Six for New York

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The finalists have been announced for the 2013 Heisman ceremony.

As told to us by 1996 Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel of Florida, they are:

Jameis Winston

Johnny Manziel

AJ McCarron

Tre Mason

Andre Williams

Jordan Lynch

This is the first time since 1994 — and only the second time in Heisman history — that six finalists have been invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony.

Congrats to the six finalists!

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Jameis Winston tops final 2013 HeismanPundit Heisman Straw Poll

For the second year in a row, a redshirt freshman has topped the college football season’s final HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston collected seven out of 10 possible first-place votes and totaled 23 points from the weekly survey of Heisman voters, putting him on the verge of becoming a landslide winner of the most prestigious trophy in sports.

The result comes just five days after Florida state authorities decided against charging Winston for felony sexual assault and two days after the freshman led the Seminoles to a 45-7 victory over Duke in the ACC title game to complete an undefeated regular season.

To get to this point, Winston set NCAA freshman records this season for passing yards (3,820) and passing touchdowns (38) and produced a passer rating of 190.06, just below the all-time efficiency mark of 191.78 held by Russell Wilson of Wisconsin. If, as the poll predicts, Winston goes on to win the Heisman, he’ll do so with the highest passer rating in the trophy’s history.

He will be the third Florida State player to win the Heisman and first since Chris Weinke did so in 2000, which was also the last time the Seminoles made it to the BCS national title game. He’s also set to be the youngest player to win the trophy, beating out Alabama’s Mark Ingram by 14 days.

“He’s been spectacular all season,” said one voter. “Florida State has been a juggernaut on offense and he’s the main reason for it. No other candidate has been as consistent as he has been.”

The lack of consistency by other candidates in the race is reflected in the poll’s results, which includes a HeismanPundit Straw Poll-record 12 players in the final balloting, topping the 11 selected in 2009′s final poll (when Mark Ingram defeated Toby Gerhart by the closest vote in Heisman history).

If this year’s poll is correct, Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch will take second in the race and claim the highest Heisman finish by a non-BCS-conference player in the BCS era. Lynch grabbed two first-place votes to finish with eight points, well behind Winston’s total.

Defending winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and running back Tre Mason of Auburn tied for third, as Mason picked up the last first-place vote.

Alabama’s AJ McCarron was fifth with six points.

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 picked 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 was released on Tuesdays throughout the season at HeismanPundit.com. Heisman votes are due on Monday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m ET. The finalists for the 2013 Heisman Trophy ceremony will be announced at 6 p.m. on Dec. 9 and the trophy will be awarded on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll, 12/9/2013

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 23 (7)

2. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois — 8 (2)

3. (tie) Tre Mason, RB, Auburn — 7 (1)

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M — 7

5. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama — 6

6. (tie) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 2

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State — 2

8. (tie) Andre Williams, RB, Boston College — 1

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor — 1

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville — 1

Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford — 1

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh — 1

Number of ballots
Winston — 8
Lynch — 4
McCarron — 4
Manziel — 4
Mason — 3

Everyone else — 1

Past 2013 Poll Leaders

Date/Leader
Preseason, Johnny Manziel
Sept. 3, Tajh Boyd
Sept. 10, Teddy Bridgewater
Sept. 17, Johnny Manziel
Sept. 24, Johnny Manziel
Oct. 1, Johnny Manziel
Oct. 8, Johnny Manziel
Oct. 15, Marcus Mariota
Oct. 22, Marcus Mariota
Oct. 29, Marcus Mariota
Nov. 5, Marcus Mariota
Nov. 12, Jameis Winston
Nov. 19, Jameis Winston
Nov. 26, Jameis Winston
Dec. 3, Jameis Winston

The Last Six Years of the Heismanpundit.com Straw Poll

Final 2012 HP Poll
1. Johnny Manziel
2. Manti Te’o
3. Collin Klein
4. (tie) Marqise Lee
4. (tie) Braxton Miller
6. Kenjon Barner

Final 2011 HP Poll
1. Robert Griffin III
2. Andrew Luck
3. Trent Richardson
4. Montee Ball
5. Tyrann Mathieu
6. Matt Barkley
7. Case Keenum

Final 2010 HP Poll
1. Cameron Newton
2. Andrew Luck
3. (tie) LaMichael James
3. (tie) Kellen Moore
5. Justin Blackmon
6. Denard Robinson

Final 2009 HP Poll
1. Mark Ingram
2. Toby Gerhart
3. Colt McCoy
4. Ndamukong Suh
5. Kellen Moore
6. Tim Tebow

Final 2008 HP Poll
1. Sam Bradford
2. Tim Tebow
3. Colt McCoy
4. Graham Harrell
5. Michael Crabtree
6. Shon Greene

Final 2007 HP Poll
1. Tim Tebow
2. Darren McFadden
3. Colt Brennan
4. Chase Daniel
5. Pat White
6. Dennis Dixon

