I hear the question a lot.
“You do you think will win the Heisman?”
Well, since only QBs win it these days — other than former Bama battering ram Mark Ingram, they have won 11 of the past 12 years — this year’s Heisman Trophy winner will come down to a group that includes Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Florida State’s Jameis Winston, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Baylor’s Bryce Petty.
The focus is on them. The guy who plays best down the stretch will win it.
That said, Mariota will come home with the hardware this year.
He had an average game against UCLA and still must face Stanford’s defense next Thursday, but Mariota has completed 68 percent of his passes with 20 TDs and still hasn’t thrown an interception, which is what might push him over the top. He’s accounted for 29 TDs, but probably doesn’t have the shot at the 60 combined — rushing and passing — that I thought he’d reach this season.
You can check out all of Mariota’s stats here.
Jameis Winston: He has played himself into the No. 2 spot, and could supplant Mariota with strong performances the rest of the way, especially against Miami on Saturday and Florida to finish the season. Winston has been remarkable, but voters might be hesitant to vote for another freshman, after seeing Manziel’s antics after winning it last year.
Johnny Manziel: Having the amazing Mike Evans at WR has helped cover many of Manziel’s gun-slinging sins, but he’s already thrown eight interceptions. Also, he’s not running as much as last year, but he’s putting another remarkable season with 28 combined TDs. Manziel will get plenty of TV time as the season comes to a close, and everybody will be watching the Aggies’ game at LSU on Nov. 23.
Bryce Petty: ESPN’s Experts’ Poll lists Petty as being pushed by Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, but I don’t see it. Petty is driving college football’s most explosive offense — he’s averaging 20.1 yards a completion — but the schedule is about to turn mean. The Bears have faced only one FCS with a winning record and must look forward to Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas.
Here’s ESPN’s complete top 10.
5. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
6. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
7. Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
8. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State
9. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
10. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson