this weekend and will have to play either Oregon State or Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game in two weeks. While Penix’s spot in Manhatten is likely secured, he still has some work to do to hoist the sport’s most prestigious trophy.  

4. Marvin Harrison, Jr., Ohio State (21) [Previous: 4 (29)]

Marvin Harrison, Jrhad three receptions for 30 yards in Ohio State’s 37-3 win against Minnesota. The Buckeyes used a strong rushing attack against the Golden Gophers. Harrison trails our led pack by a considerable margin but is in a solid position in fourth place. It seems like the only question with Harrison is whether he gets invited to New York or not.

Harrison is second in the nation in receiving touchdowns (13) and tenth in receiving yards (1,093). It helps that Harrison is the engine on an undefeated Buckeyes team, but a loss to Michigan this week might leave Harrison on the outside looking in for an invite to New York.

5. Carson Beck, Georgia (6) [Previous: NR (2)]

Georgia’s Carson Beck leads the rest of the pack. Beck torched Tennessee for 298 yards and three touchdowns this week and Georgia is back at the top of the College Football Playoff ranking. Beck is fifth in the nation in completion percentage (72.9%), seventh in passing yards (3,320), and eighth in passer rating (169.48).

While those are great numbers for the leader of the top-ranked team in the nation playing an SEC schedule, Beck is clearly leading the third pack and doesn’t really have a path to getting to New York.

Others Receiving Heisman Rankings Week Twelve Votes:

Jalen Milroe, Alabama (5), Malik Nabors, LSU (4), Jordan Travis, FSU (2), Blake Corum, Michigan (2), Drake Maye, North Carolina (1), Ollie Gordon, Oklahoma State (1), Payton Wilson, NC State (1), Brock Bowers, Georgia (1), Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma (1), Malik Washington, Virginia (1). 

 

Heisman Rankings Week Twelve
Photo courtesy: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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