Heisman Weekend Wrap Up

As I was returning from the Coliseum where I’d just witnessed Kenjon Barner vault himself into the Heisman conversation I peeked into a bar to watch the last drive for Alabama against LSU. AJ McCarron looked amazing, and watching that game winning drive made me think the Heisman race had been shaken up.

Barner tore up USC, McCarron came back heroically against LSU. Having checked my phone throughout the day I knew that Collin Klein had left his game injured. It seemed like the perfect storm. The worst place Klein can be is on the sidelines when two players are having Heisman moments.

Then I watched the whole Alabama-LSU game and my perception shifted. McCarron looked pedestrian for three plus quarters and the game could have easily slipped away on the last drive. McCarron at his best is a strong complement to the Alabama offense, at worst he is little more than a game manager. Those are not exactly the superlatives needed to win the Heisman.

The final drive in the LSU game may have helped him gain some national recognition but it’s not going to win him the Heisman.

Outside of the one drive in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game McCarron has done little to justify his Heisman hype. The thing is, he hasn’t done anything detrimental to quell it either. Tide fans are some of the most vocal in the country and they have used their status to artificially raise McCarron’s profile. The underlying McCarron narrative is “he’s the best alternative!?”. McCarron’s numbers and performance alone won’t win him the Heisman but if the guys ahead of him falter, he’s the best alternative, right?

For Oregon, Kenjon Barner finally showed why HP has been touting him as a dark horse all season. His record setting day against USC was very impressive, but in all honesty De’Anthony Thomas might have done the same thing if the ball were given to him.

Barner is certainly deserving of his recent plaudits and his numbers would look even more impressive if he played more in second halves like he did in Los Angeles, but we are 10 weeks into the season and and Barner is just starting to break into the serious conversation. It seems unlikely that Barner could overtake Klein solely on his final four performances unless Klein somehow collapses.

The race is not over but we now know who the real contenders are.

Quick Hits

–Week 10 is the first week of the season where no undefeated teams lost. Six still remain.

–Boston College opponents have fumbled the ball 22 times this year. The Eagles have recovered the ball just six times

–Rutgers has yet to allow a fourth down conversion.

–This (Tebow time)

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7 Responses to Heisman Weekend Wrap Up

  1. TC November 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    You missed Manziel this week. He tore Mississippi State up…
    I don’t understand how he can not be in the top five, even if he is a freshman.

    The kid has been the SEC Offensive Player of the Week twice this season. McCarron hasn’t won those honors even once? He’s also bee the SEC Freshman Player of the Week six of nine weeks that Texas A&M has taken the field.

    He surpasses Collin Klein by almost 1000 yards in total offense… and AJ McCarron by over 1500…

    Maybe it’s the system, but surely he should be in the top five.

  2. Heisman Pundit Jr. November 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    I wasn’t writing a top five (hence only three players), I was highlighting the dynamics of the top three legitimate contenders for the award.

    Manziel is great and will hopefully be a contender in 2013 and 2014 but his ship has sailed for 2012. The two losses early and A&M’s lack of recognition (this year) have killed his chances.

    I think Manziel can end up in New York this year if any of the main three fall apart down the stretch but I don’t think he can win the award.

    Lastly, I agree he should be (and I believe is) in the top 5.

  3. TC November 6, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    He might be in your top five, I haven’t seen your rankings… but ESPN has him currently at number 6. And your previous “Straw Poll” doesn’t even have him listed in the top 7. I don’t necessarily think he should win it, but based on his numbers alone, he deserves a trip to New York. He will have more passing yards this year than Cam Newton did when he won it. He will have more rushing yards than RGIII did when he won it. He likely won’t eclipse the total offense of either of those players… but compared to Klein and McCarron, he’s done more. He’s already surpassed Troy Smith’s heisman numbers of 2006.

    I guess it just goes to show that the trophy doesn’t go to the “best player” in college football… it goes to the “best player” on the “best team” in college football. RG3 (2011) & Tim Tebow (2007) are the only players in the past five years that have bucked that trend… and at the time of voting, I’m pretty sure their teams were top five.

    Johnny Manziel is the leading SEC rusher in yardage and touchdown production. He’s thrown the most completions in the SEC, is 2nd in passing yardage in the SEC (behind Tyler Bray), and like McCarron has been pulled out of several games this season because of his “built” up lead.

    For what it’s worth, at this time, my top three would be Kenjon Barner, Johnny Manziel, and Collin Klein… in that order.

    I don’t believe AJ McCarron should even be in the discussion. In fact, I think Aaron Murray of Georgia has done a better job than McCarron… and his numbers show it too… Unfortunately for McCarron, he’s been pulled out of too many games early because he’s on such a good team, so it’s hard to evaluate him against other qb’s. It is also why he is currently the 6th place quarterback in the SEC with regards to yardage. McCarron has made the list because his team is number one in the nation, he hasn’t thrown any interceptions, and his passer rating is high… none-the-less… he hasn’t worked the miracle plays and been the dual threat that Johnny Manziel has… Johnny is arguably the better player. McCarron plays for the better team.

