The 2013 college football season is already entering Week 10, and major BCS storylines are starting to play out while huge matchups are taking place each Saturday.
Week 10 features several marquee games. While the slate is highlighted by the No. 7 Miami Hurricanes traveling to the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles, there are two other games between ranked teams as well (No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech and No. 21 Michigan at No. 22 Michigan State).
Add in several more Top 25 teams facing serious tests against unranked competition and this is shaping up to be a wild week of college football.
While the focus will be on the marquee matches on the schedule, the conversation will naturally shift to the Heisman Trophy race. With front-runner Marcus Mariota’s Oregon Ducks off this week, this is the chance the rest of the hopefuls needed to gain ground on the sophomore quarterback.
The player with the most to gain is Florida State’s Jameis Winston. The nationally televised game against Miami (ABC at 8 p.m. ET) will be the showcase the freshman quarterback needs to move past Mariota as the Heisman favorite.
Below is a closer look at the top contenders for the Heisman playing Saturday (Winston and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel) and what they face in Week 10.
Heisman Contenders to Watch
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
While Mariota tops the ESPN.com's Heisman Watch, the focus this week will be on the No. 2 player on that list, Winston. With a marquee meeting against the No. 7 Hurricanes, this is his chance to stake his claim on the prize.
Miami may boast the 10th-ranked defensive unit in the nation (17.7 points per game), but the Seminoles have leaned on Winston and his excellent production (2,177 passing yards and 23 touchdowns against just four interceptions—not to mention 126 yards and three more touchdowns on the ground) and will do so again Saturday.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The defending Heisman Trophy winner is Texas A&M Aggies sophomore Johnny Manziel, but he comes into the week as the No. 3 candidate to win the sport’s most prestigious individual award.
Manziel has still proven to be one of the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks in the NCAA, but a drop in overall numbers and a jump in turnovers have his stock slipping. A tough SEC schedule has wreaked havoc on his chances of winning the Heisman, but a matchup with the UTEP Miners will be a chance to pad his stats and make his case to be a favorite.
Stay tuned throughout the day for updates on the biggest developments in college football, from high-profile games to upsets, with instant analysis included.