Predicting Where the 6 Heisman Trophy Finalists Will Finish in Voting
2013 Heisman Trophy: Predicting Final Voting of the 6 Finalists
The Heisman Trophy ceremony will soon be upon us as College Football enters its bowl season. Saturday evening’s announcement of the sport’s best player is one of the most anticipated moments in all of NCAA sports and there is no shortage of talented players to choose from. Nevertheless, the Heisman voters have narrowed down the pool to just six finalists: quarterback Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois, the reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M, Auburn’s standout running back, Tre Mason, the quarterback for Alabama, A.J. McCarron, a running back from Boston College, Andre Williams, and Florida State’s offensive leader, Jameis Winston.
With three players, the vaunted SEC boasts the most candidates left in the running while the somewhat surprising ACC trails just slightly with two players of its own. But don’t count out Lynch just yet as his numbers are extremely impressive despite coming from an arguably weaker Mid-American Conference. All the same, in trying to figure out who has the best chance of winning, it is important to remember that the major conferences do tend to get preferential treatment. In fact, of the last five Heisman winners, only two conferences were represented: the SEC and the Big 12.
Saturday will come with the announcement of the decision, but until then, there will be heated debates among analysts and fans alike over who deserves this distinguished award the most. Four quarterbacks and two running backs are all that remains in the battle for the nation’s best collegiate football player and it will be intriguing to find out where they finish in the voting. I have done my best to predict this, so click the “Next” button above to start the slideshow and see where I have ranked these six amazing athletes with respect to where I believe they will be voted.
6. Andre Williams – Boston College – RB
Let’s just face the facts. Williams is not even the best running back in this group let alone the best player. Mason has Williams beat out on rushing yards and touchdowns and the former posted better stats in an arguably tougher conference. Williams’ 2,101 yards and 17 touchdowns are fantastic, but he just did not do enough to do any better than last in the Heisman voting.
5. A.J. McCarron – Alabama – QB
Of all of the finalists, I am the most disappointed to see McCarron on this list. If you compare his statistics against the others, especially the quarterbacks, his 2,676 passing yards just do not contend with his fellow candidates’ numbers. In fact, McCarron had better stats last season and did not even finish in the top 10 of Heisman voting. The voters would have done better to have chosen Derek Carr, Fresno State’s quarterback and the only reason I believe McCarron will finish better than dead last is the fact that he plays for Alabama in the SEC. Let it be known, if it were up to me to vote, he would be sixth in this group.
4. Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M – QB
While his passing yards remained just about the same from his 2012 campaign, Manziel’s rushing yards took a hit, dipping by more than half to 686 yards. This lowered statistical performance, combined with more interceptions thrown (13) and the fact that Texas A&M just did not do as well as last year, will lead to Manziel’s 2013 Heisman demise. It is extremely difficult to repeat as the award winner, especially if you do not post better statistics than in your previously successful campaign.
3. Tre Mason – Auburn – RB
Mason was surely one of the best running backs in the 2013 NCAA Football season, but I cannot see him placing any higher than fourth. Part of the reason for this is the sheer fact that Mason had less rushing yards than one of the quarterbacks still to come on this list. Still, Auburn owes much of their success and their trip to the BCS National Championship to Mason’s performance.
Auburn plays much more of a running system than many schools, with their QB, Nick Marshall, throwing the ball less times than he ran it this year. Even though their opponents knew the run was coming, Mason was able to run right through and around opposing teams. His strong performance and ability to lead Auburn to the big game will earn him recognition as the third best athlete in college football.
2. Jordan Lynch – Northern Illinois – QB
Say what you will about the MAC and the teams that Lynch had to face, but there is just no disputing his statistics. If you look at the mere fact that Lynch just barely ranked in the top 40 in passing yards, you might not be impressed, but you have to understand that NIU’s leader is a mobile quarterback. As such, the six-foot Chicago native tallied almost 1,900 rushing yards, placing him behind only one other athlete – not quarterback – in all of NCAA Division 1 Football. Tack on another 2,600 yards through the air and Lynch has made a strong case for himself in 2013. Nevertheless, Lynch will go no higher than second as his 2012 statistics were a bit stronger and he still only finished seventh in the voting that year. The bias against smaller conference players will pull Lynch back down to earth.
1. Jameis Winston – Florida State – QB
“Famous Jameis.” The media has been hollering about this kid for months, and for good reason. Winston started out the season strong, putting himself on the map as a potential candidate, and finished the season even stronger. The 6-4 quarterback from Alabama has led the Seminoles to the #1 ranking, a perfect 13-0 record, and a berth in the BCS Championship Game despite only being a freshman. His 3,820 passing yards are best among any of the teams that really matter to the Heisman voters and his 48 total touchdowns are extremely impressive. The whole season has been a perfect storm for Winston who will most certainly finish as the highest ranked candidate and the Heisman Trophy winner.