While a handful of the big-time players in college football had the week off, there were still plenty of memorable performances from players hoping to move up the list into serious contention for the Heisman Trophy. There was also a shift at the top of the rankings thanks to some remarkable performances out of the Big 12.

Here is my ranking of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy after the ninth weekend.

Off the list

JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver, sophomore, USC

Smith-Schuster had a nice outing in a 27-21 win over Cal even though he missed parts of the game because a broken bone in his hand, according to ESPN. He finished with five catches for 55 yards. On the season, he has caught 52 passes for 956 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Arizona on Saturday.

Cody Kessler, quarterback, senior, USC

Kessler had a very efficient passing day as the Trojans knocked off the Cal Bears 27-21. He completed 18 of 22 passes for 186 yards. On the season, he has completed 70.4 percent of his throws for 2,268 yards and 18 touchdowns in eight games.

Just missed the cut

Daniel Braverman, wide receiver, junior, Western Michigan

Braverman had another solid day as the Broncos beat Eastern Michigan 58-28, with five catches for 78 yards. On the season, He has second in the nation with 80 receptions for 927 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight games.

Up next is a Thursday night matchup with Ball State.

Matt Breida, running back, junior, Georgia Southern

Breida had one of his best showings of the year as the Eagles beat Texas State 37-13. He carried the ball 23 times for 205 yards, including first-half touchdowns of 37 and 48 yards. On the season, he has 122 carries for 1,158 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games.

Up next is a bye week before a matchup with Troy.

Tajae Sharpe, wide receiver, senior, Massachusetts

Sharpe is having an amazing season even though the Minutemen have had a very difficult season. He had another impressive contest in a 20-10 loss to Ball State with 11 receptions for 83 yards. On the season, he leads the nation with 88 catches for 980 yards and four touchdowns in eight games.

Up next is a battle with the Akron Zips.

Brian Hill, running back, sophomore, Wyoming

Even though the Cowboys are having an awful year, Hill is a beast. He had another massive game as Wyoming lost to Utah State 58-27. He had his third 200-yard game of the season with 26 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown. On the season, he is second in the nation with 1,262 yards on 205 carries in nine games.

Up next is a matchup with Colorado State on Saturday.

The list

25. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, sophomore, Texas Tech

Mahomes had another huge game as the Red Raiders lost another high-scoring affair 70-53 to Oklahoma State. He completed 38 of 55 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. He added 46 yards and another score in the running game. On the season, he has completed 64.7 percent of his throws for 3,331 yards and 25 touchdowns to go along with 327 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

Up next is a road contest against West Virginia on Saturday.

24. Royce Freeman, running back, sophomore, Oregon

Freeman had another productive showing as the Ducks outlasted the Arizona State Sun Devils 61-55. He carried the ball 15 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns to go along with three catches for 37 yards. On the season, he has 165 carries for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 18 catches for 216 yards and two more scores in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Cal on Saturday.

23. Dak Prescott, quarterback, senior, Mississippi State

Prescott had a bye week to prepare for another SEC test. On the season, he has completed 66.5 percent of his throws for 2,048 yards and 14 touchdowns with 371 yards and seven scores on the ground in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Missouri.

22. Tyler Ervin, running back, senior, San Jose State

Ervin had the week off to get ready for a tough game. On the season, he has 193 carries for 1,159 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 30 receptions for 232 yards and two more scores in eight games.

Up next is a matchup with BYU.

21. Brandon Doughty, quarterback, senior, Western Kentucky

Doughty had a nice showing as the Hilltoppers beat Old Dominion 55-30. He completed 21 of 28 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. On the season, he has completed 71.8 percent of his throws for 3,310 yards and 30 touchdowns in nine games.

Up next is battle with Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

20. Alex Collins, running back, junior, Arkansas

Collins had a monster game as the Razorbacks beat Tennessee-Martin 63-28. He carried the ball 16 times for 173 yards and five touchdowns. On the season, he has 166 carries for 960 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with eight catches for 55 yards.

Up next is a road trip to Mississippi on Saturday.

19. Devontae Booker, running back, senior, Utah

Booker had his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the year as the Utes knocked off Oregon State 27-12. He carried the ball 25 times for 121 yards and a touchdown to go along with three catches for 25 yards. On the season, he has 200 carries for 966 yards and nine touchdowns. He also has 32 receptions for 282 yards in eight games.

Up next is a road matchup with Washington on Saturday.

18. Roger Lewis, wide receiver, sophomore, Bowling Green

Lewis had the week off to prepare for the rest of the MAC schedule. On the season, he has 58 receptions for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight games.

Up next is a Thursday night matchup with Ohio.

17. Luke Falk, quarterback, sophomore, Washington State

Falk had some nice moments, but also made some mistakes as the Cougars fell to Stanford 30-28. He completed 35 of 61 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. On the season, he has completed 70.8 percent of his throws for 3,239 yards and 28 touchdowns to go along with three rushing scores in eight games.

