DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Heading into the second week of October the ‘Heisman Watch‘ field of candidates, like our time with warm weather, is being narrowed. Per the usual, this year’s class is quarterback heavy and rich with next level talent.
Unlike last year, when Johnny Manziel came from NO WHERE to take home the trophy, the 2013 crop, for the most part, consists of the expected culprits.
As conference play wears on and games becomes more important, the candidates will need even BETTER numbers and more electric performances. From here on out, the list will only be the top 5 candidates with a few “atta boy” mentions after that. Each player’s previous ranking is noted before their name.
1- (prev. 1) Marcus Mariota – Oregon (season: 1,358 yards passing, 14 TD’s, 338 yards rushing, 7 TD’s) The lead Duck had 355 yards passing and 7…that’s right, seven, total touchdown last week in a blowout of Colorado. Marcus has a Peyton-Manning-like TD to INT ratio, tossing 14 scores with NO picks and he also has 300 more yards on the ground and seven scores. As long as he continues to pile up the numbers and Ducks keep winning, he should find himself at the top of the Heisman heap…up next: #16 Washington
2- (prev. 2) Tajh Boyd – Clemson (season: 1,449 yards passing, 14 TD’s, 154 yards rushing, 4 TD’s) Boyd lit up Syracuse last week for 455 and five touchdowns, but also had a pair of picks. The senior continues to use his big time targets to his advantage as the Tigers roll on as a top three team in the country. On a career scale, Boyd became just the third QB in ACC history to rack up 10,000 passing yards. Boyd will get some national exposure this weekend on ABC and has an epic showdown against Florida State next weekend…up next: Boston College
3- (prev. 4) Jameis Winston – Florida State (season: 1,441 yards passing, 17 TD’s, 135 yards rushing, 2 TD’s) “Famous Jameis” and his Seminole teammates turned what should have been solid ranked vs. ranked matchup in to a blowout for the ages. Winston threw for almost 400 yards and a season-high five touchdowns in FSU’s 63-0 win. The Freshman now has a passer rating of over 200 in four of his five games and is 2nd in the nation in that category…he also has 19 total scores. Following in Manziel’s footsteps, Jameis has a chance to win the Heisman as a freshman if his numbers continue and the ‘Noles keep themselves in the National Title hunt. Winston will have the weekend off before he faces off with Tahj Boyd on the 26th…up next: #3 Clemson on Oct. 26th
4- (prev. 3) Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M (season: 1,489 yards passing, 14 TD’s, 314 yards rushing, 3 TD’s) Because the Heisman rankings are a “what have you done for me lately” type of situation, Manziel dropped a spot because the Aggies didn’t play last week. Tough, I know. Johnny Football returns to his SEC slate this weekend against a pretty solid Ole Miss team on the road. Manziel’s name will continue to be the near the top of the list because of his ability to affect the game through the air and on the ground. Last year’s winner is 5th in passer rating and has thrown for 1,400 yards and ran for another 300. Manziel’s highlight reel plays also don’t hurt anything…up next: Ole Miss
T5- (prev. 5) Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville (season: 1,562 yards passing, 16 TD’s, 38 yards rushing, 0 TD’s) The Cardinals signal caller got a jump on everyone and picked some national exposure last night as Louisville improved to 6-0 on the season with a win over Rutgers. Teddy continues to show all the tools that make him a top NFL prospect, but his competition is making it hard to respect his numbers. The junior will continue to put up video game numbers, but playing against AAC teams won’t help his stock…up next: UCF
T5- (prev. 7) Lache Seastrunk– Baylor (season: 589 yards rushing, 8 TD’s, 11.1 yards per carry) All Seastrunk does is score touchdowns and show people his tail lights in the process. The speedster broke off two more, long touchdown runs last week, including an 80-yarder against West Virginia. The self-hyped Big 12 representative for the Heisman race has lived up to the billing, scoring almost at will and averaging an absurd 11+ yards per carry. The junior’s numbers would probably be even more impressive if he actually played significant time in any of Baylor’s four blowout wins this season. This trend should continue as the Bears face three of the bottom feeders in the conference…up next: Kansas State
Tip of the cap to these guys, who are currently wouldn’t get an invite to New York City, but should keep a suit on standby just in case.
Bryce Petty- Baylor: The most efficient passer in the country, Petty has the opportunity to put up even better numbers than RG3 did during his Heisman winning campaign. Bryce shares the backfield with Seastrunk, making it hard for either player to jump out, but if his numbers continue well into Big 12 play, he could just sitting next to his fellow Baylor buddy in NYC…up next: Kansas State
Aaron Murray- Georgia: Murray has faced easily the toughest schedule early in the season, facing three top-10 teams already. After a rough first outing against Clemson, Aaron has really turned it on, tossing 14 touchdowns in his last 4 games. His numbers are impressive and the 7th ranked Bulldogs are right in the thick of the SEC race, but he has yet to have that moment or performance that screams Heisman. Regardless, the future pro will be in the conversation for the duration of the season…#25 Missouri
If I missed anyone or you feel like you’re favorite player from your alma mater should be in the rankings, let me know on Twitter @itsnatewood.
You can also catch me on the Nate and MRod Show Saturday afternoons on 105.3 the FAN.
Happy Footballing everybody.
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