2012 Actual Results
1. Johnny Manziel
2. Manti Te’o
3. Collin Klein
4. Marqise Lee
5. Braxton Miller

2011 Actual Results
1. Robert Griffin III
2. Andrew Luck
3. Trent Richardson
4. Montee Ball
5. Tyrann Mathieu
6. Matt Barkley
7. Case Keenum

2010 Actual Results
1. Cam Newton
2. Andrew Luck
3. LaMichael James
4. Kellen Moore
5. Justin Blackon
6. Denard Robinson

2009 Actual Results
1. Mark Ingram
2. Toby Gerhart
3. Colt McCoy
4. Ndamukong Suh
5. Tim Tebow
6. C.J. Spiller

2008 Actual Results
1. Sam Bradford
2. Colt McCoy
3. Tim Tebow
4. Graham Harrell
5. Michael Crabtree
6. Shon Greene

2007 Actual Results
1. Tim Tebow
2. Darren McFadden
3. Colt Brennan
4. Chase Daniel
5. Dennis Dixon
6. Pat White

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The race for place

The big question in this year’s Heisman race is: Who will finish second?

Voters obviously give great care to who they put in the first spot on their ballots. They tend to be less predictable and maybe a little more frivolous with the 2nd and 3rd spots. With no consensus counterbalance to Jameis Winston’s candidacy, there’s no telling who could end up there.

I believe that the following players stand the best chance of finishing second:

Braxton Miller
Andre Williams
Jordan Lynch
AJ McCarron
Johnny Manziel
Tre Mason

McCarron, Manziel and Miller have excellent name recognition and could claim the two spot thanks to the sheer volume of ballots on which they may appear.

If Lynch or Williams get there, it will be due to the intensity of support for them in their home region.

I’m a bit skeptical of Mason’s chances, but he could catch a late wave based on his 304 yard performance against Missouri in the SEC title game.

We’ll know who the Heisman finalists are on Monday at 6 p.m. ET.

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The final Heisman candidate numbers for 2013

With all the games now played before the Heisman vote is due, here are the final statistics of the leading contenders:

(in alphabetical order) Bold = category leader on list

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: 3,473 passing yards, 29 TDs, 9 INTs, 67.6%, 166.60 passer rating, 284 rush yards, 9 TDs

3,757 total yards, 38 touchdowns, 7.4 yards per play, team record: 10-2

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: 3,523 passing yards, 28 TDs, 4 INTs, 70.2%, 169.73 passer rating, 54 rush yards

3,577 total yards, 28 touchdowns, 8.2 yards per play, team record: 11-1

Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona: 1,716 rushing yards on 322 carries, 5.33 yards per carry, 17 touchdowns, 156 ypg, 26 catches, 173 yards, 1 TD

1,889 all-purpose yards, 18 touchdowns, 5.4 yards per play, team record: 7-5

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: 4,866 yards, 48 TDs, 7 INTs, 70.1%, 161.51 passer rating, 117 rush yards, 2 TDs

4,983 total yards, 50 touchdowns, 7.8 yards per play, team record: 11-1

Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois: 2,676 passing yards, 23 TDs, 7 INTs, 63.1%, 140.84 rating, 1,881 rush yards, 22 TDs, 1 receiving TD

4,557 total yards, 45 touchdowns, 7.1 yards per play, team record: 12-1

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama: 2,676 passing yards, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, 67.6%, 165.88 passer rating, 21 rush yards.

2,687 total yards, 26 touchdowns, 8.2 yards per play, team record: 11-1

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: 3,732 passing yards, 33 TDs, 13 INTs, 69.1%, 170.43 passer rating, 686 rush yards, 8 TDs

4,418 total yards, 41 touchdowns, 8.4 yards per play, team record: 8-4

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: 3,412 passing yards, 30 TDs,4 INTs, 63.1%, 167.96 passer rating, 582 rush yards, 9 TDs

3,994 total yards, 39 touchdowns, 9.1 yards per play, team record: 10-2

Tra Mason, RB, Auburn: 1,621 rushing yards on 283 carries, 5.72 yards per carry, 22 touchdowns, 11 rec, 121 yards, 1 KOR TD

2,137 all-purpose yards, 23 touchdowns, 6.91 yards per play, team record: 12-1

Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: 1,860 passing yards, 22 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.2%, 159.3 passer rating, 1,033 rush yards, 10 TDs

2,893 total yards, 32 touchdowns, 7.6 yards per play, team record: 12-1

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor: 3,844 passing yards, 30 TDs, 2 INTs, 61.8%, 179.18 passer rating, 192 rush yards, 11 TDs

4,036 total yards, 41 touchdowns, 9.2 yards per play, team record: 11-1

Andre Williams, RB, Boston College: 2,102 rushing yards on 329 carries, 6.4 yards per carry, 17 touchdowns, 175.2 YPG

2,102 all-purpose yards, 17 touchdowns, 6.4 yards per play, team record: 7-5

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: 3,820 passing yards, 38 TDs, 10 INTs., 67.9%, 190.05 passer rating, 190 rush yards, 4 TDs

4,010 total yards, 42 touchdowns, 9.4 yards per play, team record: 13-0

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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.

Petty_Hype

(click on image to make bigger)

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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