The start of the 2013 Heisman ceremony is less than an hour away. Here’s all six finalists with the Heisman Trophy, together in their suits for the first time:
It’s Heisman Saturday, which means it’s time for my prediction on how the final vote will fall.
We know who’s going to win. The intrigue is over who will occupy the two through six spots. The first projection is my own. The second projection is from my straw poll.
2013 HeismanPundit Heisman Projection
|Player||Place||Best Region||Worst Region||Projected Points|
|Jameis Winston||1||Mid Atlantic||South||2,200 – 2,400 points|
|Jordan Lynch||2||Midwest||South||500 – 600 points|
|Tre Mason||3||South||Midwest||450 – 550 points|
|Andre Williams||4||Northeast||South||400 – 500 points|
|Johnny Manziel||5||Southwest||Mid-Atlantic||350 – 450 points|
|AJ McCarron||6||South||Midwest||250 – 350 points|
|Bryce Petty||7||Southwest||South||75 – 125 points|
|Marcus Mariota||8||Far West||South||50 – 100 points|
|Derek Carr||9||Far West||South||30 – 80 points|
|Braxton Miller||10||Midwest||South||25 – 75 points|
The Final HeismanPundit Heisman Straw Poll
|Player||Place||Points||First Place Votes||# of Ballots|
The annual pre-Heisman press conference in New York City got a little awkward on Friday afternoon as Florida State handlers temporarily cut off quarterback Jameis Winston from fielding questions after the Heismn favorite received a couple queries related to the aftermath of the investigation into his alleged involvement in a sexual assault case.
When asked about what he had learned from the experience of being accused — but ultimately not charged — with a serious felony, Winston answered “It was stressful, but I’ve got to look forward. There’s a lot to learn from it. I’m focused on the future. I love my college experience.”
Another reporter asked Winston to elaborate and that’s when Seminoles associate sports information director Kerwin Lonzo sternly interjected that “(Winston’s) only talking about football and the Heisman.”
After one more reporter asked a tangential question, Lonzo interrupted again: “Next question,” he said.
The exchange caused some consternation among the assembled media.
Dumb PR strategy by Florida State to cut off non-football questions before a direct one got asked. Now it’ll be asked after he wins.
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) December 13, 2013
Wow. FSU sports info just pulled Winston out before 2nd half of media session, said he was done. Tim Jansen also was here FWIW
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 13, 2013
Winston got 3 questions that were somewhat related to the investigation before FSU media cut that line off.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 13, 2013
To Lonzo’s credit, he brought Winston back to face media again and the freshman did a great job handling the spotlight. About the investigation he said: “I knew I could respect the process and I’d eventually be vindicated.”
Other than those awkward moments with Winston, the rest of the event went off without a hitch. Here’s five of the six candidates with the Heisman:
Some more highlights:
— When asked about his goals as a two-sport star (he also plays baseball for FSU) Winston said “I want to be better than Bo Jackson, hopefully.”
— Winston got some advice from Johnny Manziel, who also won the award as a redshirt freshman. “He told me to just enjoy the moment. That’s what I’m going to do.”
— Boston College running back Andre Williams had 1,532 rushing yards in his first three seasons and 2,102 yards as a senior. Why the sudden transformation as a senior?
“This year I embraced who I am as a runner,” said Williams. “I played at a heavier weight than in the past. I wasn’t worried about shaking people. I just did what I do best, which is to be a physical, downhill back.”
— Tre Mason said that new Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has instilled a never-say-die spirit with the Tigers. “Everyone on the team believes the game isn’t over until it’s over,” Mason said. “You’ve seen the crazy games we’ve had this year. No one quits until the game is over.”
— Johnny Manziel wasn’t saying whether he plans to go pro, but he perked up at the idea of playing for either Houston or Dallas. “For now, I’m strictly focused on the bowl game. Things will take care of themselves in Janary,” he said of the NFL. talk. “But I love Texas. Just being in Texas would be incredible.”
— Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch: “Being here is a dream come true. It’s kind of surreal. I just know I’m here with the best.” Later, he added: “This is awesome, but I would trade it all to get that MAC championship victory,” referring to his team’s upset at the hands of Bowling Green.
Lynch was confident about his future: “I think my skill will pay off in the NFL. I don’t think I can run the ball 290 times, but I’m sure I could carry it 100 times or so.”
— Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was not at the press conference since he was not yet in town due to the Unitas Award ceremony. He’ll be here in time for Saturday’s big event.
Continuing our series before the Heisman ceremony, here’s a look at the Heisman history of Texas A&M.
Finalists: John David Crow (1957), Johnny Manziel (2012), Johnny Manziel (2013)
|John Kimbrough||1940||RB||2nd||841||Tom Harmon|
|John David Crow||1957||RB||1st||1,183||Crow|
|Darren Lewis||1990||RB||8th||31||Ty Detmer|
|Bucky Richardson||1991||QB||10th||45||Desmond Howard|
The first Aggie to show up in the Heisman vote was running back John Kimbrough, who finished second to Tom Harmon in 1940. There wasn’t another A&M player in the final tally until running back John David Crow won the trophy in 1957 under coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.
Crow was one of the legendary players of the 1950s. He won the trophy despite missing almost three full games that year. He rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns, caught two passes and threw five touchdown passes. On defense, he had five interceptions. He won the Heisman handily over Alex Karras of Iowa and Walter Kowalczyk of Michigan State. Crow was the only player to win a Heisman for Bryant.