Up next is a matchup with Arizona State on Saturday.

16. Matt Johnson, quarterback, senior, Bowling Green

Johnson had a bye week to get ready for another MAC test. On the season, he has completed 70.1 percent of his throws for 3,321 yards and 29 touchdowns with just three interceptions in eight games. He also has three rushing scores.

Up next is a Thursday night battle with Ohio.

15. C.J. Prosise, running back, senior, Notre Dame

Prosise had a difficult night as the Fighting Irish knocked off Temple 24-20. He carried the ball 14 times for 25 yards and caught five passes for 43 yards. On the season, he has 143 carries for 947 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 23 receptions for 262 yards and a score in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Pittsburgh on Saturday.

14. Derrick Henry, running back, junior, Alabama

Henry had the week off to prepare for a top 10 matchup. On the season, he has 180 carries for 1,044 yards and 14 touchdowns with eight catches for 69 yards in eight games.

Up next is a battle with LSU on Saturday.

13. Christian McCaffrey, running back, sophomore, Stanford

McCaffrey had a solid outing as the Cardinal outlasted the Washington State Cougars 30-28. He carried the ball 22 times for 107 yards with four catches for 26 yards. On the season, he has 175 carries for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. He also has 25 receptions for 310 yards and two scores in eight games.

Up next is a road trip to face the Colorado Buffaloes.

12. Connor Cook, quarterback, senior,  Michigan State

Cook had a bye week to prepare for the rest of the Big 10 schedule. On the season, he has completed 57.5 percent of his throws for 2,070 yards and 17 touchdowns with two interceptions in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Nebraska.

11. Shock Linwood, running back, junior, Baylor

Linwood had the week off to get ready for a touch game with Kansas State. On the season, he has 121 carries for 974 yards and nine touchdowns in seven games.

Up next is a road trip to Kansas State.

10. Greg Ward Jr., quarterback, junior, Houston

Ward had another productive showing as the Cougars improved to 8-0 with a 34-0 win over Vanderbilt. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 221 yards and touchdown to go along with 33 yards and another score in the running game. On the season, he has completed 70.8 percent of his throws for 1,955 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 710 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing.

Up next is a battle with Cincinnati on Saturday.

9. Baker Mayfield, quarterback, junior, Oklahoma

Mayfield had another big performance as the Sooners crushed the Kansas Jayhawks 62-7. He completed 27 of 32 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns. On the season, he has completed 69.7 percent of his throws for 2,470 yards to go along with four rushing scores in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Iowa State on Saturday.

8. Dalvin Cook, running back, sophomore, Florida State

Cook missed the win over Syracuse with an injury. On the season, he has 127 carries for 1,037 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 15 receptions for 181 yards and another score in seven games.

Up next is a matchup with Clemson on Saturday.

7. Deshaun Watson, quarterback, sophomore, Clemson

Watson had an incredible game as the Tigers beat North Carolina State 56-41. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns to go along with 54 yards rushing and another score. On the season, he has completed 70.3 percent of his throws for 1,936 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also has 386 and four scores on the ground in eight games.

Up next is a tough test with Florida State on Saturday.

6. Ezekiel Elliott, running back, junior, Ohio State

Elliott had a bye week to get ready for a tough Big 10 matchup. On the season, he has 167 carries for 1,130 yards and 13 touchdowns to go along with 23 catches for 160 yards in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Minnesota on Saturday.

5. Paxton Lynch, quarterback, junior, Memphis

Lynch produced another big outing as the Tigers beat Tulane 41-13. He completed 26 of 42 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown with seven rushes for 43 yards. On the season, he has completed 70.2 percent of his throws for 2,709 yards and 18 touchdowns with just one interception. He also has two rushing scores in eight games.

Up next is a battle with Navy on Saturday.

4. Corey Coleman, wide receiver, junior, Baylor

Coleman had the week off to get ready for another SEC battle. On the season, he has 47 receptions for 962 yards and 18 touchdowns in seven games.

Up next is a matchup with Kansas State on Saturday.

3. Josh Doctson, wide receiver, senior, TCU

Doctson had his sixth straight multi-touchdown game as the Horned Frogs drilled West Virginia 40-10. He caught 11 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns. On the season, he has 71 receptions for 1,250 yards and 14 touchdowns in eight games.

Up next is a huge game with Oklahoma State on Saturday.

2. Leonard Fournette, running back, sophomore, LSU 

Fournette had the week off to get ready for a huge SEC test. On the season, he has carried the ball 176 times for 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with seven catches for 58 yards in seven games.

Up next is a huge game with Alabama on Saturday.

1. Trevone Boykin, quarterback, senior, TCU

Boykin had another legendary performance as TCU thumped West Virginia 40-10. He completed 32 of 47 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 11 carries for 84 yards and another score. On the season, he has completed 66.7 percent of his throws for 2,927 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also has 524 yards rushing with six scores in eight games.

Up next is a massive Big 12 contest with Oklahoma State on Saturday.

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