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NCAA Football

2013 Heisman Trophy Standings after Week 3

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AJ McCarron Climbs Heisman Ranks after Defeating Texas A&M

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Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

After three weeks, the 2013 college football season is shaping up as the year of the quarterback, and the Heisman is likely to go to a quarterback once again this December. That’s not exactly a revelation as 11 of the past 13 winners of the bronzed stiff-armed statue have gone to that position.

Of the top 15 candidates after three weeks, nine are at quarterback. And of the nine in the top 15, seven sit inside the top eight spots. Also of note after the third week is that three teams claim more than one player on the list, with two coming from the SEC.

Speaking of the SEC, the nation’s premier conference boasts the most players with a staggering eight who has claimed four Heismans in the past six years. Of course, that includes the reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who has been nothing short of spectacular. However, I believe voters will be hard pressed to vote for him a second year in a row.

Running backs claimed the two awards not won by quarterbacks in the new millennium, and six backs are jockeying for position in the top 15 in the early part of the season. Could one running back rise above the rest and break into the exclusive quarterback club? That will be one of the big trends I’ll be watching as the running backs begin to separate themselves in conference play.

This list is guaranteed to fluctuate throughout the season and include new names. Current names will be moving up and down the list. I will update the list at the start of every week. Here are the top 15 candidates for the Heisman trophy after the second week of the college football season with their stats from their most recent games.

The 79th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation is Saturday Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. ET from the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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15. Alex Collins-RB-Arkansas

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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas' freshman running back ran for 100-yards for an SEC record third straight game to start a career. He has good for 418 yards and entered the weekend leading the conference in rushing. He's only a true freshman and he's not going to win the award, but I had to give him his props after his impressive start to his college career.

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14. Melvin Gordon-RB-Wisconsin

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know how many games Wisconsin is going to win this year, but the ones they do will be in large part because of the sophomore running back from Kenosha. Gordon has rushed for more than 140 yards in all three games this year and has runs of 65 yards or longer in each game, along with a touchdown. He looks like the latest in a long line of great Badgers tailbacks. Don't be surprised to see him approach the 1,800-yard mark his predecessor Montee Ball put up last year.

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13. Zach Mettenberger-QB-LSU

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Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

I continue to beat the drum for Mettenberger, who looks like a new man at quarterback for LSU so far in 2013. In the Tigers' win over Kent State, he completed 13 of his 18 attempts for 264 yards and three touchdowns, bringing his season total to nine after three games.

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12. Jameis Winston-QB-Florida State

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Winston completed 15 of his 18 attempts for 214 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't put up gaudy numbers like he did vs. Pitt, but I'll chalk this up to youth. It's only his second career start and he has eight total touchdowns -- not all that bad for Florida State's chosen one.

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11. T.J. Yeldon-RB-Alabama

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Yeldon helped salt the clock away in the second half when Alabama was dominating the time of possession in their win over Texas A&M. He matched a career-high with 25 carries and was four yards shy of a career-high yardage total, finishing with 149 and a touchdown.

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10. De'Anthony Thomas-RB-Oregon

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas finished with 114 total yards on 14 touches and a rushing touchdown as Oregon crushed Tennessee. He may only weigh 170 pounds, but he is proving that he can run between the tackles and break tackles this season as the lead back.

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9. Lache Seastrunk-RB-Baylor

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Seastrunk and Baylor were idle this week and will take on Louisiana-Monroe at home on Saturday. Seastrunk has five touchdowns this season and 261 yards after two games.

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8. Brett Hundley-QB-UCLA

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hundley led UCLA to 38 unanswered points in a 41-21 win over Nebraska to improve to 2-0. He finished with 294 yards on 16-of-24 passing and tossed three touchdowns, adding 61 yards on 19 carries.

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7. Aaron Murray-QB-Georgia

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Murray is resting up after exorcising his demons vs. South Carolina last week and gets a nice matchup vs. North Texas next week that should pad his stats.

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6. Tajh Boyd-QB-Clemson

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Boyd and Clemson were idle this week. They open ACC play on Thursday on the road at NC State.

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5. Todd Gurley-RB-Georgia

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Gurley and his Bulldogs were idle this week after defeating South Carolina, and will play North Texas next week. He may be the best offensive prospect in the conference, regardless of class.

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4. Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Manziel was 17-of-22 for 249 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the first half vs. Alabama, while also adding 61 yards on the ground. For the game, he accounted for 562 yards of offense with 464 through the air and 98 on the ground. His five touchdowns were overshadowed a tad by his two costly interceptions, which could have been the difference in the game. It's crazy to think he's fourth on this list. Individually, his performance Saturday was as impressive as I've seen in a long time. If only it came in a win, he would be No. 1

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3. A.J. McCarron-QB-Alabama

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

McCarron threw for 251 yards in the first half, the most career yards in a half, en route to 28 unanswered points for Alabama. Three of those four scores coming via his right arm. McCarron orchestrated a masterful game plan in the win over Texas A&M and finished with 334 yards and four touchdowns.

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2. Teddy-Bridgewater-QB-Louisville

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Bridgewater completed 16 of his 28 attempts for 250 yards and a touchdown in Louisville's 27-13 win over Kentucky.

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1. Marcus Mariota-QB-Oregon

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Mariota moves up from No. 2 to the top spot after he threw for 350 yards with three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown -- in the first half -- in Oregon's win over Tennessee. He finished with 456 and four scores through the air in a career day as the Ducks won in a rout. He is going to continue to pile up huge passing and rushing numbers all season long and is the player to beat.

Related Links

Week 3 Heisman Rankings

Top 25 SEC NFL Draft Prospects

Top 25 SEC Freshmen for 2013