Heisman Race Update: Jameis Down, but Who is Up?

Now that Jameis Winston is under investigation for sexual assault and is putting him in a purgatory of sorts, the Heisman Trophy race is wide open. One by one, preseason Heisman Trophy frontrunners, have dropped off the radar.

johnny manziel vs lsuJohnny Manziel, whose numbers have been amazing this year, lost in embarrassing fashion to LSU this past weekend with one of the poorest outings in his young career. Marcus Mariota, whose stock had plummeted after losing to Stanford, took another hit when Oregon lost to Washington State. Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty got shellacked on the road at Oklahoma State this weekend, too.

Who is left? Alabama’s starting quarterback AJ McCarron is the frontrunner right now, but his body of work leaves many scratching their heads. Will it be addition by subtraction? Or will a dark horse run the table? Boston College running back Andre Williams, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr (the younger brother of NFL QB David Carr), and Northern Illinois dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch.

Andre Williams has been reliable and durable, eclipsing the 2,000 rushing yard mark. Oh, and he can use the “Truck Stick” on helpless defenders, put to Super Mario Bros. sounds:

Derek Carr has been a consistent and precise quarterback for a dangerous Fresno State Bulldogs team. Jordan Lynch has led his team to an undefeated record to a possible BCS bowl berth, again. But, Lynch’s lackluster performance in the Orange Bowl against Florida State last year may be on Heisman voters’ minds.

Let’s look at these contenders’ stats (via ESPN.com)…

McCarron’s stats this year:

aj mccarron

PASSING STATS
YEAR TEAM CMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD LNG INT
201 190 277 68.6 2399 8.7 23 54 5

What stands out to me is that McCarron is not Johnny Manziel or Jameis Winston, as far as flair or pizzazz, but he gets the job done. He is a steady, consistent, Alex Smith-type presence under center. So there’s that. He’s thrown 23 TD’s and only 5 interceptions, but I was intially worried about his 43.5% completion percentage against a very good Virginia Tech defense. But, with 7 games with over 70% completion percentage I am not worried about his accuracy. Then again, he’s on a championship team.

Andre Williams’ stats:

andre williams BC

RUSHING STATS
YEAR TEAM ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
2013 320 2073 6.5 80 16

Williams has averaged 29 carries per game, which I haven’t seen a running back see for a long time. He is the go-to feature back for BC and helped them to a good 7-4 record. He’s had FIVE games of 200+ yards rushing: 204, 263, 295, 339 and 263. He’s had SIX games with over 30 carries! This guy is a workhorse! And, he gets 6.5 yard per carry, which makes it much easier for his terrible QB Chase Rettig. Or much easier for him to get a first down in the next two carries.

Derek Carr:

derek carr fresno state

PASSING STATS
YEAR TEAM CMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD LNG INT RAT
2013 350 502 69.7 3948 7.9 39 75 4

The guy is a passing touchdown machines. He’s only had TWO games where he threw only two TD passes (at Hawaii, at San Diego State). His lowest completion percentage in a single game was 61.4%, which is not bad at all. He had SEVEN games where he threw over 70% completion percentage. He’s also had to throw most of the time, with 70 pass attempts in a double overtime thriller against Rutgers. But, his competition is not very good, with the likes of Idaho, New Mexico, and Hawaii.

And, he just lost to San Jose State this week, which unofficially knocks him out of the week.

Jordan Lynch:

jordan lynch

PASSING STATS
YEAR TEAM CMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD LNG INT RAT
2013 207 312 66.3 2418 7.8 21 66 5
RUSHING STATS
YEAR TEAM ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
2013 221 1434 6.5 61 17

Lynch is a balanced quarterback, but in watching tape his throwing motion is a step up from Tim Tebow. He’s had SIX games of 100 yards rushing with 150 yards passing in the same game. But, his opponents were not impressive such as Iowa, Ball State, Purdue, and Idaho. Will he make a BCS bowl? Let’s see what happened last time it happened:

Who do I think will win? It’s going to be McCarron or Williams. McCarron will most likely be the winner because Alabama will probably win the championship and the Heisman has gone to quarterbacks the majority of the last decade. I can’t see Derek Carr sneaking up and grabbing the award, having played a softer schedule than McCarron and Williams. I would be shocked if Lynch snuck into the top 3 finishers.

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About Spencer Irvine

Fun loving, D.C. area sports fan, which means I'm frustrated and still can't get a grip on what a win truly means (or a championship for that matter).

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