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CFB Barometer: Who's Up, Who's Down Week 9

Jesse Siegel

Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

There's a new frontrunner for the Heisman trophy, and he resides in Tallahassee. Jameis Winston may have been famous on the Florida State campus before the season started, but now he's pervaded the national consciousness with his incredible start to the 2013 campaign. In what was billed as the biggest game in ACC history, Winston made mincemeat of the Clemson defense in Saturday's 51-14 rout of the Tigers. The freshman sensation passed for 444 yards and scored four total touchdowns, showing unmatched poise, leadership and production. On the season, Winston has 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions through six games, and in the process throwing FSU's hat into the national championship ring. It certainly helps that the Seminoles are loaded at running back and wide receiver as well, but it's been Winston's play that has elevated Florida State to elite status. It certainly looks like Famous Jameis will give Johnny Manziel a run for his money in the Heisman voting.

Let's look at the rest of the pigskin scene in this week's edition of the College Football Barometer.


Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan -
Gallon garnered an astonishing 369 receiving yards in Saturday's wild 63-47 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers. Gallon hauled in 14 passes en route to the second most receiving yards in a game in FBS history. The 5-foot-8 senior found the end zone twice in the huge performance. Gallon had an eight-catch, 184-yard, three-touchdown output against Notre Dame on Sept. 7, but otherwise had failed to top 100 yards heading into Saturday's tilt. He went berserk with the help of quarterback Devin Gardner, almost doubling his season output in yards. Michigan has a week off before facing in-state rival Michigan State; the Wolverines hope the bye doesn't let Gallon cool off too much.

Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri -
One of the most surprising stories of the season has been the undefeated Missouri Tigers. A group that was dominated in its first season in the SEC East has ascended to the top of its side of the conference, sitting 7-0. Quarterback James Franklin goes down with a shoulder injury? Enter Mauk, who nearly won the QB job outright during fall camp in a fierce competition with Franklin. Mauk passed for 295 yards and a touchdown against a purportedly fierce Florida Gators defense. He also rushed for another score. The redshirt freshman faces a stretch of disappointing defenses to finish off the regular season, including Texas A&M, Kentucky and South Carolina. With a potent running game and big receivers at his disposal, Mauk should be able to find success as Mizzou suddenly has championship aspirations.

Quinshad Davis, WR, North Carolina -
Tight end Eric Ebron gets the pub for North Carolina, and rightfully so. However, Davis is in the midst of an excellent stretch for the Tar Heels. Over his last three games, the sophomore wideout has at least five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in each contest. He got his hands on a Hail Mary at the end of Thursday's tilt with Miami as well but was unable to haul it in. Nevertheless, with Bryn Renner back under center and so much attention paid to the aforementioned Ebron, the 6-4 Davis has emerged as a reliable target. The Heels do not face a ranked opponent for the remainder of the season, meaning Davis should be able to take advantage of an underwhelming schedule and post superb numbers.

Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida -
This season hasn't gone exactly to script for the Gators, as they have lost their starting QB (Jeff Driskel) and starting running back (Matt Jones) to season-ending injuries. Taylor came in as a high-profile recruit, but Florida ideally would have liked to redshirt him this season. Instead, Taylor's redshirt was burned at LSU due to the injury to Jones on Oct. 12; the freshman responded with 10 carries for 52 yards in that contest. Fred Taylor's son received more carries than any other Gators running back Saturday at Missouri, rushing 12 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. With the Gators' record at 4-3, expect Taylor to see the ball more and more as the season progresses. The freshman averages 6.1 yards per tote.


Keith Price, QB, Washington -
Don't let Price's last two mediocre games fool you; he played against two stellar defenses in Oregon and Arizona State, respectively. He also passed for 350 yards against an impressive Stanford defense on Oct. 5. Next up for the Huskies? The downright awful Cal Bears. The Bears are 0-4 in the Pac-12, 1-6 overall, and 125th in the nation in points allowed. California allows an astonishing 44.4 points per game. Price has 14 passing touchdowns and just four interceptions on the year; the Bears have given up at least three passing touchdowns in each of their last three games. As a result, despite a recent rough patch, Price should shine against a supremely porous Cal defense.

