No matter how many people you invite to your big party, somebody always winds up feeling left out.
The 2013 Heisman Trophy celebration is no exception, and even though a generous six contestants were invited to “come on down,” there are still worthy candidates left out in the cold.
On the guest list for this Saturday’s festivities are: Jordan Lynch (quarterback, Northern Illinois), Johnny Manziel (quarterback, Texas A&M), Tre Mason (running back, Auburn), AJ McCarron (quarterback, Alabama), Andre Williams (running back, Boston College) and Jameis Winston (quarterback, Florida State).
According to a report by ESPN news services, the number of invitees is the highest since 1994.
That was the year running back Rashaan Salaam of Colorado took home the prize while finalists Ki-Jana Carter (running back, Penn State), Steve McNair (quarterback, Alcorn State), Kerry Collins (quarterback, Penn State), Jay Barker (quarterback, Alabama) and Warren Sapp (defensive tackle, Miami Fla.) looked on.
Here’s a look at guys who didn’t make the cut this year, but have the most legitimate claim to the not-so-short list.
Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
In only 11 games in 2013, Carey managed to rush for 1,716 yards and 17 touchdowns on 322 carries. This makes him the No. 2 rusher in the FBS in yards per game.
In total yards Carey finished 140 yards ahead of Auburn’s Mason and 386 yards behind Boston College’s Williams. Only, he did it in two fewer games than Mason and one fewer than Williams.
His 17 rushing touchdowns ties Williams and comes in five short of Mason’s 22.
Notably, Carey is the only back out of the three to have rushed for 100 yards or more in every game he participated in. Williams went under the 100-yard mark three times in 2013, while Mason had five games where he didn’t gain 100 yards.
The other selling point for Carey is that he posted his numbers against four ranked teams while Williams faced two. Mason, on the other hand, squared off with six ranked opponents.
Here’s what ESPN’s Ted Miller had to say about Carey not being named a Heisman finalist.
Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey is the nation’s best running back. He is a better running back than Auburn’s Tre Mason and Boston College’s Andre Williams…What that means is that if you had all the college – or NFL – coaches pick a running back, the vast majority would choose Carey first. Why? Again, he’s better than Mason and Williams.
And, if this is about pure numbers, Carey’s are superior to Mason’s, who apparently got invited to New York because he posted an undeniably great performance in the SEC title game against Missouri. If that was the selling measure, then the Auburn offensive line should have been sent to New York.
Derek Carr, Fresno State
The No. 1 quarterback in the FBS in yards, yards per game and touchdown passes, Derek Carr is a glaring omission from the long list of Heisman finalists.
Especially given that Jordan Lynch—another non-AQ quarterback—got the nod.
Not only has Carr thrown for more yards and touchdowns than the four quarterback finalists, he has the highest completion percentage with 70.1.
That’s better than Lynch’s 63.1 percent, better than McCarron’s 67.6 percent, better than Winston’s 67.9 percent and better than Manziel’s 69.1 percent.
And oh yeah, Carr did play for a team that went 11-1, including a conference championship.
Here’s what Marek Warszawski of the Fresno Bee had to say about Carr not getting invited to the party.
According to the Heisman Trophy voters, Derek Carr isn’t one of the top six players in the country… College football’s most famous award has never been a bigger joke…Carr’s omission from Saturday’s ceremony in New York is even more glaring than big brother’s David in 2001…That year, there were only four finalists…Heisman voters sure have a thing for running quarterbacks who can barely throw a spiral.
Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
Given that a defense is required to field a football team and win games, it makes sense to invite at least one guy to the Heisman ceremony who doesn’t play offense.
Even if he’s not going to win.
The top defender in 2013 is Aaron Donald who, according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, has already won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player in the nation.
Donald’s resume as a senior includes 41 solo tackles, 26.5 tackles for a loss (No. 1 in the FBS), 10 sacks (No. 13 in the FBS), two broken-up passes, 16 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles (No. 8 in the FBS) and one blocked kick.
Take a look at what CBS’s Bruce Feldman had to say about Donald.
Here’s my biggest wild-card candidate. He won’t win the Heisman, but he got my Lombardi vote this weekend. The Pitt DT saved the Panthers Saturday by blocking an extra-point in a 17-16 win [at Syracuse]. He also had eight solo tackles and 3.5 more TFLs. He has 26 TFLs this season, leading the country in a key defensive stat by a wide margin. Donald might scoop up a bunch of ‘sure, why not?’ votes.
Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Here’s the thing: Bryce Petty is a whole lot more than just the next guy in a long line of quarterbacks lighting up the scoreboard in Art Briles’ fruitful offense.
First up, Petty is the No. 2-ranked quarterback in the nation in passer rating. His 179.19 is second to only Winston at 190.06.
It trumps Lynch’s 140.84 (No. 41), McCarron’s 165.88 (No. 8) and Manziel’s 170.43 (No. 3).
Next, did you know that Petty rushed for 192 yards and 11 touchdowns this season? Compare that to Winston’s 193 yards and four scores or McCarron’s 21 yards and zero touchdowns.
Though his numbers don’t come close to Lynch’s or Manziel’s in rushing yards, his 11 scores are better than Johnny Football’s eight touchdowns.
What’s most impressive about Petty is that he’s thrown only two interceptions all season.
Given his 356 attempts, that means he’s thrown only one pick per 178 tries. Compare this to Manziel who’s thrown an interception once in every 30 attempts, Winston with 1-in-35, Lynch with 1-in-53 and McCarron with one pick in every 61 tries.
David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press doesn’t only think Petty should have gotten invited to the Heisman ceremony, he rates it the biggest snub among those who were left out.
The most notable omission from the Heisman finalists is Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, who threw for 3,844 yards with 30 touchdowns and just two interceptions in leading the Bears to an 11-1 record and a Big 12 title.