Week 8 of college football shook up the 2013 Heisman Watch, and there’s been a shift in the standings, including a Pac-12 quarterback’s debut. Check out this week’s new and improved top 5.
5. A.J. McCarron, Alabama:
I could catch some heat for this one, but the Alabama quarterback deserves to be in the conversation. Week in and week out, McCarron has led the no. 1 team in the nation to victory. No, his numbers aren’t as high as that of Teddy Bridgewater or Aaron Murray (who aren’t in my top 5) but his performance speaks for itself. The Heisman Trophy is given to the most outstanding player in the country, and if McCarron is leading the best team in the country, doesn’t it make sense to include him in the conversation for the country’s best player? That’s what I thought.
4. Sean Mannion, Oregon State:
Due to the poor performance of Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion finally gets his moment in the sun. The junior quarterback has thrown for 2,992 yards and 29 touchdowns, completing 68.6% of his passes this season. The Beavers are 6-1 this year, with their latest victory coming over the struggling Cal Bears (Mannion completed 10-of-19 passes for 481 yards and four touchdowns). Yes, it’s easy to throw for so many yards when you throw 40-plus passes a game, but Mannion’s numbers don’t lie. Welcome to the top 5.
3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M:
For the fourth week in a row, I do not think that Manziel will win the Heisman. However, to reuse the phrase “number’s don’t lie,” Manziel deserves to be in the top three, and here’s why. Even though Manziel and the Aggies fell short against Auburn last weekend, Johnny Football still completed 28-of-38 passes for 454 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Manziel’s only played two games without a turnover, one of which was the season opener where he only played part of the second half (suspended for the first, ejected for the majority of the second). His touchdown-to-interception ratio isn’t as good as it should be (18:7), which is why last year’s owner of the hardware resides in this week’s third spot.
2. Jameis Winston, Florida State:
I absolutely love this kid. He’s undoubtedly my favorite player to watch when he’s at his best (besides my homer-tendencies for Braxton Miller). Winston played out of his mind against no. 3 Clemson on Saturday, completing 22-of-34 attempts for 444 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Famous Jameis, a true freshman for the Seminoles, is making serious moves up the charts and even more lasting impressions on the minds of the Heisman voters. I’ve compared him to Johnny Manziel before, not in his game, but in his performance as a freshman flash-in-the-pan. Winston has the ability to take home the trophy, and he has key wins against good opponents, which is something the reigning no. 1 doesn’t quite have.
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon:
Mariota was a bit off this week, only going 23-of-32 passing for 327 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing. Once again, Mariota didn’t throw a pick. Once again, Mariota didn’t fumble. The sophomore stud now has 28 total touchdowns on the year, WITH ZERO TURNOVERS. Zip. Zilch. Nada. This kid has game out the wazoo, and still continues to impress the voters week in and week out. Yes, he hasn’t played any real competition besides a low-grade Washington defense, but to beat the hell out of the dead horse, numbers don’t lie.
Don’t agree with my rankings? Feel free to comment and vote in the poll below on who you think should be no. 1!