Mark Weisman, RB, Iowa -
Weisman's been a little dinged up the last couple weeks with a foot injury. He was held to just seven carries on Oct. 5 against Michigan State. He rushed 10 times at Ohio State on Saturday, managing 52 yards, though that may have been more a product of a stingy Buckeyes defense than Weisman's injury. Weisman topped the 100-yard rushing mark in each of his first three games in 2013, but that has happened just once in the subsequent four games. The road for the Hawkeyes doesn't get any easier in Big Ten play, as they face Northwestern and Wisconsin in their next two games. As a result, a slightly hobbled Weisman may have further difficulty running the football in the near future.

Patton Robinette, QB, Vanderbilt -
Robinette is a deep sleeper for next Saturday due to his opponent, the Texas A&M Aggies. A&M can't seem to stop anyone on defense, giving up at least 33 points in every conference game (4) to date. Robinette stepped in for the injured Austyn Carta-Samuels against Georgia and led the Commodores to 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, pulling off a stunning 31-27 victory over the Bulldogs. Carta-Samuels suffered a left leg injury and was seen on crutches after the game, meaning Robinette likely will get the nod at Kyle Field next Saturday. Robinette rushed for a touchdown and passed for 107 yards in relief. If the stage isn't too big for him, the freshman could be in line for a big output in his first collegiate start.

Tim Cornett, RB, UNLV -
Cornett left Saturday's loss to Fresno State in the third quarter due to a knee injury and is questionable for this week's game. Cornett had rushed 10 times for 50 yards before exiting the contests. Monitor Cornett's status during the week, as he has been a beast for the Runnin' Rebels this season. Cornett scored eight touchdowns in his previous four games, breaking 150 yards twice in that span. Cornett averages 5.3 yards per rush and would be extremely difficult to replace. UNLV travels to Nevada next Saturday.


Chris Conley, WR, Georgia -
The hits just keep on coming for the Georgia Bulldogs. Conley is the latest skill player to suffer an injury, as he hurt his right knee on the last play of the game and was seen on crutches following the contest. Conley was the only remaining starter left at wide receiver from the beginning of the season, as injuries to Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley had already made the Bulldog wide receiving corps paper thin. Not surprisingly then, Conley was the leading receiver for Georgia with 30 catches for 418 yards and four touchdowns. The top healthy wide receiver in terms of yardage at this point is freshman Reggie Davis, who has just seven catches this season. Conley's injury could be the straw the breaks the camel's back for the Georgia offense.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland -
Diggs broke his fibula in Saturday's loss to Wake Forest and is almost assured to miss the remainder of the season for the Terrapins. Diggs had 34 catches for 537 yards and three touchdowns through seven games for Maryland before the injury. The Terps received doubly bad news, as No. 2 receiver Deon Long suffered an even more gruesome broken leg, fracturing his tibia and fibula. He'll also be out the rest of 2013. Long had 32 grabs for 489 yards and one touchdown of his one. Without its top two pass-catching weapons, Maryland's offense is really going to struggle.

Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami -
Dorsett suffered a slight tear of his MCL in Saturday's narrow win over North Carolina and will miss the next 4-6 weeks. A big-play threat for Miami, Dorsett averages 20.9 yards per catch. However, he is having a subpar season overall after hauling in 58 balls for 842 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. The junior had just 13 grabs for 272 yards through six games for the Canes. Look for Allen Hurns, Herb Waters and freshman Stacy Coley to see more looks from quarterback Stephen Morris in Dorsett's absence.

Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina -
Injuries once again may have derailed Shaw's season for the second straight year. He left Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt with a knee injury and is doubtful for SC's next tilt with undefeated Mizzou. Although the injury only appears to be a sprain, Shaw's running ability has clearly had its drawbacks during his time in Columbia, as he has been nicked up on numerous occasions and forced to miss several contests. Shaw had been having a stellar season as well with 14 total touchdowns and just one interception. Dylan Thompson is a more-than-capable backup for the Gamecocks, who will need him to be at his best against the suddenly ferocious Missouri Tigers defense.