It wouldn't have been strange to think that a USC quarterback would have a lot to do with the Heisman race, as most people would have guessed Matt Barkley would be in that equation.
Barkley is out for the regular-season finale, and freshman Max Wittek has control over a good deal of the events that will affect the final Heisman votes. Wittek is going to surprise many fans in the nation with his performance on Saturday.
He'll lead the Trojans to a victory over Manti Te'o and the vaunted Notre Dame defense. Losing and leading a defense that gives up 25-plus points to a freshman quarterback will kill Te'o's hopes.
Johnny Manziel has had a huge season, but he is a freshman. No freshman has ever won the award, and that bias will be an impediment Manziel must overcome. Although I'm not in agreement with that practice, the history doesn't lie.
Manziel also had a pretty poor game in a crucial situation in Texas A&M's season, throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns against LSU on October 20. His fourth-quarter pick sealed the Aggies' fate, and that loss is the reason the Aggies aren't headed to play in the SEC title game.
If they had won that game, they would have as good a shot as any team in the country to play for the BCS title.
Braxton Miller didn't have any of those moments this season. If the Buckeyes win in the finale against Michigan, he will walk away from the season having led the Bucks to a perfect record. The fact that his team would be the only undefeated team in the nation definitely makes a statement.
It stands to reason the team can't win without having a big performance from Miller.
If he produces in a major way—and the Bucks win—he deserves to be the Heisman front-runner. He has tallied 3,064 total yards and 27 touchdowns in a season with no clear prize at the end.
If the Bucks go undefeated and USC knocks off Notre Dame, Miller is the right choice for the Heisman.
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