A quick look at the 2013 Heisman Trophy finalists
The 2013 Heisman Trophy finalists were announced on Monday evening. The trophy will be awarded on December 14. Here are the players who will be in attendance:
Jameis Winston (QB - FSU): With the Florida state attorney announcing that Winston will not be charged for sexual assault/rape, the Seminoles' quarterback is the clear-cut favorite to win this award. Some voters may still hold the still cloudy off-field incident against him, but he has posted monster numbers as the best player on college football's best team. Winston has completed 67.9% of his passes for 3,825 yards with 38 touchdowns and ten interceptions. He has added 203 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. His 11.0 yards per pass attempt and 190.2 passer rating both lead the nation.
Jordan Lynch (QB - NIU): A true dual-threat signal caller, Lynch has racked up a jaw-dropping 1,881 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. He has even caught a 17-yard touchdown pass. The senior - who finished seventh in Heisman voting last year - is not bad through the air either, completing 63.1% of his passes for 2,676 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Unfortunately, his school's 47-27 loss to Bowling Green State in the MAC Championship tainted an otherwise perfect season, so he can't really be expected to top Winston, who has his squad ranked No. 1 in the nation.
A.J. McCarron (QB - ALA): If McCarron were to win the award, it would be more of a lifetime achievement award than anything else. His numbers (2,676 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, five interceptions, 67.6% completion percentage) are clearly not as impressive as Winston's, and McCarron failed to lead his team to a perfect season (even though it was not necessarily his fault that they lost). However, McCarron has led Alabama to two National Championship victories, so his career accomplishments rank among some of the great college signal callers.
Johnny Manziel (QB - TA&M): One of the more polarizing athletes in the nation, Manziel managed to lead the Aggies in both passing and rushing for the second consecutive season. This year, however, Manziel's numbers were not nearly as impressive. He saw a slight regression in passing yards with 3,537, and a massive dip in rushing yards with 654 (he had 1,410 in 2012). Regardless, the numbers are still great, especially considering his 40 total touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions. Manziel's reputation, however, could have made it difficult for him to win the Heisman even if his numbers/team success matched up with that of Winston.
Tre Mason (RB - AUB): If you didn't know who Tre Mason was a week ago, you probably do now. The junior capped off a sensational late-season stretch with an eye-popping 304 rushing yards and four touchdowns in Auburn's huge win against Missouri. The performance helped Auburn win the SEC, propelling them to the National Championship. Mason topped 115 rushing yards in each of his past five games, and he averaged 124.7 yards per game with 5.7 yards per carry on the season. As the focal point of an offense that will compete for a National Championship, Mason should get some votes, but probably not enough to compete with Winston.
Andre Williams (RB - BC): Entering his senior year at Boston College with a career-high of 584 rushing yards in a season, Williams made the most of his opportunity to handle a heavier workload. Williams averaged 6.4 yards per carry on an FBS-leading 329 rushing attempts. As you probably could have guessed, that translated to an FBS-leading 2,112 rushing yards. Williams added 17 touchdowns, but shockingly did not catch a single pass on the season. He has the best numbers of any runner in college football, but Boston College's 7-5 record and weak schedule will make it tough for Williams to top Winston and Mason, who led the top two teams in the country in a far more competitive conference.
As you can see, it would be a pretty big upset if anyone other than Jameis Winston came away with the award. The field is expanded this year, as there were only three finalists last season. While that shows that there were a great deal of top-notch performers this year, five of them are a clear step below the sixth, Winston.