Heisman Race 2013: Biggest Winners from Wild Week 13

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 23:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide calls out to his offense against the Chattanooga Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 13 proved to be a very strange one for the 2013 Heisman race. 

Heading into Saturday's action, it appeared to be a four-man race featuring Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Bryce Petty. 

When the dust cleared, three of the four lost games that will undoubtedly plant the seed of doubt in the voters' minds. As BCS Guru of Bleacher Report pointed out, all three lost out on great opportunities to make a statement. 

There is a silver lining to all of this losing, though. The Heisman race has become much more intriguing over the final stretch run of the season, and these big winners can now consider themselves in the running for the Heisman. 


Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Running back Ka'Deem Carey #25 of the Arizona Wildcats rushes the football en route to scoring on a 9 yard touchdown against the Oregon Ducks during the thrid quarter of the college football game at Arizona Stadium on November 2
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Up to this point, quarterbacks have absolutely dominated the Heisman conversation. After Arizona's 42-16 beatdown of Oregon, running back Ka'Deem Carey absolutely deserves to be mentioned among those who deserve to win the trophy. 

The explosive back, who led the nation in rushing last season with over 1,900 yards, is spearheading a rushing attack that averages 263 yards per game. However, it was his 48 carries for 206 yards and four touchdowns that gave him his ever-elusive "Heisman Moment" this week.

As Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports pointed out, his performance against Oregon gave him a stage to shine on alongside a popular Heisman hopeful. 

Carey has a long way to go if he wants to be invited to New York. Another performance over Pac-12 South champion and in-state rival Arizona State might do the trick, but he was no doubt among the biggest winners of the weekend. 


Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois

TOLEDO, OH - NOVEMBER 20:  Jordan Lynch #6 of the Northern Illinois Huskies is tackled by Jayrone Elliott #15 and Christian Smith #9 of the Toledo Rockets during the fourth quarter on November 20, 2013 at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio. Northern Illinois
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Heisman generally goes to the quarterback on one of the nation's best teams. It's what makes Jameis Winston the front-runner. It's what had Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty as serious threats to steal the award with a strong finish to the season. 

With Mariota and Petty both dropping games (and not playing well on an individual level), there's room for a new quarterback with prolific numbers to become a viable candidate. That's Jordan Lynch. 

Lynch was once again prolific against the Toledo Rockets on Wednesday night as he threw for over 200 yards and had three scores on the ground for the third time this season:

Even though he has the stigma of playing in the MAC, there's no denying that Lynch's numbers require some attention from voters. Over the last two years, his numbers have been prolific. 

However, the most important number for Lynch is zero. As long as the Huskies continue to go undefeated under his watch, he should continue to move up in the Heisman rankings. 


AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 23:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes against the Chattanooga Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

No Heisman candidate was a bigger winner on Saturday than AJ McCarron. 

No, the Crimson Tide quarterback didn't have the game of his life. He was just 13-of-16 for 171 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama got one last scrimmage in against Chattanooga before a colossal matchup with Auburn next week. 

However, when you look across the field, it becomes apparent that McCarron now has a great opportunity to make up some ground in the race over the coming weeks. 

His numbers are strong. He's completing 67.8 percent of his passes. He has 21 touchdown tosses to just five interceptions on the season and is 12th in the nation in passer rating at 162.2. 

But most importantly, his team still has the magical zero in the loss column that will continue to keep him in the conversation for voters who view winning as the most important thing. 

He would be a controversial winner because of his lack of super sexy stats, but in the aftermath of Week 13, McCarron is right in the thick of things by default.