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Heisman Trophy Favorites and Stats, Plus Thoughts on Jameis Winston and his Candidacy

By |2018-12-06T18:45:19+00:00November 30th, 2013|7 Comments

Dating back to 2000, only two non-quarterbacks were awarded the Heisman Trophy, with that tally being narrowed down to one after Reggie Bush’s 2005 Heisman was vacated.  That leaves 2009, when Mark Ingram took home the award.

It’s a pretty simple formula to predict who will be presented with this prestigious award.  Look to the quarterbacks who not only play for a winner, but also to those that are posting gaudy numbers.  Then, focus on other offensive positions – and if there’s an extreme standout on defense – include him, too.

There’s also a caution flag for those that could or have already landed in hot water, considering that the award itself lists integrity as a key element, but that’s certainly not set in stone, as Heisman voters are in fact human, and could decide to turn the other cheek.

That brings up the subject of Jameis Winston, the flashy freshman at Florida State, who is having a fantastic and very Heisman-worthy season – at least, on the field.


Despite some negative character reports, Jameis Winston is considered by many to be the current Heisman favorite

As for off the field, that remains to be seen, as Winston has not been formerly been charged with any crime.  As reports are stating, if any charges are raised in the highly publicized sexual assault case, they will not occur until after both the ACC Championship and the Heisman Trophy presentation.

The assault case aside, Winston was also reportedly involved in two other minor incidents: a BB gun battle and stealing soda away from a Burger King.

With these reports in play, a recent Associated Press report quoted a sampling of media members as stating that they would still keep Winston in mind when voting for the award.

This doesn’t surprise me one bit, but that’s only because there isn’t a plethora of options to vote for.

Not flashy ones, at least.  If there were, Winston would slip, due to the open-ended questions in the integrity department.

Is that fair?

No, it’s not, but no one ever said life is fair.

But there are better options, and the stats tell the story.

Here is who should be considered legitimate Heisman contenders for the 2013 season (and why):


Highly Ranked, Big Win Total Schools (Max of 1 loss)

Who Counts: Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Auburn, Missouri, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Michigan State, Fresno State, UCF, Northern Illinois and Louisville


Key Offensive Weapons (from the Above Schools) with Top-Notch Stats

Alabama – AJ McCarron (165.3 rating, 2,399 passing yards, 23 TD, 5 INT)

Florida State – Jameis Winston (194.50 rating, 3,163 passing yards, 32 TD, 7 INT)

Ohio State – Braxton Miller (165.79 rating, 19 TD, 4 INT)

Auburn – Tre Mason (1,153 rushing yards, 17 TD)

Missouri – None

Clemson – Tajh Boyd (3,248 passing yards, 29 TD, 7 INT, 169.80 rating)

Oklahoma State – None

Baylor – Bryce Petty (3,351 passing yards, 26 TD, 1 INT, 194.05 rating)

Michigan State – Jeremy Langford (1,076 rushing yards, 15 TD)

Fresno State – Derek Carr (3,943 passing yards, 39 TD, 4 INT), Davante Adams (121.3 ypg, 19 TD)

UCF – Blake Bortles (2,819 passing yards, 20 TD, 5 INT)

Northern Illinois – Jordan Lynch (1,575 rushing yards, 20 rush TD, 2,457 passing yards, 22 TD, 5 INT)

Louisville – Teddy Bridgewater (3,268 passing yards, 25 TD, 3 INT)


Gaudy Statistics for Outliers (Not Ranked / Multiple Losses)

Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) – 174.91 rating, 32 TD, 321.5 passing yards per game

Marcus Mariota (Oregon) – 171.09 rating, 27 TD, 2 INT

Shane Carden (ECU) – 72.8 completion percentage, 3,575 passing yards, 32 TD

Andre Williams (Boston College) – 2,073 rushing yards, 16 TD

Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona) – 1,559 rushing yards, 16 TD

Bishop Sankey (Washington) – 1,575 rushing yards, 17 TD


From the Above Three Lists (Narrowed down to 15)…

Who’s Still In: AJ McCarron (Alabama), Jameis Winston (Florida State), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Bryce Petty (Baylor), Derek Carr (Fresno State), Blake Bortles (UCF), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Shane Carden (ECU), Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona), Bishop Sankey (Washington) and Andre Williams (Boston College)


How did each perform in big games, and against ranked teams?

NOTE: Stats as of November 27, 2013 – Washington (Sankey) and Fresno State (Carr) have played another game, but additional stats and details will be added in a post next week

AJ McCarron (Alabama) – His numbers don’t knock your socks off, but he was great against LSU and Texas A&M (7 TD, 0 INT)


AJ McCarron deserves more Heisman love for his 2013 season

Jameis Winston (Florida State) – Versus five FBS winning teams this year, Winston has averaged nearly 370 ypg, with 17 TD’s and just 4 INT’s.  In his lone game against a ranked opponent (Clemson), Winston threw for 444 yards, with 3 TD’s and 1 INT.  Against Miami, he had 1 TD and 2 INT’s.

Braxton Miller (Ohio State) – In OSU’s one game versus a ranked opponent (Wisconsin), Miller threw for 198 yards with 4 TD’s.  His key performance will be against Michigan State in the Big Ten title game

Tajh Boyd (Clemson) – In his one game against a current ranked opponent (Florida State), Boyd was 17-37 for 156 yards, with 1 TD and 2 INT’s.  That won’t get it done.

Bryce Petty (Baylor) – He has just 1 INT, but a 32-point loss to Oklahoma State doesn’t help.  That, plus his completion percentage has been below 60% over each of the last three games

Derek Carr (Fresno State) – Carr has faced zero AP ranked teams, but in the three games against FBS winning teams, he threw 10 TD’s with 0 INT.  You can’t ignore his numbers.

