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Once every eight years – a veritable eternity in college football terms – a team outside the Southeastern Conference wins the national championship and a running back wins the Heisman Trophy.

They don't happen simultaneously: Florida State snapped the SEC's streak last season, for example, while Alabama running back Mark Ingram took home the Heisman in 2009. It's been all quarterbacks since Ingram, from Newton through Winston, while this four-year span has seen just two running backs – LaMichael James and Trent Richardson – finish among the voting's top three.

It's all about the quarterbacks; it's typically about the quarterback on the nation's best team, to be exact. Yet Georgia's Todd Gurley may change that, seeing how the junior demonstrated in the Bulldogs' win against Clemson the sort of game-changing production typically reserved for those ballyhooed stars under center.

Gurley only carried the ball 11 times in the second half. Those touches went for 154 yards and two scores, however, pushing Georgia past the Tigers with brutal efficiency. Add in a 100-yard kickoff return and you have a sum total of 293 yards of all-purpose yardage with four touchdowns. Hello, Heisman.

Here are 10 leading contenders for the Heisman after Week 1 of the 2014 season:

1. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Last week's ranking: No. 1)

Nothing to see here. Inferior opponent? Sure. Passing? Sure, to the tune of 13.4 yards per attempt and three scores. Rushing? Absolutely, with 43 yards and a score on six carries. Just more of the same from the best quarterback in college football. Mariota's the favorite now, but he'd steam ahead of the competition with a win against Michigan State in one of the premier nonconference games of the season.

2. RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (Last week's ranking: No. 5)

The best part about Gurley's performance against Clemson is that it took so few touches; he had just 15 carries, one reception and one kickoff return, yet carried the Bulldogs to a high-profile win outside of SEC play. That he can produce at such a level while remaining fresh for the rest of the regular season is one positive sign. Here's another: Georgia still gets South Carolina, Florida and Auburn down the stretch – so Gurley's going to have another handful of opportunities to state his Heisman case.

3. QB Jameis Winston, Florida State (Last week's ranking: No. 2)

It might have been the worst game of his career, individually speaking, and one of the worst-team wide performances of his starting career: Winston threw a pair of interceptions, matching a career high, and FSU struggled to put away Oklahoma State in the first game of its title defense. Winston still threw for 370 yards, however, and did have a Heisman-reel moment in his weaving, dodging, ducking touchdown scramble in the second half. He made a Heisman case even when at his worst, basically.

4. QB Bryce Petty, Baylor (Last week's ranking: No. 3)

Petty will play with a fairly significant – and painful – back injury, so we'll see if he can continue his pitch-perfect production while not at full strength. The good news: Baylor doesn't play a noteworthy opponent until October. That will give Petty time to rest up and get back to form, all while continuing to put up those crooked numbers inherent to the quarterback position in Art Briles' offense.

5. QB Brett Hundley, UCLA (Last week's ranking: No. 4)

The Bruins' offensive line woes are a major concern. It's enough to derail UCLA's hopes of winning the Pac-12, for one, let alone Hundley's shot at the Heisman; he needs room to roam and time to operate, and had neither against a very unimpressive – judging by recent history, at least – Virginia defense. But a win is a win, and Hundley will have time to regain some footing in this race.

6. RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (Last week's ranking: No. 7)

Abdullah didn't break a sweat against Florida Atlantic, as expected, yet still cruised to a career-high 232 yards rushing. How dangerous could he be when teamed with an effective passing game? Dangerous indeed, if the Cornhuskers' victory was any indication. At this rate, Abdullah may become the program's first three-time 1,000-yard rusher by the midpoint of October.

7. QB Kenny Hill, Texas A&M (Last week's ranking: Unranked)

The star of the season's opening weekend demolished Johnny Manziel's career high for passing yards – and did so in his first career start, remember. Lost in the shuffle is the win itself: A&M demolished South Carolina, a preseason favorite in the SEC East Division, and in the process beefed up Hill's shot at competing for the Heisman.

8. QB Connor Cook, Michigan State (Last week's ranking: No. 6)

Leading Michigan State past Oregon on the road will vault Cook up this list. On the other hand, a loss isn't necessarily crippling; it hurts, just as it would hurt Michigan State's hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff, but it isn't fatal. Cook does need to put up some numbers, however, and could do just that if the Spartans' running game loosens up the Ducks' defense.

9. QB Taysom Hill, Brigham Young (Last week's ranking: Unranked)

Hill could always run – just ask Saturday's opponent, Texas, which felt his wrath in last year's defeat. But he showed great poise and presence as a passer in an opening win against Connecticut, which simply couldn't handle Hill's dual-threat ability.

10. QB Everett Golson, Notre Dame (Last week's ranking: Unranked)

Rumors that Golson had made the most of his one-year hiatus from Notre Dame were on the money: Golson was superb against Rice, ripping apart the Owls' defense downfield and scoring three times on the ground in a laughably easy season-opening victory. Like others, Golson's candidacy might move in either direction after Saturday's game against Michigan.

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