5 Reasons Why AJ McCarron Will Win the 2013 Heisman Trophy

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AJ McCarron is the Most Deserving Heisman Candidate

McCarron
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday, Dec. 14, the 79th winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy will be announced in New York City. Before determining who should win a particular award the criteria for that award should be clear. In recent years there seems to be a growing disconnect between the criteria used by Heisman voters and the actual criteria given by the Heisman Trust. If you didn't know any better you might think that the Heisman Trophy is awarded to the best offensive player in college football, i.e. the one with the most impressive statistics. The Heisman Trust, however, actually has a mission statement describing the characteristics of the ideal winner.

The statement reads, in part, "The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these charitable endeavors is for the Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted."

Of the six finalists for this award, Alabama senior QB AJ McCarron is the most deserving based on the statement above, among other things. If he does not win this award, then the Heisman Trust should seriously consider changing its mission statement. Here are five reasons why AJ McCarron will hear his named called this weekend.

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5. He’s Not a Freshman

McCarron
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

McCarron is, in fact, a senior. Last year, the 78th Heisman Trophy was awarded to a freshman for the first time in the award’s history. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel promptly thanked the voters and the Heisman Trust by displaying a gross lack of maturity over several embarrassing offseason incidents. It’s hard to believe that the voters would take a chance on naming another freshman -- namely Florida State’s Jameis Winston -- after the events of last year cast serious doubt upon whether someone so young can handle it.

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4. Squeaky Clean Image

McCarron
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike Winston and Manziel, McCarron’s name has never been uttered as part of a controversy. It is true that Winston will not be charged with sexual assault by the Florida State Attorney’s office, and it is certainly not the place of the media or Heisman voters to make judgments regarding his alleged crimes. However, the unfortunate fact remains that even the mention of someone’s name in concert with controversy often reflects poorly on that individual. PR nightmares involving McCarron are unprecedented, and it is unlikely that any will emerge down the road (e.g. Reggie Bush).

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3. He's a Winner

McCarron
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The mission statement doesn't say anything about winning football games, but it does talk about the pursuit of excellence with integrity. During his time as a starter, McCarron has led the Crimson Tide to a 36-3 record. He calmly and consistently leads the offense and effectively brings out the best in his talented teammates. He conducts himself with professionalism in the media, and he maintains that football is his only focus.

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2. Solid, though not Gaudy, Stats

McCarron
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The argument for Winston seems to rely heavily on the word “stats,” an instance of which is noticeably absent from the mission statement. However, McCarron’s 2013 stats are indicative of his consistency and excellence. He has completed 207-of-306 passes for a total of 2676 yards and a 67.6 completion percentage on the year with 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. It’s telling that Winston has more completions (237-of-349) and total passing yards (3820) yet sports an almost identical completion percentage at 67.9. The fact that Florida State was able to dramatically outscore weaker ACC opponents while Alabama once again competed in the nation’s strongest conference shouldn't have a dramatic effect on McCarron’s Heisman chances.

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1. He Embodies the Mission of the Heisman Trust

McCarron
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Heisman Trust identifies that the trophy should symbolize the fostering of goodwill and community service. The last week in November, McCarron was named the SEC Community Service Team Player of the Week. The winner should also combine great ability with diligence, perseverance and hard work. No quarterback wins 36 games and two national championships as a starter without all of those qualities. McCarron would make the Heisman Trust proud.

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