The 2013 Heisman Watch got a whole lot closer in week 11 thanks to Oregon’s loss to Stanford. Was it enough to knock Marcus Mariota off his first place pedestal? Here’s my updated top 5:
5. A.J. McCarron, Alabama:
The senior quarterback silenced his haters and doubters on Saturday night, rolling the Crimson Tide to a 38-17 victory over no. 13 LSU. The Tigers put up a fight early on, but ultimately met their demise thanks to a very A.J. McCarron-y performance. McCarron efficiently completed 14-of-20 attempts for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Saturday was McCarron’s fifth straight game not turning the ball over, solidifying himself as one of the most efficient game manager’s in the nation. His number’s might not be top-five-player-in-the-nation-worthy, but is consistently winning performances should resonate with voters.
4. Bryce Petty, Baylor:
Congratulations, Baylor Faithful, Bryce Petty is finally in my top 5. He’s led the Bears to their first 8-0 start in the programs history, and he’s done it with pizzazz. Petty and the no. 6 Bears trolled the tenth-ranked Sooners of Oklahoma 28-16, setting themselves up for a run at the National Championship. The junior from Midlothian, Texas completed 13-of-26 attempts for 204 yards and three touchdowns. Petty also added 45 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, carrying the pigskin 16 times. He’s still only thrown one interception all season (week 4), and has a few major tests to prove himself against no. 12 Oklahoma State and no. 24 Texas.
3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M:
I still don’t think Manziel has any chance of winning the trophy again, but he keeps making it harder and harder to refute the possibility. Yes, Johnny Football haters, he did get picked off three times against Mississippi State (4-5). However, he also did complete 30-of-39 attempts for 446 yards and five touchdowns. This was his fourth game throwing for more than 400 yards, and now has 3,313 yards on the season (third best in the nation). His 11 turnovers is disheartening, but he’s already surpassed his 2012 numbers. You know, last year, the year he won the trophy. I still have faith that the Heisman Trust will pick a more, how should we say, grounded candidate this year. But hey, I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again…numbers don’t lie.
2. Jameis Winston, Florida State:
For the first time all year, Winston wasn’t the shinning star for the Seminoles. The defense forced seven turnovers, two going for touchdowns. In addition, three separate FSU running backs scored. Winston did throw for 159 yards and two touchdowns, completing 17-of-28 attempts. The year this kid has had speaks for itself, but I can see how one might think Johnny Football should have jumped him this week. Sorry, folks, I don’t make the rules (Oh wait, yes I do).
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon:
Mariota’s first-place margin took a major hit thanks to his performance in Oregon’s loss to Stanford on Thursday. Mariota completed 20-of-34 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Mariota did play with a knee brace, which hurt his mobility in the pocket. But, his season speaks for itself as well: 164-259, 2,531 yards, 22 touchdowns (including 9 rushing). Mariota still hasn’t turned the ball over, but you can’t deny the hit his chances took due to this game. Chances are he won’t be playing for the National Championship now, which opens the door for Jameis Winston to make a big leap.
Don’t agree with my rankings? Feel free to comment and vote in the poll below on who you think should be no. 1!