Blake Bortles (UCF) – He’s a big reason for UCF’s success, but his statistics against winning teams (7 TD, 5 INT), are not Heisman worthy.

Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois) – Lynch has the gaudiest numbers in the group (Over 4,000 total yards and 42 TD), but Northern Illinois has played zero ranked teams and only 3 FBS winning teams.

Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) – Bridgewater has been steady, with a 71% completion percentage and only 3 INT’s on the year.  In his one game against a ranked team (UCF), he threw for 2 TD’s with 0 INT, but overall, Louisville has only faced three winning teams all year.

Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) – The reigning Heisman winner, when compared to last year’s numbers, is averaging approximately 30 more yards per game through the air, and has 6 more passing TD’s.  He’s also averaged 380 yards passing versus ranked opponents… but 16-for-41 at LSU?  Ugly.

Marcus Mariota (Oregon) – His only two picks came in Oregon’s last game, a blowout loss at Arizona

Shane Carden (ECU) – He has faced zero ranked opponents and in four games against FBS winning teams, Carden had 6 TD’s and 5 INT’s.  His completion percentage was still above 70%, however.

Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona) – Carey averaged 164.33 yards per game and over five yards per carry, with five total TD’s versus three ranked opponents

Bishop Sankey (Washington) – 7 games versus FBS winning teams, with 12 TD’s and nearly 130 ypg

Andre Williams (Boston College) – The kid has been a beast, but it must be noted that he has 257 yards and 0 TD over 3 games versus AP ranked teams


Narrowing it down again… 

Sexy Seven: KP’s Heisman Rankings – Week 14 (Thanksgiving)

7. Johnny Manziel (QB – Texas A&M) – The LSU game is still fresh in everyone’s minds

6. Derek Carr (QB – Fresno State) – 10 TD and 0 INT vs. FBS winning teams

5. Ka’Deem Carey (RB – Arizona) – Nearly 165 ypg on the ground vs. ranked opponents

4. Jordan Lynch (QB – Northern Illinois) – 4,000+ total yards and 42 TD

3. Andre Williams (RB – Boston College) – Great year, but think Larry Johnson a few years ago

2. Jameis Winston (QB – Florida State) – Flashy and talented, but is a black cloud lingering?

1. AJ McCarron (QB – Alabama) – Numbers not as gaudy, but has been great vs. key opponents


I like McCarron.  He’s a winner, and while his numbers do not blow you away, he’s been spectacular in big time games.  If he posts a huge game in the Iron Bowl, then he deserves the Heisman.

For those that disagree, don’t worry… I don’t have a Heisman vote.  Therefore, you only have to deal with my opinion and not the after effects.


More to come on this topic… 

*All Stats via ESPN.com and cfbstats.com (November 27, 2013)

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About the Author:

Kevin Paul is the creator of The Wife Hates Sports, a freelance sportswriter, full-time QA manager, part-time craft beer tester and full-time Dad. Oh and yes, it is true, the wife REALLY does HATE sports. Maybe I need to create a support group like the Hair Club for Men, where I'm "not only the President, but a member".


  1. SportsChump December 2, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Woodson did, Kev, but harken back to the Clowney hit last year.

    People were talking about him being a number one pick were he able to come out.

    Had he amassed double digit sacks in games this year, he would have been a no-brainer, already NFL-ready. Instead, we’re looking at Winston getting it and voters hoping he isn’t found guilty.

  2. Alan aka tophatal .... December 2, 2013 at 7:56 AM


    The whole situation concerning Duke’s Lacrosse team is not an isolated incident and had anyone chosen to conduct their own investigation , they would in fact find out there have been other allegations of sexual assaults and drug use by team members . Yet somehow , this is never mentioned because those covering the stories are somewhat disinterested , which essentially indicates poor journalism .

    Let me ask you this , even with the presumption of innocence , do you believe that the Heisman voters would want to go down this route again , with a player (Jameis Winston) being alleged to have committed a felony ? Never mind the fact , there have been assertions from his legal representatives that the sex was said to have been consensual . C’mon let’s use some common sense here , rather than salivating over another athlete whose conduct has come into question for the wrong reasons .

    tophatal ……………….

  3. admin December 1, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    I don’t think I could have ever imagined that you would find a way to bring Sarah Palin into a conversation on TWHS. More power to you, I guess.

  4. admin December 1, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Sadly, yes… because most people will just turn the other cheek and say that he hasn’t been charged with any crimes. I’m sure the Duke lacrosse story will come up from someone’s mouth. Who would get your vote currently?

  5. admin December 1, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Yes, as I mentioned, a big game and win against Auburn would have pushed McCarron to a possible Heisman… but now, even though he had a solid game, that ending is likely to change anything. I still don’t think Winston has been all that amazing, considering the opponents he has faced, and the potential black cloud that is following him. The door was opened for guys like Andre Williams, but he was first shut down by Syracuse, then injured in the second half.
    Even if Clowney was a beast, he still may not have won the thing… it’s tough to name a defensive player. Woodson had the special teams play, too, didn’t he? I’m trying to recall.

  6. Alan aka tophatal .... December 1, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Giving the award to Jadeveon Clowney would be akin to suggest that Sarah Palin is deserving Nobel Laureate for Literature . A complete waste on a kid , who is simply known for one highlight reel .

  7. SportsChump December 1, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Not after yesterday’s loss to Auburn, my friend. If they do give it to McCarron, it’ll be more of a lifetime achievement award.

    Despite his gaudy numbers, I’m still surprised Vegas lists Winston as such a heavy favorite (1:4).

    Here’s what’s lost in all this. With no offensive players putting up record-setting numbers, if only Jadavean Clowney had tried this season, he would have been the first defensive player to win the award since Charles Woodson.

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