Week 14 in college football featured some of the craziest, most dramatic games of the season. The BCS standings feature a new-and-improved top 5, as does my 2013 Heisman Watch.
5. Andre Williams, Boston College:
I took some heat in the comments last week for not putting Williams on my list. I think he has zero, zip, nada chances at winning, but a 2,000-yard rusher deserves to be in the discussion. This weekend against Syracuse, Williams had nine carries for 29 yards and a touchdown. Yes, Williams left the game because of an injury, but he left in the third quarter. He only rushed for 29 yards in one half against a Syracuse defense that allows 138.3 yards per game. The games he ran for 200-plus yards were against Maryland (7-5), New Mexico State (2-10), NC State (3-9), Army (3-8) and Wake Forest (4-8). However, like I always say, numbers don’t lie, and 2,000-plus yards is nothing to hate on.
4. A.J. McCarron, Alabama:
In a matter of one second, Alabama lost an SEC Championship, a National Championship and another Heisman winner. McCarron doesn’t put up the numbers like a Winston, Manziel or Lynch; he put up the wins. Every week. McCarron’s best shot at hoisting the Heisman was leading Alabama to a three-peat.
His numbers are good, but not stellar, with 2,676 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. The senior quarterback did complete 17-of-29 attempts for 277 yards and three touchdowns against Auburn, but it just wasn’t enough.
3. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois:
Lynch is a quarterback that also happens to rank third in the nation in rushing yards with 1,755 (20 behind second place). Lynch, the quarterback, has more rushing yards than Mark Ingram when he won the Heisman in 2009 (1,658). Lynch, the quarterback, has 20 rushing touchdowns (third most in the nation).
Occasionally, the senior throws the ball, too. Lynch has thrown for 2,457 yards, 22 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Yes, he goes to Northern Illinois and yes, the MAC isn’t the cream-of-the-crop. But the numbers he has put up, consistently, all year long puts him in the top 3.
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M:
Johnny Football is sixth in the nation in passing touchdowns with 33 and seventh in the nation in passing yards with 3,732. Like I’ve said every week, his off-field antics will be in the back of every voter’s mind, and I think that will ultimately keep him from being the trophy’s first back-to-back winner since Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975.
His 13 interceptions is a little disheartening, but he managed to not turn the ball over against Missouri, just his fourth game without a pick. Missouri is arguably one of the top defenses in the nation, and Manziel handled them relatively well. Will he win? Nope. Does he deserve to be in the conversation? Most definitely.
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State:
Winston solidified himself, for the time being, as the front-runner for the Heisman going into conference championship week. Famous Jameis completed 19-of-31 attempts for 327 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against rival Florida on Saturday. On the season, his numbers are as follows: 3,490 yards, 35 touchdowns, eight interceptions. I’m not a betting man, but the smart bet to hoist the hardware in New York this year has to Winston.
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!