After a weekend of upsets and poor play, who are the voters tabbing as the favorite?
Each week of the college football season, Athlon Sports will poll some of the nation's best college football people from every region of the country. Each voter offers up a top five and each first-place vote is worth five points. A second-place vote is worth four points, so on and so forth. With 13 voters, a perfect ballot — i.e., 13 first-place votes — would give a player 65 total points.
Week 13 featured a wild slate of games, in particular, for Heisman contenders. Bryce Petty and Baylor looked downright miserable in the cold against Oklahoma State. Marcus Mariota's Ducks were blown out on the road in Arizona as well. Johnny Manziel looked completely out of place and off his game in a 34-10 drubbing at the hands of LSU. Meanwhile, AJ McCarron and Jameis Winston continue to win without much fanfare — and it means they might be the top two candidates with two weeks left to play.
Post-Week 13 Voting Results:
|1.||(1)||Jameis Winston||QB||Florida St||55||11||-||-||-||-|
|3.||(2)||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M||27||-||4||2||1||3|
|4.||(6)||Andre Williams||RB||Boston College||24||-||2||4||1||2|
|7t.||(7)||Jordan Lynch||QB||N. Illinois||7||-||1||-||1||1|
|10.||(ur)||Braxton Miller||QB||Ohio St||4||-||-||1||-||1|
|12.||(ur)||Derek Carr||QB||Fresno St||1||-||-||-||-||1|
What to do with Winston? Whether Tallahassee authorities decide to press charges or not may determine the Heisman Trophy. If not for the off-the-field investigation — which should not be minimized — Winston is the complete Heisman package. He has huge numbers, came up big in marquee showdowns, will win the ACC title and play in the national title game. But even if no charges are filed, can voters give him sports' most coveted trophy considering what has transpired? And much like the Athlon Sports ballot, Winston appears to be either voted No. 1 (11 of 13 voters) or left off ballots completely (David Fox and Chris Huston).
Petty’s Performance. In the biggest game of the season, the nation’s most efficient passer was anything but. Much like Tajh Boyd and Clemson, Petty and the Bears had a chance to not only win the league but possibly play for a national title. All they had to do was beat the best team on their schedule. And like Boyd and Clemson, the Bears’ signal-caller looked downright pedestrian in a 49-14 blowout loss. Baylor can still win the Big 12 outright — which has to happen for Petty to get back in the Heisman mix.
Mariota Grounded. Through the season's first eight games, Mariota had run 56 times for 507 yards and nine touchdowns with a per carry average of 9.1 yards per carry. Since hurting his knee, he has rushed 18 times for 22 yards and no scores while his team has lost two out of three games. Knee injury or not, Mariota's Heisman hopes fell by the wayside much like the Ducks' Pac-12 title hopes.
Manziel's Miscues. Similar to Mariota and Petty, Manziel is likely out of the Heisman trophy race by way of a 24-point defeat to LSU. The reigning Heisman winner hasn't beaten a ranked team in 2013 and is 0-2 against Les Miles. And it hasn't been pretty. Manziel has 52 incompletions, 500 yards passing, one total touchdown, five interceptions and 2.8 yards per carry in two career games against the Tigers. Barring a magical performance against Missouri and an Alabama loss to Auburn, Manziel's chances to repeat appear to be slim.
Heisman Void. Ka’Deem Carey and Andre Williams are likely the top non-quarterback candidates. Both have been spectacular for middle-of-the-pack teams. But Carey has been more consistent and has performed better against better competition. In Arizona's upset win over Oregon, Carey carried 48 times for 206 yards and four scores for his 14th consecutive 100-yard game. Williams has slightly better stats overall but was terrible against Clemson (24 att., 70 yards) and USC (17 att., 38 yards), two of the top three teams BC has played all season. Neither running back should win the award but Carey is the more deserving of the two.
Braxton's Back. With a road trip to Michigan and a Big Ten title game with Michigan State, don't count out Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller just yet. He is leading the Big Ten in total offense with 296.3 yards per game and passing efficiency at 166.2 in conference play. He leads an unbeaten team that is surging on offense and has posted huge numbers since returning from injury. Keep an eye on the preseason Heisman frontrunner over the last two weeks.
The Voting Panel:
|Tom Dienhart||Big Ten Network||BigTenNetwork.com||Jameis Winston|
|Bryan Fischer||Pac-12 Network||Pac-12.com||Jameis Winston|
|David Fox||Athlon Sports||AthlonSports.com||AJ McCarron|
|Braden Gall||Athlon Sports||AthlonSports.com||Jameis Winston|
|Steven Godfrey||SB Nation||SBNation.com||Jameis Winston|
|Chris Huston||Heisman Pundit||HeismanPundit.com||Marcus Mariota|
|Steven Lassan||Athlon Sports||AthlonSports.com||Jameis Winston|
|Chris Level||Red Raider Sports||RedRaiderSports.com||Jameis Winston|
|Mitch Light||Athlon Sports||AthlonSports.com||Jameis Winston|
|Billy Liucci||TexAgs||TexAgs.com||Jameis Winston|
|Dan Rubenstein||SB Nation/Solid Verbal||SolidVerbal.com||Jameis Winston|
|Josh Ward||Mr. SEC/WNML||MrSEC.com||Jameis Winston|
|Jim Young||ACC Sports Journal||ACCSports.com||Jameis Winston|