Heisman Watch: Status quo at top

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Heisman Watch: Status quo at top

Week four of the college football season provided the following: LSU is the best team in the country right now with wins over 3 Oregon, at 25 Mississippi State and at 16 West Virginia. Clemson's win over Florida State all but solidified The ACC Atlantic Division and their tilt at Virginia Tech this week could very well be an ACC Championship Game preview. Finally, Arizona State's win over USC means that the winner of the ASU-Utah matchup on October 8 is in the driver seat to win the Pac-12 South.

Without further ado, here is your latest Heisman Watch...

Rank PlayerPositionSchool Recent Game Stats Next Game Comment 1a Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Idle UCLA A bye week can't knock him off from top spot. Inferior competition just might 1b Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State 23-29, 279 yards, 4 TD in win over Tulsa Nevada Needs to continue to throw four and five touchdowns a game. No indication he won't any time soon. 3 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 17 rush, 126 yards, 85 receiving yards, receiving TD in 38-14 win over 14 Arkansas At 12 Florida The Crimson Tide will rely on him as they invade The Swamp in a possible SEC Title Game preview 4 Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State 47-60, 437 yards, 2 TD in 30-29 win at 8 Texas A&M Idle, then Kansas Biggest win of the weekend as OSU became a national title contender, and he became a legitimate Heisman hopeful 5 Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin 19-25, 345 yards, 3 TD in 59-10 win over South Dakota. 8 Nebraska A win over Nebraska and the Badgers should be BCS bound, and in a good position to sneak into BCS title game. 6 Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina 20 rush, 77 yards, TD, 73 receiving yards, receiving TD in 21-3 win over Vanderbilt Auburn Didn't put up the video game numbers from previous weeks, but 150 total yards and 2 TDs ain't bad, right? 7 Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor 29-33, 338 yards, 5 TD, 51 rush yards, rush TD in 56-31 win over Rice at Kansas State I want to put him higher but can't until he faces Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. Tough road test in Manhattan this week 8 Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
35-48, 448 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT in win over Missouri. Ball State His numbers are good, don't get me wrong, but not as strong as others and his team "slipped" to 2 in AP Poll 9 LaMichael James, RB, Oregon 23 rush, 288 yards, 2 TD in 56-31 win over Arizona Idle, then Cal Was that loss to LSU this season? 17 yards per rush last week, and 12.5 per rush this week can't be ignored. 10 Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State 11 catches, 121 yards, TD in 30-29 win at 8 Texas A&M Idle, then Kansas Like Ryan Broyles at Oklahoma, won't be able to surpass his own QB. But he is sure fun to watch in that OSU offense.

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.

LOPSIDED RESULT

It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.

BATTERED PANTHERS

Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.

THOMAS TWEETS

One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.