Texas A&M didn’t have a player place in the Heisman vote again until 1990, when tailback Darren Lewis tied for eighth after rushing for 1,795 yards and 20 touchdowns. The next year, dual-threat quarterback Bucky Richardson finished 10th.
No Aggies were a factor in the Heisman again until Johnny Manziel came along. He had a fantastic season as a redshirt freshman, leading A&M to an 11-2 record in their first season in the SEC. He ended the year with over 5,000 yards of total offense and 47 touchdowns. He won the Heisman over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o by winning five of the six voting regions, making history by becoming the first freshman to the award.
The best way to get an understanding of the how the Heisman vote will look is to do a break down of the six voting regions.
Each region has 145 media members with a Heisman vote . There are also 57 former Heisman winners who each have a vote and they are scattered across the regions (there is also one fan vote that is done via online voting). The maximum point total a player can receive from a region via media votes only is 435. There are 870 total media points available in each region (ironic, since that is the total number of media who are eligible to vote).
Here’s how I think each region will fall:
Comment: This will be an interesting battle. Mason and McCarron should get the largest chunk of their total support in the South and though he will win his home region, it could be Winston’s smallest margin of victory because of the presence of so many other players based there. Still, look for the FSU quarterback to get in the neighborhood of 300-320 points in the South. I expect Mason to get around 250, McCarron to get around 150 and for Manziel to get about 100.
3. Bryce Petty
Comment: This should be Manziel’s strongest region and some support will show up for Bryce Petty of Baylor as well, but Winston should win this region comfortably, with something like 360-380 points.
3. Marcus Mariota
4. Derek Carr
5. Ka’Deem Carey
Comment: This is the most mysterious of the regions this year. Winston will win it handily, but the order of the four I have listed below him could be totally off. Keep in mind that this region snakes all the way over to the Dakotas and is generally the least provincial of the regions. However, my thoughts are that since this region is home to the Mountain West and formerly the WAC, a lot of voters could be amenable to a non-BCS candidate like Lynch, not to mention Fresno State’s Derek Carr. I expect Marcus Mariota to do very well among Oregon and Hawaii voters, which should boost his totals, though I would not be surprised if Carr nudged ahead of him. Winston’s total should be in the 380-400 range.
3. Braxton Miller
Comment: This will be Lynch’s strongest region and I expect Braxton Miller to do well among the large contingent of Ohio voters. I have Williams fourth here because he seems to fit the mold of a traditional Big Ten power back, which I think will appeal to some voters. Winston’s total here should be in the 340 – 360 range, with Lynch at 260 – 280.
5. Connor Shaw
Comment: This will be Winston’s strongest region and he should surpass 400 points. Williams is from the region as well so he’ll be a distant second to Winston but well ahead of whoever finishes third. I expect a smattering of votes for Connor Shaw among South Carolina voters.
Comment: This region rarely has a favorite son to vote for, but things are different this year. Williams will have his strongest finish in the Northeast — somewhere in the 250 point range — though Winston will still win solidly. This region tends to like the late-breaking, trendy candidate so I expect Mason to appear on some ballots, too. Winston’s total points should be in the 340 – 360 range.
Final thoughts: This all points to a healthy landslide for Winston, since based on media votes alone he should top 2,100 points. The other finalists look like they’ll be hovering in the 400 point range. There is still the matter of the 57 living Heisman winners and how they will vote and I expect Winston will pick up another 120 or so points there (I’ll break down that voter bloc tomorrow).
I’ll have my final point total projections for the race tomorrow as well.
Continuing our series before the Heisman ceremony, here’s a look at the brief Heisman history of Northern Illinois.
Finalists: Jordan Lynch (2013)
|LeShon Johnson||1993||RB||6th||176||Charlie Ward|
|Jordan Lynch||2012||QB||7th||52||Johnny Manziel|
NIU’s lone foray into the Heisman universe before Jordan Lynch came along happened back in 1993, when running back LeShon Johnson finished sixth in the voting. Johnson led the nation in rushing that year with 1,976 yards and 12 touchdowns. He appeared 115 ballots and collected five first-place votes and 176 total points to finish a shade behind fifth-place Glenn Foley of Boston College (180 points). Charlie Ward ran away with the trophy that year and the third finalist, David Palmer of Alabama, totaled just 292 points, so Johnson was decently close to getting to New York. His best region was the Midwest, naturally, where he finished third.
One other Huskie running back, Garrett Wolfe, flirted with the Heisman top 10 during the 2006 season, but did not actually end up there.
And now we have Jordan Lynch, who finished seventh in the Heisman in 2012 and who has a chance to notch the best-ever finish by a non-BCS-conference player in the BCS era. His 4,557 yards of total offense and 45 touchdowns are in the wheelhouse of what recent Heisman winners have produced and he’s likely to become the first-ever 2,000 passer/2,000 rusher when bowl season is over. There’s no doubt that Lynch is the greatest player in NIU history and his status as a finalist is a testament to that.
Jameis Winston will be the third Heisman winner to wear No. 5.
The other two are Paul Hornung of Notre Dame, who won the award in 1956 — the only player to win the Heisman on a losing team — and Reggie Bush, who won in 2005 before having his award vacated in 2010.
The numbers with the most Heismans? That’d be 14 and 20, each with five.
The HP Heisman Watch
The latest Heisman Straw Poll
Total points, (with first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Dak Prescott, QB, MSU — 25 (7)
2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 21 (3)
3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin — 4
About The Author
Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football.
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