Heisman Watch: Week 14

Story posted December 2, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Tyler Zulli

Front Runners

Jameis Winston, Freshman QB, Florida State

Stock: EVEN                                                                                                                                                Week 14 Stats: 19-31, 327 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT                                                                                                 Season Stats: 218-317, 3490 yards, 35 TD, 8 INT, 3 rush TD

Well, everybody, that’s it. It’s over. Start playing taps on the trumpet for every other player in college football not named Jameis Winston, the second freshman in a row to win the Heisman.

Not so fast. Amidst the circumstances that are surrounding Winston (we all the details, or at least part of them) the Heisman Trophy is still somewhat up for grabs. That is, until Winston is cleared of any charges against him. Once that happens (or if it does), the Heisman will be essentially Jameis’.

In the final regular season game of the year, a game that Florida State needed to win, the Seminoles dominated Florida by a score of 37-7. It was a beatdown that was expected, but not necessarily considered a given. The last game is always the toughest to win.

Winston was his usual self, throwing for well over 300 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw a pick, increasing his season total to eight. The interception didn’t mean much, if anything, in the end.

The freshman now has 38 total touchdowns on the season. That number is not quite as impressive as Johnny Manziel’s from last year, but Winston has simply been the best player in the nation this year.

Like I anticipated, FSU will take on 10-2 Duke in the ACC Championship game. Again, it’s not a given victory, but one I expect the Seminoles to get fairly easily.

That victory is all that stands in the way of the Seminoles on their trip to the National Championship game. Expect to see Winston and the ‘Noles playing for it all in January. I also expect the freshman to hoist the Heisman Trophy at the end of the year.

Andre Williams, Senior RB, Boston College

Stock: WAY UP                                                                                                                                         Week 14 Stats: 9 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD                                                                                                 Season Stats: 329 carries, 2102 yards, 17 TD

Talk about an absolute explosion. Andre Williams, the senior running back from Boston College, was nearly non-existent in the eyes of anybody with any kind of say in the Heisman voting just a few weeks ago.

Flash forward to today, and things certainly are different. Williams has run for over 2100 yards on the season and added 17 scores on the ground. He’s been nothing short of the driving force behind the Eagles’ offense the entire season.

This weekend’s season finale didn’t add to Williams Heisman stock greatly, with maybe the exception being the touchdown he scored. In a game that BC took to the air early and often, Williams only ran the ball nine times. With just nine touches, the senior only produced 29 rushing yards.

The Eagles eventually fell to Syracuse 34-31, finishing the season with seven victories. Unlike Winston, BC doesn’t have the outstanding record or National Championship aspirations. What they do have, however, is a senior running back who wants to finish his collegiate career with a victory.

BC will go to a bowl at the conclusion of the season, and Williams will, undoubtedly, be a big part of their offense. Watch for Williams to have himself a career day, as he’ll need one, and a Winston explosion, to take home the hardware.

Second Tier

Ka’Deem Carey, Junior RB, Arizona

Stock: UP                                                                                                                                                    Week 14 Stats: 32 carries, 157 yards, 1 TD                                                                                         Season Stats: 322 carries, 1716 yards, 17 TD

There seems to be a common them with the final three hopefuls on this list now. They don’t play for championship caliber teams. (Lynch may be debatable, but that’s a conversation for a different day.)

Despite only seven victories, Carey finished up his junior regular season at Arizona with an impressive stat line. He ran for over 1700 yards and produced 17 touchdowns. Those numbers have placed Carey on this list for the last couple of weeks now. The drop in play of Mariota and Manziel has elevated Carey to third on this list.

His play in the final game of the regular season was spectacular, carrying the ball 32 times for 157 yards and a score. The Wildcats fell behind against Arizona State early, and never really recovered. The offense is so centered around Carey, however, he was able to pick up 32 carries on the day.

He’s been nothing short of a workhorse all season. The last two games, however, he’s been a man possessed. Carey has carried the ball 80 times in the last two games, shouldering the load for the Wildcats offense.

Arizona, just like BC, will play for a bowl victory at the end of the year. Expect Carey to make one final push for the Heisman trophy with a strong outing in that game. Whoever preforms better, between Williams and Carey, will probably finish in second in voting.

Jordan Lynch, Senior QB, Northern Illinois

Stock: UP                                                                                                                                                   Week 14 Stats: 5-17, 39 yards, 1 TD, 327 rush yards, 3 TD                                                              Season Stats: 212-329, 2457 yards, 22 TD, 5 INT, 248 carries, 1755 yards, 20 TD

Lynch, at least in my opinion, has been the most dominating player in college football this year. That doesn’t take away from the fact I think Winston has been the best. Lynch, playing in the MAC, has simply dominated every opponent he has faced so far.

Lynch has been a man amongst boys in the MAC, both with his arm and his legs. He’s thrown for nearly 2500 yards and added 22 touchdowns through the air. With his feet, he’s found the endzone 20 times, all while running for over 1750 yards. A combined 42 touchdowns is a Manziel-like number.

That superiority has led Northern Illinois to an undefeated regular season. With the fall of Fresno State, I’d expect NIU to be the Non AQ team this year to play in a BCS bowl.

Just one game remains for the Huskies, as they’ll take on Bowling Greene in the MAC championship next weekend. A victory will all but guarantee a BCS bid for NIU.

One more victory may also force some voters hands, turning their votes toward Lynch. If I had a vote, I’d avoid the senior because of who his team played. Maybe that’s why I don’t’ get a vote.

Honorable Mention

AJ McCarron, Senior QB, Alabama

Johnny Manziel, Sophomore QB, Texas A&M

Marcus Mariota, Sophomore QB, Oregon