AJ, is that you?
After a pedestrian start to the season for the Alabama quarterback, AJ McCarron played like his usual self in a 45-3 win over Georgia State. on Saturday In the first half alone, he completed 15 out of 16 passes for 166 yards and four touchdowns. It turns out that that was all that was needed, as he didn't play at all in the second half thanks to a commanding 38-0 Alabama lead after two quarters.
McCarron opened the day with 12 straight completions, which is tied for third-most in school history. He was simply flawless, and for the first time all season, he looked like the quarterback most of college football has become accustomed to seeing on Saturday afternoons.
So, is the senior quarterback back in Heisman conversations?
The knock on McCarron has always been the lack of gaudy statistics that Heisman winners need. Even his 2,933 passing yards and 30 touchdowns last season weren't good enough to earn him an invite to New York. Before this game, McCarron had only 882 passing yards and six touchdowns. He also tied last year's interception total of three in the first four games.
If McCarron wasn't exciting before to Heisman voters, he's now about as appealing as a Titanic sequel. We know how the story ends already.
Producing these numbers against an 0-5 Sun Belt team doesn't really matter. At the end of the season, nobody is going to remember where these four touchdowns and a 93.8 completion percentage (which broke a school record) came from. Most voters look at the overall numbers, and 10 touchdowns in five games isn't shabby.
However, they aren't Heisman numbers when Oregon's Marcus Mariota is providing video-game statistics and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel has 17 touchdowns in four-and-a-half games.
Is AJ McCarron still a Heisman candidate?
The four touchdowns are cool, but McCarron still failed to show up against Virginia Tech and had another off game last week against Ole Miss. He finished with a combined one touchdown and two interceptions in those games. Yes, the Tide still won, but that's only half the battle in winning college football's most prestigious award.
McCarron is fighting off steep competition if he looks to become the first Alabama Heisman winner since Mark Ingram. Forget Manziel and Mariota, players such as Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater and even Jameis Winston continue to get looks from Heisman voters.
McCarron showed up to the party a few games late, and with Alabama's schedule the rest of the way, there may not be enough marquee matchups to warrant serious consideration. Alabama fans should be happy he is playing well again, but individual awards are out of the question at this point.