Heisman Trophy 2012: Week 13's Best and Worst Showings in Heisman Hunt

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2012

Heisman Trophy 2012: Week 13's Best and Worst Showings in Heisman Hunt

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    With another chapter of college football in the books for the 2012 Heisman Trophy race, it’s time to find out how the top candidates for the award performed in Week 13.

    Now that the majority of regular-season action is over, it is the perfect opportunity to see where the stars hunting for the Heisman currently stand.

    So much focus from the Heisman voters is on the close of the season, so the results of the Week 13 games should be a good litmus test for which stars deserve the honor and which stars have been declared bona fide pretenders.

    Several players have already separated themselves as Heisman candidates over the last several weeks, and this is how each fared Saturday and where they stand in the race for the sport’s most coveted individual prize.

Best: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Week 13 Stats vs. Missouri: 32-of-44 for 372 yards and three touchdowns; 12 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

    2012 Season Stats: 273-of-400 for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns; 184 carries for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns.


    Heisman Candidacy

    While there are some Heisman voters who will not vote for a freshman, that ancient thought process has to take a page from the dinosaurs and become extinct; Johnny Manziel deserves the Heisman Trophy.

    The Texas A&M phenom has taken the college football world by storm this season, and his success in the running and passing attacks proves he is the ultimate offensive weapon in 2012.

    With the surprise success of Texas A&M in the SEC, the huge win over Alabama and his elite play at QB to close the season, there is no way any Heisman voter can logically claim Manziel isn’t the best candidate to win the Heisman.

Worst: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

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    Week 13 Stats vs. South Carolina: 11-of-24 for 183 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions; 17 carries for 26 yards and one touchdown.

    2012 Season Stats: 251-of-377 for 3,550 yards, 34 touchdowns and 13 interceptions; 157 carries for 492 yards and nine touchdowns.


    Heisman Candidacy

    After a monster Week 12, Clemson Tigers star quarterback Tajh Boyd catapulted himself back into the Heisman conversation. But his chances hinged on the Week 13 game against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

    With an awful performance and a Clemson loss, Boyd killed any chance he had at Heisman glory.

    As if the Tigers' defeat didn’t hurt his chances enough, the fact that Boyd was more of a burden on his team instead of an aid proves that he doesn’t deserve to win in 2012. It was a great season, but not Heisman worthy.

Best: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

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    Week 13 Stats vs. USC: Five tackles, three solo tackles and one interception.

    2012 Season Stats: 101 tackles, 46 solo tackles, two sacks and seven interceptions.


    Heisman Candidacy

    With the Notre Dame Fighting Irish capping off a spectacular undefeated season, much of the credit belongs to the senior-laden defensive unit, led by star linebacker Manti Te'o.

    While Te’o will never put up elite defensive numbers—especially because all defensive statistics are unofficial—the young star proved Saturday that he is the leader of the entire team and deserves immense credit for Notre Dame’s success.

    The same voters that have the problem with voting for Manziel because he is a freshman will likely also have an issue voting for a defender. Welcome to 2012, where both a freshman and a defender deserve the Heisman honor more than anyone in the nation.

Worst: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

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    Week 13 Stats vs. Notre Dame: Five receptions for 75 yards.

    2012 Season Stats: 112 receptions for 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns.


    Heisman Candidacy

    While another tough loss for USC will kill any remaining hope that Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee had at Heisman glory, the stellar season from the wideout proves there are big things in this young man’s future.

    Add in the injury to the star quarterback Matt Barkley and the five catches the WR had in the team’s most important game, and the team effectively ended any Heisman hope the sophomore had left.

    With another year of experience under his belt and the realization of what it will take to win the Heisman, expect Lee to finish the season in the top two in terms of voting in 2013.

Best: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon Ducks

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    Week 13 Stats vs. Oregon State: 28 carries for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

    2012 Season Stats: 248 carries for 1,624 yards and 21 touchdowns; 19 receptions for 232 yards and one touchdown.


    Heisman Candidacy

    Despite a great week against the Oregon Ducks' bitter rivals, the Oregon State Beavers, running back Kenjon Barner is too far back in the Heisman race to mount much of a comeback.

    Before the young running back’s Week 13 statistical explosion, Barner had been stifled in his team’s last two games—one of which was the loss to Stanford that ended all BCS national title hopes.

    While Barner had yet another great season at Oregon, he didn’t have the consistency that Heisman voters want. Oregon will play in a top bowl and receive plenty of attention, but its senior RB will not win the Heisman Trophy.

Worst: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

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    Week 13 Stats vs. Michigan: 14-of-18 for 189 yards and one touchdown; 20 carries for 57 yards.

    2012 Season Stats: 148-of-254 for 2,039 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions; 227 carries for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns.


    Heisman Candidacy

    As impressive as Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller was during the team’s undefeated season, the fact that the dual-threat star was mediocre at best for the majority of the schedule should prove he is undeserving of Heisman consideration.

    The Buckeyes' tough defense was the real MVP for Ohio State, and it was the main reason the university enjoyed an undefeated season despite the postseason ban.

    Another year under Urban Meyer will turn Miller into a potential star, so Heisman voters in 2013 will be on high alert; not this year, though.


    Check back for more on the NCAA football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.