NCAA Football

Power Ranking The Top Heisman Trophy Candidates Through Week 4

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Power Ranking The Top Heisman Trophy Candidates Through Week 4

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The race for the 2013 Heisman Trophy is officially underway. We’ve seen a few games from each of the contenders, and some have impressed. The top dogs have all played well. There have even been a few fringe contenders that have played so well that they need to be included in any conversation of legit Heisman hopefuls.

While we’ve all known for a while that calling it the award for the best overall college football player is ridiculous, the range of positions that have a chance to take home the trophy has been thinned even more this year. It used to be that running backs and wide receivers had a chance to win the prize, but today it’s only quarterbacks that are in the race.

Sure, football is becoming more and more dependent on the pass every year, but this season there isn’t even one running back on the radar of Heisman voters. That may change in the next few weeks, but as teams pass more than ever it seems unlikely that running backs will have a chance to put up the kind of numbers they will need to keep pace with their passing counterparts.

Quarterbacks are the most important position in all of sports. A good one can put a team on his back and carry them to a win, much like a dominant running back could just a generation ago. So, it’s really not all that surprising that this list is not only dominated by signal callers, it’s comprised completely of them.

These are not only the top quarterbacks in all of college football, they’re also the top candidates to take home the Heisman Trophy through the first four weeks of the college football season.

Ben Sullivan is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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8. Brett Hundley

Brett Hundley
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Hundley is turning heads for the UCLA Bruins this year. He has the Bruins on the national radar after throwing three touchdowns in a huge win on the road against Nebraska.

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7. Braxton Miller

Braxton Miller
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being sidelined with a knee injury in Ohio State's second game, Braxton Miller is still in the hunt for the Heisman. He is expected back this week, and if he lights up Big 10 defenses this fall voters will quickly forget about the two games he lost to the injury.

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6. Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston exploded on the scene with a 356-yard, four touchdown performance against Pittsburgh in the opening week of the college football season. He came back down to earth a little in his second game, but if he can keep putting up big numbers he'll stay in the Heisman conversation.

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5. Tajh Boyd

Tajh Boyd
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson dual-threat quarterback Tajh Boyd opened the season with a bang when he scored three touchdowns to lead his team to a win over the Georgia Bulldogs in the signature game of Week 1. He's cooled off since then, but a few more big games will see him skyrocket up the list.

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4. Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater was the sexy pick to win the Heisman heading into this year. It won't be his play that will keep him from winning, it will be the weak Louisville schedule. He's a great player, but he would need to put up inarguable numbers to take the trophy without any signature wins on his resume.

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3. A.J. McCarron

A.J. McCarron
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Constantly underrated, A.J. McCarron will have the advantage of playing for the No. 1 overall team in the country. If he continues to play well, and Alabama continues to pile up the wins in the toughest conference around, McCarron will stay at the top of this list.

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2. Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has shot up Heisman boards this fall with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in three blowout wins. If he and the Ducks find themselves in the national title hunt late in the season, he could give the next guy on this list a real run for his money.

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1. Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a loss to Alabama this past week, Johnny Manziel is still the front-runner to win a second straight Heisman trophy. He has everything you need — signature plays, gaudy numbers and big games in front of a national audience. At this point Texas A&M would need to lose at least two more games for him to fall out of favor with voters.

Related Links:

Five Things Oregon QB Marcus Mariota Must Do To Stay In The Heisman Trophy Hunt

5 Things Alabama's A.J. McCarron Must Do To Stay In The Heisman Trophy Hunt

Johnny Manziel's Heisman Stock Through The Roof Despite Loss To Alabama