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Heisman Watch 2013: Updated Outlook for Top Stars in the Race

Nov 26, 2013; DeKalb, IL, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) practices before the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Huskie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2013

Good luck figuring out who takes home the Heisman Trophy in 2013.

A variety of players are worthy of the top prize, but there is not a true lead dog in the race. Plenty of names have been statistical monsters, but few have led their teams to critical wins as well (goodbye, AJ McCarron).

It's hard to give the trophy to a player like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who has led the Aggies to an 8-4 record. There is an argument to be made about his lack of support (namely on defense), but Heisman winners at quarterback overcome those obstacles, right?

The silver lining in the murky race is that there is still time for things to unfold. For now, three top stars clearly lead the pack in the race.

 

Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois

Nov 26, 2013; DeKalb, IL, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) rushes the ball against the Western Michigan Broncos during the first quarter at Huskie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

#MACtion time in the Heisman race.

Voters who want a staggering combo of statistics and wins need look no further than Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who has the Huskies at 12-0 to go with a jaw-dropping stats line:

Jordan Lynch 2013 Stats
GamesCMPATTYDSCMP%TDINTRUSH ATTYDSTD
12212329245764.4225248175520
ESPN

At some point the shaky argument concerning the level of competition goes out the window.

That time would be now.

USA Today's Brent Sobleski shared an astounding statistic:

If there were ever a year that a quarterback from a lesser conference could sneak in and steal the award, this would be it. Lynch is arguably the most impressive player in the nation and has his team on the cusp of a BCS appearance.

Voters simply cannot go wrong with Lynch, especially if he continues to play at this level.

 

Andre Williams, RB, Boston College

Nov 23, 2013; College Park, MD, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Andre Williams (44) runs with the ball for a touchdown during the second half od the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium. Boston College Eagles defeated Maryland Terra
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of overlooked candidates, Boston College running back Andre Williams has put together an impressive season as well.

Ignore the fact that the Eagles are only 7-5. If a running back will sneak in and win the award, it will be Williams, who has rushed 329 times for 2,102 yards and 17 scores with a 6.4 per-carry average.

While the senior was held to nine carries for 29 yards and a score in a Week 14 loss to Syracuse, but Williams was hurt in the third quarter per ESPN.com. That matters little in the race here—Williams was so far in front of any other running back statistically that he could have sat the last game of the season and still led the nation in rushing.

While Williams' name has only become a national commodity in Heisman Trophy talk over the past few weeks, he more than deserves the award if it goes to a running back. If big-name quarterbacks continue to drop like flies from the race, Williams may finish his collegiate career a Heisman winner.

 

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

As it stands now, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the clear-cut favorite for the Heisman.

The Seminoles are the best team in the land at 12-0 thanks to Winston. There may be some voter remorse after giving the award to a Manziel as a freshman a year ago (is it too much pressure to handle for a player so young?), but Winston's body of work is hard to ignore.

Winston has thrown for 3,490 yards, 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing an outstanding 68.8 percent of his passes.

He's thrown for multiple touchdowns in every game except one and amassed these impressive stats despite being sacked 22 times. No team has come close to defeating the Seminoles in the process.

Winston is the Heisman winner barring a collapse. The crazy part? He'll be back next year.

 

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