The 2013 Heisman Trophy race isn’t expected to be much of a competition. Jameis Winston is the overwhelming favorite to win the award, which will be announced on Saturday.
There is a very small chance that Winston could be upset because of his issues off the field. The Florida State quarterback has been accused of sexual assault, and though he won’t be charged, it could be enough to sway a few votes. On Friday, the accuser’s lawyer said key information about the alleged incident had been redacted from documents that were released to the press. According to attorney Patricia Carroll, information about the woman’s injuries and the fact that she was given pain killers wasn’t in the initial medical report.
Five others have been nominated to be named the best college football player this season. While it’s highly unlikely that any of them will beat Winston, here are the three candidates who have the best chance.
No player has improved his stock in the past few weeks like Mason. The Auburn running back has been as good as any playmaker in the last month. In the two most important games of the season, the junior performed at his best. He ran for 164 yards against Alabama, which has one of the best rush defenses in the country. The following week, he had a whopping 46 carries for 304 yards in the SEC Championship Game.
Winston has propelled his team to the best record in the FCS. However, he’s surrounded by maybe the best talent in the sport. He leads a high-powered offense, but Florida State’s defense is even better. If it weren’t for Mason’s 1,621 rushing yards and 222 scores, Auburn wouldn’t be nearly as good.
McCarron’s bid to win the Heisman is unlike any of the other candidates. Players like Winston and Mason are being judged solely on their 2013 performance. For some voters, though, McCarron’s past few seasons were also a factor when casting their vote. The quarterback has been one of the best players at his position for a few years. He also led Alabama to two straight national championships without earning much individual praise.
The Crimson Tide’s team success might have forced some to overlook McCarron in the past, but he put up impressive numbers this season. He completed 26 touchdowns passes, compared to just five interceptions. His team failed to get the job done in their final game, but he was very good in the most important contest of 2013. McCarron threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, but was hurt by poor defense and special teams.
If voters chose their top candidate by strictly looking at statistics, it might be hard not to give Lynch the nod. The quarterback has exactly as many passing yards as McCarron, but added 1,881 yards on the ground. He threw for 15 fewer touchdowns than Winston, but ran for 22 scores, compared to the FSU signal caller’s four rushing touchdowns.
Northern Illinois far exceeded expectations this season, ranking No.23 in the BCS standings after entering the preseason out of the polls. The loss for the Huskies in the MAC title game severely hurt his chances, but Lynch should get a decent number of votes for his incredible numbers.