The Heisman Trophy finalists were announced on Monday, and six of the nation’s best players will be heading to New York for the Heisman ceremony this Saturday. So, for the final week of isportsweb’s 2013 Heisman Watch, here’s how I see the trophy presentation playing out:
6. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois:
Lynch set an NCAA record for quarterbacks, rushing for 1,881 yards this season. He also threw for 2,676 yards and scored 46 touchdowns (22 rushing, 23 passing and once receiving). He really can do it all. However, Lynch’s small shot at the trophy took a major blow when Northern Illinois (12-1) lost to Bowling Green (10-3) in the MAC Championship 47-27. The senior only threw seven interceptions all year, completing 63.1 percent of his passes on the season.
5. Tre Mason, Auburn:
To be brutally honest, I’m not exactly sure how Mason got an invite, but Braxton Miller didn’t. Anyways, he’s a finalist, so here goes nothing. Mason had a monster game in the SEC Championship, rushing for 304 yards and four touchdowns. He failed to rush for 2,000 yards like soon-to-be-mentioned Andre Williams, and was sixth in the nation in rushing yards with 1,621. Mason ran for 100-plus yards eight times, and was held scoreless just once. He had a good year, but was it Heisman worthy? In my opinion: nope.
4. Andre Williams, Boston College:
The senior from Schnecksville, PA is the nation’s leading rusher with 2,102 yards on the season (Lynch is in second). His 2,000 yards makes him the first player to do so since 2008. Williams ran for 200-plus yards five times this year and scored 17 touchdowns. He increased his yards per carry from 4.5 to 6.4, but failed to have a reception in 12 games.
3. A.J. McCarron, Alabama:
McCarron lost his chances at the Heisman in a matter of one second. McCarron doesn’t put up the numbers like Jameis Winston or Johnny Manziel, but he did put up consistent wins until facing the team that’s going to be playing for the National Championship. McCarron finished the regular season with 2,676 yards, 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes, and is a shoe-in to be playing in the NFL next fall.
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M:
Johnny Football’s numbers support him for the trophy, but also pull him away from winning the trophy. Manziel threw for 3,732 yards yards this year (3,706 when he won last year), 33 touchdowns (26 last year) and 13 interceptions (nine last year). Not to beat the dead horse, but like I’ve said all season long, his off-field antics will be in the back of every voter’s mind this weekend, 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. However, I do think that, for the first time, there will be back-to-back freshman winners.
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State:
The Heisman was his to win, and Jameis won it last weekend against Duke. Famous Jameis completed 19-of-32 attempts for 330 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the Seminoles’ 45-7 victory in the ACC Championship game. Winston has been at the top of most lists (including mine) since Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks laid an egg in Week 12, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t hoist the hardware on Saturday.
Winston had big games against Maryland, Clemson, Miami (FL) and Florida, throwing for 300-plus yards seven times and has led Florida State to being the no. 1 team in the country, playing for the BCS National Championship game.
Don’t agree with my rankings? Feel free to comment and/or vote in the poll below on who you think will win this weekend!