The 2013 Heisman Watch is closer now than it has been all season. Week 12 shook up the top 5, and here’s how the candidates stand in my updated list:
5. Sean Mannion, Oregon State:
Yes, Oregon State did take a really hard loss this weekend to Arizona State. And yes, the Beavers have fallen off the face of the earth in the second half of the season. However, the junior quarterback’s numbers speak for why he’s still in my top five: 3,860 yards (1st in the nation), 33 touchdowns (also 1st in the nation) and 10 interceptions (four this last weekend). Mannion has torched every offense he’s played against, throwing for at least 300 yards against every team except USC and Stanford and throwing for 400-plus yards five times.
4. A.J. McCarron, Alabama:
Alabama is still undefeated and number one in the country, and A.J. McCarron is still their quarterback. You can tell me players who put up bigger numbers should be ahead of him until the cows come home.
McCarron is the leader of one of the most efficient offenses in the country, and week in and week out does what he needs to do in order to roll the Crimson Tide to another victory. His numbers this weekend against Mississippi State (4-6) weren’t phenomenal, completing 18-of-32 attempts for 187 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. However, he’s still consistently leading the number one team, giving him a spot in my top 5.
3. Bryce Petty, Baylor:
The stunts the junior Bear has been pulling all year have been downright petty (pun intended).
Petty completed 17-of-31 attempts for 335 yards and three touchdowns this weekend against Texas Tech. On the season, Petty now has thrown for 2,992 yards (12th in the nation), 24 touchdowns and just one interception. If Baylor can finish out the season undefeated, Petty has a chance to play some impressive games against some impressive teams and move up the list.
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon:
The sophomore Duck has finally fallen from the no. 1 spot. This weekend Mariota completed 19-of-26 passes for 288 yards, three touchdowns, and once again 0 interceptions. Mariota has now thrown 25 touchdowns to zero picks, which begs the question: “Why isn’t he number one anymore?” Simple answer: the guys ahead of him are playing better.
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M / Jameis Winston, Florida State:
Being the author of this column, I spent a lot of time trying to decide who deserves to be number one. For the life of me I couldn’t decide because both candidates’ play has put them in a strong position to win the trophy.
I don’t think the Heisman Trust could possibly give him the trophy after his actions and antics last offseason. But, like I always say, numbers don’t lie, and Johnny Manziel is a prime example of that. The Aggies had the week off this past weekend, and will travel to Tiger Stadium to take on Les Miles and LSU this Saturday.
On the season, Johnny Football has thrown for 3,313 yards, 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, plus eight rushing touchdowns. Manziel can turn nothing into something better than almost anyone in the country, and continues to do so week in and week out. His turnovers and off-field actions could keep him from winning the Heisman for the second year in a row, but his play definitely has him at the head of the discussion.
Famous Jameis has been impressive every single week. This weekend against Syracuse Winston completed 19-of-21 attempts for 277 yards and two touchdowns. This was the second time this season Winston has had a completion percentage of 90-plus percent. On the season, Winston has multiple impressive performances against top-10 teams and has thrown for 2,938 yards, 28 touchdowns and seven touchdowns. If Florida State finishes the season undefeated and end up in the National Championship game, I have a hard time believing anybody but him will be hoisting the hardware in New York this year.
Don’t agree with my rankings? Feel free to comment and/or vote in the poll below on who you think should be no. 1!