Heisman Watch 2013: Grading Top Contenders Performance from Week 13

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 24, 2013

Heisman Watch 2013: Grading Top Contenders Performance from Week 13

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    Does anybody want to win the Heisman?

    Everybody on the radar had a chance to make a statement in Week 13, and only a couple of guys were up to the challenge. The majority of the candidates stunk it up with turnovers and brutal losses that will be mighty hard to forget this late in the season.

    In what looked like was going to be a race between a couple of guys has now been busted wide open and has become anybody's game.

    Everyone has a shot at the Heisman!

    Here are the grades for the top candidates after their performance last week.

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

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    Could this be the break AJ McCarron needed to get back in the Heisman race?

    In yet another Alabama win, McCarron once again had a solid day, throwing for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, it came against Chattanooga, but the senior still completed 81.3 percent of his passes and went his sixth game in the last seven tries without throwing an interception.

    He also became the winningest quarterback in Alabama history. Hard to argue with that accomplishment.

    McCarron should still be considered a dark horse for the award, but with Auburn on deck, he does have a chance to make a strong case to end the season.

    Grade: B

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

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    If Marcus Mariota's Heisman hopes weren't already dead in the loss to Stanford, they certainly came to an end with an upset to Arizona.

    The sophomore quarterback did throw for at least 300 yards for the first time all month and added a couple of touchdowns. But he also threw his first two interceptions of the season, which helped fuel Arizona's shocking win.

    To add insult to injury, Mariota suffered a head injury in the game.

    With two losses in the last three games and Mariota a little woozy, it's safe to assume Oregon will not produce a Heisman winner this season.

    Grade: D

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

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    Bryce Petty had the stage set for himself in a big game against Oklahoma State. All he had to do was play well and lead the Bears to victory on national television. Unfortunately, only one of those goals were accomplished.

    The junior quarterback did throw for 359 yards and two touchdowns, but Baylor lost the ugly game, 49-17. Voters are going to remember this game more than any other. Forget the five touchdown performances in back-to-back games and never mind the 10 rushing touchdowns.

    Petty had a chance to really emerge from the Heisman pack but fell miserably short.

    Grade: D

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    For once in his career, Johnny Manziel looked human. He wasn't throwing for five touchdowns, running like the wind and didn't have a chance to do a touchdown celebration.

    Instead, last year's Heisman winner was kept in check against LSU. In the loss, he threw for just 224 yards and one touchdown. He was also held to 54 rushing yards and threw two interceptions. It was arguably the worst game of his career.

    LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson told Glenn Guilbeau of USA Today the game plan:

    "Everybody kept saying this was going to be a shootout," Johnson said. "We've struggled at times this season, but Coach Chavis said it wasn't going to be no shootout."

    Mission accomplished.

    Grade: F

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

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    If you're able to get past all of the off-the-field issues surrounding Jameis Winston, he should still be your favorite for the Heisman. Nothing changed in Florida State's win over Idaho.

    The freshman quarterback passed for 225 yards and four touchdowns in the Seminoles 80-14 win over the Vandals. That's right. 80 points!

    Winston continues to play flawless football and told USA Today after the game that the football field helps him clear his mind:

    "The football field is a sanctuary to me," said Winston. "And it's like that for all my teammates. I can feel it. Because when we all go on that field, everything is just zoned out. Clear the mechanism. And focus."

    The Florida State signal-caller can do no wrong in his comfortable environment.

    Grade: A