With both A.J. McCarron and Everett Golson returning to school next year, the national championship could do wonders for their Heisman campaigns next season. The national attention from being on the big stage will give both quarterbacks a chance to make that early statement heading into the 2013 season.
While both should have their names tossed around at different points during the year, my money would be on Golson as the better Heisman bet.
Nowadays the Heisman is awarded to the most exciting player in college football, somebody who can take over games and end up on highlight films ever other week. Of course, stats and winning also plays a part in who takes home the hardware, but having that x-factor and playmaking ability really helps win the voters over.
This worked with Robert Griffin III despite his team losing three games, and the jaw-dropping plays really helped put Johnny Manziel over the top as a freshman.
Golson has that playmaking ability, as he can absolutely kill defenses with his feet. He hasn't run as much as you would like to see this season (89 times), but with a year under his belt, the playbook should open up a bit, and he will likely have more freedom in the offense. Just take a look at some of his senior high school film to see how athletic and dangerous Golson can be with his legs.
If this is a peak as to what Notre Dame fans can look forward to next season, watch out!
Then you have McCarron, somebody who isn't the least bit flashy but gets the job done. He isn't a threat to run the ball, but he instead just stands behind an untouchable offensive line and lets it fly whenever a receiver gets open. This recipe sounds great for a winning football team, but it doesn't help him stand out when it's time to pick a Heisman winner.
McCarron has been nearly flawless throughout this year. He only threw three interceptions, completed more than 68 percent of his passes and had 26 touchdowns. Still, even with those statistics, Alabama is still known for its power running game, and McCarron continues to get labeled as a game manager.
With the amount of times the Crimson Tide run the football, it is hard imagining a quarterback from this team doing enough to win the Heisman. McCarron only tossed the ball around 286 times this season while the rushing attempts for the team were well over 500. It is hard to get folks' attention when you're ranked 86th in the country in pass attempts, especially when you don't make plays with your feet.
Having a pedestrian style of play at quarterback is how Alabama continues to have success as a team, but it really hurts anybody's chances of winning individual hardware. And this formula on offense should continue with running back T.J. Yeldon returning and 5-star recruit Derrick Henry soon to step on campus.
If McCarron couldn't receive legitimate Heisman consideration this year with his brilliant performances, you can forget about having a realistic shot next season.
With this being the first season for Golson, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Notre Dame quarterback and his ability. For McCarron, you get the feeling we have seen the best from him under the circumstances of the Nick Saban play-calling and philosophy to winning football games.
In this situation, you have to go with the guy that has the most upside, and that is Golson, by far.