Alabama Crimson Tide junior quarterback A.J. McCarron is busy helping his team prepare for the BCS Championship Game. McCarron has led Alabama to the BCS Championship Game as a junior and he’s not done playing on Saturdays. The Crimson Tide quarterback has announced that he will return for his senior season and that makes him an early contender for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.
Sure, 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is just a freshman. And he has completed 273-of-400 passes for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing only eight interceptions en route to Texas A&M securing a bid to play Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. But with Alabama pushing for a national title each year, McCarron always plays on a big stage.
As a junior, McCarron has completed 191-of-286 passes for 2,669 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Alabama field general only threw three interceptions.
The storied Alabama football program has had only one Heisman Trophy winner, and that was running back Mark Ingram. Not even Joe Namath could win the Heisman, but could A.J. McCarron?
Several Alabama players are familiar with Heisman hype. In 2011, Alabama running back Trent Richardson was one of five Heisman Trophy finalists and ended up third.
With a win over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 and if he has the Crimson Tide set to play for another national crown next season as well, could Heisman voters shun a quarterback that has led his team to a title and is a national leader in quarterback efficiency?
Odds for an Alabama quarterback winning the Heisman aren’t so good. Then again, neither are a player winning back-to-back Heismans. Let the 2013 Heisman Trophy race begin.
Steve LeMaster is a college football columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter.