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Heisman Watch 2013: Breaking Down Top 3 Candidates After Week 14

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 30:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles attempts a pass during the game against the Florida Gators on November 30, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIINovember 30, 2013

There's no clear favorite in the race for the 2013 Heisman trophy, but there are several candidates that have proven themselves worthy of the prestigious award.

The top-three for the Heisman has been a revolving door of sorts this season. Multiple players shuffle positions from week-to-week, where others make their initial appearances one week, and then fall off the map the next.

Not this week, though.

The Heisman hopefuls are beginning to shine through the mess of players with Heisman aspirations. These are the top candidates for the coveted award.

 

1. Jameis Winston

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 30:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles scrambles for yardage during the game against the Florida Gators on November 30, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jameis Winston didn't start out so well against the Florida Gators on Saturday, but he turned it on in the second half and bolstered his already impressive Heisman resume.

He passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns after throwing a pick on his first drive. Florida State hadn't been used to seeing Winston play deep into the second half, but the Gators played strong defense and made things difficult at times for Winston.

Winston proved with this win that he can handle himself in pressure situations. In previous weeks, Winston simply tore apart pass defenses that weren't well-equipped to defend him and his wide receivers. A win this week should prove to Heisman voters that he can beat quality defenses too.

On the year, Winston has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,163 yards, 32 touchdowns and just seven picks. He should be considered the Heisman favorite.

 

2. Andre Williams

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 12: Andre Williams #44 of the Boston College Eagles rushes during the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
Tyler Smith/Getty Images

Andre Williams is the first running back since 2008 to rack up over 2,000 yards on the ground in a single season, and he has helped Boston College pick up seven wins after a two-win campaign in 2012.

Williams' season has been simply phenomenal. He picked up 2,079 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns. He even averaged 6.5 yards per carry, showing that his gaudy numbers aren't just a result of a heavy workload.

That being said, Williams was BC's best weapon and utilized heavily at times. He had five games this season with at least 200 rush yards, and it would be a perfect way for the senior to go out if he were to win the Heisman.

Unfortunately, the fact that he plays for BC likely hurts his chances. Had he been putting up these numbers at a bigger school—say, Alabama or Florida State—his chances would likely improve.

 

3. AJ McCarron

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 30:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the defense of Dee Ford #30 of the Auburn Tigers in the third quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Gett
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There has been much made about AJ McCarron's Heisman candidacy, but he is as deserving as anyone else being considered. As the quarterback of the best team in college football, McCarron has put up strong numbers.

Prior to the Iron Bowl against Auburn, McCarron had 2,399 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 68.6 completion percentage. Sure, he's a game-manager at quarterback. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have the ability to make big plays when the opportunities present themselves.

Should Alabama defeat Auburn, McCarron's Heisman candidacy will grow even more. Defeating the No. 4 team in the nation, even when you're leading the No. 1 team in the nation, is an impressive feat.

McCarron may not have the most gaudy stats, but he deserves a serious look for the Heisman.

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