Marcus Mariota expands lead in HeismanPundit Straw Poll heading into Stanford game

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Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota expanded his lead in the latest HeismanPundit Heisman Straw Poll just a couple days before undergoing perhaps the biggest test of his candidacy — a prime time showdown with No. 5 Stanford on Thursday night.

Mariota had off last week but still gained strength in the weekly survey of Heisman voters. While he lost one first-place vote from the previous poll, his total points went up due to his appearance on all 10 ballots. The Ducks sophomore tallied 23 total points and 4 first-place votes, putting him ahead of Florida State freshman Jameis Winston, who had 18 points and 3 first-place votes. The Seminoles quarterback appeared on eight ballots.

Gaining a couple points after a six-touchdown performance against UTEP was defending Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who closed the gap a bit with Winston by totaling 15 points and 3 first-place votes while appearing on eight ballots.

Baylor Bryce Petty is in fourth with three points, but he could make big gains in next week’s poll by playing well against No. 10 Oklahoma on Thursday night. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who placed seventh in the Heisman vote last season, was fifth with one point.

Now in its eighth season, the HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll is the college football world’s most trusted gauge of Heisman voter sentiment. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the past seven seasons, with the final 2012 poll correctly picking the top five finishers and the final 2011 poll picking the top seven. This year’s poll is made up of 10 anonymous Heisman voters from across the country. Each week during the season they will pick three players. Tabulations for the preseason poll are tabulated like a real Heisman ballot, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week’s poll is released on Tuesdays throughout the season at HeismanPundit.com.

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll, 11/5/2013

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 23 (4)

2. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 18 (3)

3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M — 15 (3)

4. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor — 3

5. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois — 1

About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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