The following is a list of the top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates in college football after Week 1 based solely on stats. Before you scoff, and scoff at such a list so early in the season, I've put heavy restrictions on the candidates.
Those restrictions include that players from one of the power five conferences had to be playing another power five conference team, and players from non-power five conferences had to put up ridiculous numbers against an FBS team to make the list.
Marlon Mack from South Florida rushed for 275 yards and four TDs in week one, but it was against Western Carolina. Tevin Coleman from Indiana ran for 247 yards and two scores, but it was against Indiana State. I'm not including anybody like that (players who padded stats against patsies) on the list.
Top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates in college football after Week 1 in 2014
1. Todd Gurley (Georgia)
Todd Gurley of Georgia ran for 198 yards and three TDs on just 15 carries vs Clemson. The TD runs were for 18, 23, and 51 yards. If that wasn't enough, Todd Gurley also ran back a kickoff 100 yards for another score, as he led Georgia to a convincing 45-21 win over a ranked opponent.
All that puts Todd Gurley at the head of the Heisman Trophy contenders for 2014.
2. Kenny Hill (Texas A&M)
Johnny who? Kenny Hill started at quarterback for Texas A&M, not only vs a highly ranked team in South Carolina, but the game was in South Carolina, and Hill proceeded to throw for a school record 511 yards, and three TDs, leading the Aggies to a shocking 52-28 upset win.
South Carolina came into the game riding an 18 game home winning streak. Kenny Hill shredded that streak and the South Carolina defense and vaulted himself into the Heisman mix.
3. Connor Halliday (Washington State)
Connor Holliday threw for 532 yards and five TDs vs Rutgers in Week 1 of the college football season. Despite the performance, Rutgers upset Washington State, 41-38, in a Cougars home game played in Seattle.
Is Connor Halliday really a legitimate Heisman contender? If he keeps throwing for 500 yards and five TDs a game he is.
4. Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky)
I said for a non-power five conference player to make this list his stats had to be ridiculous. I think the 569 passing yards and six touchdowns thrown by Western Kentucky's Brandon Doughty vs Bowling Green qualifies. Doughty led Western Kentucky to a 59-31 upset win over last year's MAC champ.
5. Cameron Artis-Payne (Auburn)
Running back Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 177 yards, including a 32 yard TD run as he led Auburn to a 45-21 win over Arkansas.
6. Paul James (Rutgers)
Running back Paul James ran for 173 yards and three TDs, including a 56 yard TD run, as he led Rutgers to an upset win over Washington State on the road. Going to be interesting to see how Paul James fares this season in the Big Ten.
7. Rashad Greene (Florida State)
Wide receiver Rashad Greene had 11 catches for 203 yards, including a 51 yard TD, as he helped lead Florida State to a 37-31 win over a tough Oklahoma State team.
8. Keevan Lucas (Tulsa)
Wide receiver Keevan Lucas caught 13 passes for 233 yards (17.9 yard per catch) and three TDs for Tulsa vs Tulane. Lucas had TD catches of 3, 43, and 84 yards in the game, which Tulane won, 38-31.
9. Aaron Jones (UTEP)
Running back Aaron Jones of UTEP ran for 237 yards on 22 carries (10.8 yards per carry) and had TD runs of 3, 12, and 73 yards as he led UTEP to a 31-24 win on the road over New Mexico.
10. Jameis Winston (Florida State)
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner did not hurt his cause for a repeat this year as he threw for 370 yards, including a 51 yard TD to Rashad Greene, and Jameis Winston also ran for a score as he led #1 ranked Florida State over Oklahoma State, 37-31. Winston did throw two picks in the game, which is why I ranked him 10th.