Here is the week 6 edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit Heisman Watch. After taking into account the games played so far, these are the players who have the best chance of actually winning the Heisman. This is not a prediction of the final order of the race, nor is it an endorsement of who would or should win if the vote were held today. It’s a long view of the race that takes into account schedule and statistical trends.
1. Marcus Mariota, So., QB, Oregon
Monsoon-like conditions held down Mariota’s numbers in Oregon’s 55-16 win over Cal. The sophomore had just 114 yards on 11 of 25 passing as his receivers had a hard time finding a grip on the ball. Games like this are why his having 456 passing yards the previous outing are important — big games provide cushions for down games and help the season stats average out. Naturally, he’ll be able to regain is former pace this week when the Ducks take on Colorado. Regardless, he’s still on pace to have a huge year statistically (4,300 total yards, 46 TDs) so if he does that while leading Oregon past the ranked teams on its schedule, he’ll win the Heisman.
Last Game: 11/25, 114 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Ints, 6 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD in a 55-16 win over California
Season Stats: 60/107, 1,003 yards, 56.7%, 9 TDs, 0 Ints, 162.58 rating, 21 carries, 295 yards, 14 ypc, 5 TDs
Next Opponent: at Colorado
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 3,263 passing yards, 30 TDs, 962 rushing yards, 16 TDs
2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Boyd needed a good day of production to get his numbers up and he did just that against Wake Forest. He’s got two more games against Syracuse and Boston College to keep padding his stats before his big showdown with Florida State. How he does against the Seminoles will determine the seriousness of his candidacy the rest of the way. He’ll most likely have the numbers to win the Heisman, but leading Clemson to an undefeated season has the potential to put him over the top.
Last Game: 17/24, 311 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Ints, 17 carries, 69 yards, 1 TDs in a 56-7 win over Wake Forest
Season Stats: 73/114, 994 yards, 64%, 9 TDs, 0 Ints, 163.33 rating, 49 carries, 159 yards, 3.2 ypc, 4 TDs
Next Opponent: at Syracuse
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 3,250 passing yards, 29 TDs, 520 rushing yards, 13 TDs
3. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Murray led his team to a thrilling win over No. 6 LSU and, as a result, I expect him to remain a contender the rest of the way, especially now that he is firmly established as Georgia’s main candidate. For those voters who like wins over ranked teams, he is the guy. He’s on pace for another huge season and the schedule is quite favorable from here on out as UGA should be favored over every team. His task at this point is to keep the Bulldogs from having a letdown and to keep piling up numbers in preparation for a potential Heisman-clinching scenario in the SEC title game.
Last Game: 20/34, 298 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Ints
Season Stats: 79/116, 1,338 yards, 68.1%, 11 TDs, 3 Ints, 191.11 rating, 3 rush TDs
Next Game: at Tennessee
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 4,355 passing yards, 36 TDs, 9 Ints, 10 rush TDs
4. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater had off this past weekend. His task remains the same: Put up other-worldly numbers while hoping the players in front of him mess up. With his schedule, he may need 50 touchdowns to win the Heisman, which means he has to really up his production against Temple.
Last Game: 17/22, 212 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Ints in a 72-0 win over FIU
Season Stats: 79/110, 1,214 yards, 71.8%, 14 TDs, 1 Ints, 204.70 rating, 12 rushes, 36 yards, 0 TDs
Next Opponent: at Temple
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 3,636 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, 3 interceptions
5. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Baylor and Petty had off this past weekend. Petty continues to lead the nation in passing efficiency and the Bears are the only FBS team that has not had a three-and-out this season. If Baylor is 7-0 heading into the Oklahoma game, that will be Petty’s moment to shine. He most likely needs to lead the Bears to the Big 12 title to have a real shot at winning the Heisman, though. First things first, though, as he’ll get a bit of a challenge this week against a pretty solid West Virginia defense.
Last Game: 18/27, 351 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Ints, 5 carries, 26 yards, 1 TD in a 70-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe
Season Stats: 50/67, 1,001 yards, 74.6%, 8 TDs, 0 Ints, 239.53 rating, 10 carries, 37 yards, 2 TDs
Next Game: West Virginia
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 4,008 passing yards, 32 TDs
6. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
UCLA and Hundley had off this past weekend. He’s got a Thursday night game at Utah which could provide a bit of a boost to his candidacy since he’ll get a prime time platform to showcase what he can do. Hundley’s Heisman hopes are contingent on how he and his team do against Stanford and Oregon in October. Until then, he needs to keep his team undefeated, which means avoiding a potential letdown against the Utes.
Last Game: 23/35, 280 yards, 3 TDs, 2 Ints, 6 carries, 33 yards, 0 TDs in a 59-13 win over New Mexico State
Season Stats: 61/92, 848 yards, 66.3%, 8 TDs, 3 Ints, 165.90 rating, 32 carries, 157 yards, 4.9 ypc, 2 TDs
Next Game: at Utah
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 3,666 passing yards, 35 TDs, 680 rushing yards, 9 TDs
7. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
McCarron is sinking fast for the reasons why most Alabama quarterbacks do when it comes to the Heisman — he’s just not getting the production he needs to keep up with his competition. Unless he bounces back in a big way the next couple weeks, his Heisman hopes are finished. I’m sure the consolation of going for a third consecutive national title will be more than enough to make up for it.
Last Game: 25/32, 180 yards, 0 TD, 1 Ints in a 25-0 win over Ole Miss
Season Stats: 75/110, 882 yards, 68.2%, 6 TDs, 3 Ints, 148.08 rating
Next Game: Georgia State
Projected stats by time of Heisman vote: 2,873 passing yards, 20 TDs, 10 Ints
On the cusp: Bishop Sankey, Washington; Kevin Hogan, Stanford; Lache Seastrunk, Baylor