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Heisman Rankings: Week 2

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - There's only one new name on the list this week, but an eventful second weekend of the season still called for plenty of shake-up in the Heisman Trophy power rankings.

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon -- Mariota silenced his critics (me, specifically) with an exceptional performance against one of the nation's most feared defenses. The Ducks were shaky at the start at home versus seventh-ranked Michigan State, heading into halftime trailing 24-18, but they were carried by their elite quarterback down the stretch to capture a 46-27, statement victory. Mariota found holes in the Spartans' vaunted defense through the air, finishing with 318 yards and three touchdowns on 17-of-28 passing, and he added 42 yards rushing thanks to a few crucial conversions late in the game. With a signature performance under his belt and elite numbers through two games (585 passing yards, 85 rushing yards, seven total TDs, zero turnovers), Mariota is the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse early in the campaign.

2. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia -- Unfortunately for Gurley, he did not build momentum off his monster Week 1 performance versus Clemson (198 yards, three TDs, 100-yard kickoff return TD) with Georgia on an early bye week, and Mariota's elevated play allowed Gurley to lose ground in the race through no fault of his own. The prolific tailback will have another shot to perform on a national stage next weekend when the Bulldogs take on SEC Eastern Division rival South Carolina.

3. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State -- When the reigning Heisman winner endures a cupcake matchup, like Winston and FSU had versus The Citadel, it's a no-win proposition because a great stat line is expected and anything less raises serious questions. Luckily for Winston, he was sharp in his two-and-a- half quarters of work, completing 22-of-27 passes (including 16-of-17 in the first half) for 256 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Seminoles' surprisingly lack of dominance in the 37-12 win is a bit concerning, however, even if Winston sat the majority of the second half, and after a bye week they'll be in for a big test when they host Clemson on Sept. 20.

4. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M -- After breaking onto the scene with his dominating Week 1 performance at South Carolina, Hill's encore was another eye-popping stat line in just a half-game's work in Texas A&M's 73-3 romp over Lamar. The first-year starter did what he needed to do against the lesser competition, going 17-for-26 for 283 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Hill is completing just shy of 71 percent of his passes for 794 yards, third-most in the nation. He's scored seven times and has yet to commit a turnover, and he hasn't even had an opportunity to display his strong rushing ability yet. He'll have a few more opportunities to pad his stats this month with easy matchups against Rice (Sept. 13) and SMU (Sept. 20) before heading back into SEC play.

5. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame -- While the big story in Notre Dame's convincing, 31-0 shutout over arch-rival Michigan was the four turnovers forced by the Fighting Irish's defense, Golson continued to prove his worth as one of the most trusted quarterbacks in the nation. The Irish offense wasn't especially explosive - they were outgained by Michigan, 289 yards to 280 - but Golson helped the team make the most of that production by completing 23-of-34 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. With eight touchdowns (five passing, three rushing) in two games paired with zero interceptions, Golson has erased any doubts about his return to action after missing the entire 2013 season.

6. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska -- The Cornhuskers found themselves in much more trouble than expected at home versus McNeese State on Saturday, as they were stuck in a 24-24 tie in the game's final minute. Abdullah didn't do much to help things along the way - he amassed only 54 rushing yards on 17 carries - but with under 30 seconds left, he made what's sure to go down as one of the plays of the year, catching a short pass, making several defenders miss and producing a highlight-reel broken tackle on his way to the game-winning, 58- yard touchdown. With nearly 400 total yards and three scores through two games, Abdullah's big-play ability has been well established, but Nebraska's worrisome performance against an FCS opponent has raised serious questions about the team's status as a contender.

7. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA -- The Bruins might be the most unimpressive 2-0 team in the Top 25 after squeaking by with one-score victories at Virginia (28-20) and at home versus Memphis (42-35), two teams that combined to win just five games a season ago. But while they were held back in the opener by Hundley's poor play, his outstanding performance against Memphis gave them the boost they needed to escape victorious. Hundley connected on 75 percent of his throws (33-of-44) for 396 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He still hasn't gotten going as a rusher, averaging only 2.5 yards per carry while being sacked nine times. UCLA's inability to keep Hundley upright has been a glaring weakness which it will need to fix in a hurry as the schedule grows more difficult, and Hundley's Heisman campaign won't have much legs if the squad falls out of contention in the Pac-12.

8. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor -- Petty was forced to exit Baylor's opener early with a lower back injury, and he was later reveled to have two cracks in his spine. As horrific as that sounds, Petty was only considered day-to-day and had hoped to suit up for Saturday's matchup with Northwestern State but was ultimately held out. Turns out the Bears didn't need their star signal caller, as they rolled to a 70-6 victory, although it was a missed opportunity for him to rack up numbers (his replacement, Seth Russell, finished with six touchdowns). It's likely Petty would have toughed it out against a more formidable opponent, and we'll have to see if he'll give it a go on a short week at Buffalo on Friday.

9. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin -- The Badgers tailback's stock took a tumble this weekend after arguably the worst rushing performance of his career against FCS opponent Western Illinois, as he gained a mere 38 yards on 17 carries. He managed to save an awful afternoon by scoring on an 8-yard pass from Tanner McEvoy in the third quarter. In fact, remarkably enough, his four receptions on the day were more than he registered in his entire career leading up to the matchup (catching a grand total of three balls in his previous 28 games). Gordon may have been slowed by a hip injury that caused him to miss significant time in the second half of the season-opening loss to LSU. He'll need to bounce back in soft matchups later this month against Bowling Green and South Florida if he wants to keep a spot on this list.

10. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama -- The Crimson Tide receiver has terrorized opposing secondaries early in the season. In Alabama's two wins, Cooper has tallied an astounding 25 receptions for 319 yards (both tops in the nation), which included a school-record-tying 13 catches against Florida Atlantic over the weekend. It's certainly going to be an uphill battle for a wide receiver to even be a finalist for the award, let alone win it, but Cooper is in a great position to buck the trend. The Tide are expected to be an elite team all season on their quest for the College Football Playoff, and with the quarterbacks (Blake Sims and Jacob Coker) and the running backs (T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake) splitting time and stats, Cooper is in line to be the team's marquee performer.

Dropped Out: Nick Marshall (QB, Auburn)

Honorable Mention: Dak Prescott (QB, Mississippi State), Trevor Knight (QB, Oklahoma), Taysom Hill (QB, BYU), Cameron Artis-Payne (RB, Auburn)