Mr. 2,000/2,000 man?

The Heisman race is pretty much over, but whatever suspense still remains lies with Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who can probably wrap up second place on Friday night with a good performance against Bowling Green in the MAC title game.

Lynch if 245 rushing yards shy of becoming the first player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in the same season. That would be a powerful stat and should ensure that he is included on enough ballots to garner the best-ever BCS era finish in the Heisman vote by non-BCS conference player.

Stretching back before the BCS era, you have Steve McNair of Alcorn State (3rd in 1994), Marshall Faulk of San Diego State (2nd in 1992) and Paul Palmer of Temple (2nd in 1986) with comparable finishes in the Heisman vote.

Not bad company at all.

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The case for Bryce Petty

In keeping with our promise to feature any and all Heisman campaigns on HP, here’s an update from Baylor on behalf of quarterback Bryce Petty. He’ll be in action against Texas this weekend, so be sure to give him a look.

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Petty Hype Page

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Whither the Heisman race now?

As a result of Thursday’s decision regarding Jameis Winston, the Heisman Trust avoided a nightmare scenario, namely the possibility that one of the finalists might’ve had a felony charge attached to his name heading into the trophy ceremony.

That’s no longer an issue, so we can now get back to the business of crowning this year’s winner.

I called the race on Monday and, to no surprise, it will be Winston (barring a total collapse by him and his team against Duke on Saturday, of course).

While I doubt his final margin of victory will be among the top 10 landslides in Heisman history, I do believe Winston will win quite comfortably. He should capture at least five of the six regions and could possibly sweep all six. I envision his point total and margin being something similar to Doug Flutie’s in 1984 or Barry Sanders’ in 1988.

He’ll become the second-straight redshirt freshman to win the award and the youngest winner in Heisman history at 19 years, 342 days, beating out Mark Ingram (who won it as a true sophomore) by 14 days.

There are still games to be played and one more HeismanPundit Straw Poll to go, so we’ll have a better idea on the finalists and the overall breakdown of the race by Sunday.

In the meantime, FSU is about to gets its third Heisman, and on the 20th anniversary of its first, no less.

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Winston will not be charged

The Florida state attorney said on Thursday that Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged after a sexual assault investigation.

This obviously clears the way for Winston to win this year’s Heisman, which he’ll do so long as FSU doesn’t lay an egg against Duke on Saturday.

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Jameis Winston decision to come Thursday at 2 p.m. ET

The Florida state attorney’s office will announce on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET whether Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winson will or will not be charged with a crime.

It’s pretty simple: If he is charged, then he will not win the Heisman. If he is not charged, he will win it easily.

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The round up

Here is the latest on the Heisman race…

The prosecutor in the Winston investigation promises he will be thorough.

This writer says this is not the time to give the Heisman to Winston.

Aaron Murray has at least one vote as the result of the Winston situation.

Tim Tebow’s next stop might be as a college football analyst.

This voter still doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

This voters says Winston remains the only choice.

This Chicago voter is picking Jordan Lynch.

HP gets quoted in this story from the Tampa Bay Times.

In case you didn’t figure it out by now, there’s a lot of uncertainty in this year’s race.

Why not Connor Shaw for Heisman? says Connor Shaw’s coach.

Why not Nick Marshall for Heisman? says Nick Marshall’s coach.

Andre Williams is clearly the most deserving, says Andre Williams’ coach.

This voter has Winston No. 1 but if he is charged, he won’t be.

Someone believes AJ McCarron will win the Heisman because he has integrity.

Here’s a breakdown of the race by CBSSports.com’s Chip Patterson.

Sports Illustrated’s latest Heisman Watch has Bryce Petty No. 3.

Here’s a column about the Heisman that decries all the talk about the Heisman.

And here’s what they are saying on Twitter:

 

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Marcus Mariota returning for 2014

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One-time 2013 Heisman front runner Marcus Mariota of Oregon has decided to bypass the NFL draft and return for his junior season in 2014, the school announced on Tuesday.

Mariota passed for 3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns with just four interceptions and added 582 yards and nine scores on the ground on his way to being named the first-team All-Pac-12 quarterback for the second-straight season.

He was knocked out of Heisman contention in November as Oregon dropped games to Stanford and Arizona.

Mariota will likely finish in the top 10 of this years’s Heisman balloting and should be considered one of the front runners for 2014, along with Braxton Miller of Ohio State and Bryce Petty of Baylor.

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