    I think it’s sad that because he’s a freshman, he’s elimnated from a lot of individuals minds. I’ve talked to numerous people who have given the excuse that “his time will come”… hopefully within the next two years. I think that’s crazy. If you look at the teams he has played, the production he’s put up, and where their team is based on preseason expectations… you could easily argue that right now this kid is the best player in College Football. Next year, that might not be the case.

    Again, I’m not saying he should win it, but he should definately be in the discussion.

  4. TC November 6, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Ok… one more and then I will refrain. This is a step through your ten Heismandments on JFF:

    1. The winner must be a quarterback, a running back, or a multi-threat athlete:

    Johnny Manziel, Quarterback Texas A&M University

    2. Juniors and seniors have the overwhelming advantage in the Heisman race and, as a general rule, will win over an underclassman.
    But a sophomore from a traditional power who puts up extraordinary single-season numbers can’t be discounted.

    There is a first time for everything. This is a b.s. heismandment.

    3. The winner must put up good numbers in big games on TV.

    173 yards passing / 60 yards rushing 1 touchdown against #24 Florida on ESPN
    395 yards passing / 181 yards rushing 6 touchdowns against #23 LaTech on ESPNU
    311 yards passing / 129 yards rushing 2 touchdowns against #15 MissSt on ESPN
    276 yards against LSU on ESPN

    4. The winner must have some prior name recognition.

    Hard to do when you’re a freshman. See my response to #2 above.
    People in Dallas know who he is though… “the kitten savior”


    5. The winner must be one or more of the following three:
    a. National title contender player
    b. Traditional power player
    c. A player who puts up superlative single-season career numbers or numbers way ahead of competitors

    I’ve already noted that he’s 500-1000 yards of total offense ahead of Klein or McCarron. But he also set the SEC single game yardage record this season… twice. 557 yards against Arkansas. 576 yards against LaTech. I think this puts him in category C.

    6. The winner cannot be considered an obvious product of his team’s system.

    THIS is the only one where I legitimately take points away from Manziel. A&M runs a hurry up spread offense that caters to more
    plays than most quarterbacks in the league. However, I will argue that this system doesn’t favor to make him the number one rusher in the SEC.

    7. If you are a quarterback, running back or multi-purpose athlete at one of the following schools–Notre Dame, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Miami, Florida and Florida State–you have a good chance to win if you have a very good statistical season, are an upperclassmen and your team wins at least 9 games.

    This is another B.S. Heismandment. So you’re basically saying that players from Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Stanford, Wisconsin, etc… suck? I get the 9 game win thing, but stating that your odds of winning if you’re on a particular team… that’s lame. Texas A&M is a legitimate top 25 team. Perhaps you should change it to that…?

    8. Statistical benchmarks exist for each position to help voters gauge a player’s ‘Heisman worthiness’.
    c. A running quarterback on a traditional power or a national title contender must reach the 1,000-yard mark rushing in spectacular fashion and also be a decent passer.

    Yeah, he fits this category

    9. There will never be another two-time Heisman winner.
    I get this… personally I disagree with it though. If the players is the best player in college football for the year, he deserves the trophy. And a trophy shouldn’t be withheld from a player becuase of the thought that the player might be better the next year or the year after that…

    10. The winner must be likeable.
    Have you seen his halloween costume? Everybody likes scooby doo! 😉

  5. Heisman Pundit Jr. November 6, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    I think you’re missing the point that Manziel most likely won’t win the Heisman in 2012, that is why I left him out of the conversation.

    You can make Manziel fit into the Heismandmendts box (which he does on about 5 of the 10 criteria) but that doesn’t change the fact that he probably won’t win this year.

    One observations on the Heismandments: The third rule is rapidly changing as we can now watch almost any game on national TV. Manziel may have played those games on ESPN but look at the time of the games, these weren’t all primetime games. Just because the game is on doesn’t mean anyone is watching.

    Just for fun here’s what I think Manziel would need to do to win the Heisman. First, he would have to beat Alabama in stunning and thorough fashion. He would then have to get onhis knees and pray that each LSU and Bama would lose another conference game allowing him to play in the SEC Championship game where he would have to have his Heisman moment.

    While all of this is happening, Kenjon Barner and Collin Klein would either have to get injured or suddenly stop being so dominant.

    If all that were to happen and ND were to lose than maybe Manziel has a shot. For now I think the biggest accomplishment A&M can do would be getting him to the ceremony.

  6. TC November 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm #


    I didn’t say I think he should win it.
    I said he deserves to be in the top five.
    And he should be going to NY based on his numbers.

    This weekends performance will have you guys talking about him more next week though. Not saying the Aggies will win… but JFF will show up to play.


  1. Here’s the latest on Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s Heisman hopes – Alabama – Crimson Tide News - November 7, 2012

    […] McCarron looked amazing,” he wrote on his respected website, “and watching that game winning drive made me think the Heisman race had been shaken […]