2013 Heisman Trophy: Hater's Guide to Heisman Finalists

Sebastian LenaAnalyst IDecember 12, 2013

2013 Heisman Trophy: Hater's Guide to Heisman Finalists

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    Jeff Gammons/Getty Images

    With the 2013 Heisman Trophy presentation just around the corner, there is plenty of reason for college football fans to celebrate.

    But for a certain few, there is always a reason to hate.

    You might hate that a quarterback who struggles to throw the ball effectively and a running back on a five-loss team—from the ACC nonetheless—have earned their tickets to New York City. Maybe it’s the way that one of the finalists seems to squint out of control before every play. Or maybe you just can’t stand the names Tre and Jameis.

    Whatever the case, it’s apparent that you are a hater. And a day doesn’t go by without you quenching your thirst with a 32-ounce bottle of Haterade.

    Thankfully, we here at B/R salute you, Mr. Hater Man. 

    So much so, that we’ve decided to make your job a little bit easier.

    Here are the cases for why each of the six Heisman Trophy finalists don’t deserve to lift up college football’s most coveted award at the conclusion of Saturday’s ceremony (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

     

    Disclaimer: Content in following slides is not necessarily how the author feels about each finalist, but rather the author diving into the mind of one who is a "hater" of said star player.

QB Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)

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    Manziel (2) saw his Heisman hopes come crashing down over the final two games of the regular season.
    Manziel (2) saw his Heisman hopes come crashing down over the final two games of the regular season.Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

    Season Stats: 69.1 CMP%, 3,732 YDS, 33 TD, 13 INT, 170.4 RAT; 133 CAR, 686 YDS, 8 TD

    Hater’s Motto: “Nobody deserves to win this award two seasons in a row. Especially when you come up short in the big games.”

     

    The Skinny

    Since Archie Griffin accomplished the feat back in the '70s, no Heisman Trophy winner has successfully repeated the following year.

    And if Tim Tebow couldn’t do it in 2008, there’s no way that Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel deserves it.

    Still, prior to the 2013 season, optimism was high for the sophomore. He gave those hopes an early boost with a stellar performance in a 49-42 loss to Alabama in Week 3. 

    Furthermore, Manziel even had an impressive four-game stretch from Oct. 19 to Nov. 9 where he accounted for 1,651 total yards of offense and 20 touchdowns.

    However, the Kerrville, Texas, native put in two stinkers in Texas A&M’s final two games—road matchups against then-No. 22 LSU and then-No. 5 Missouri.

    Manziel only threw for a combined 419 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 52.7 percent passing in the two games while being held to just 75 rushing yards on 23 carries.

    When you go 0-4 against Top 25 opponents, you don’t deserve to lift up the Heisman Trophy.

QB Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)

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    Not only did Lynch cost his team a conference title, but he also lost himself the Heisman.
    Not only did Lynch cost his team a conference title, but he also lost himself the Heisman.Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Season Stats: 63.1 CMP%, 2,676 YDS, 23 TD, 7 INT, 140.8 RAT; 274 CAR, 1,881 YDS, 22 TD

    Hater’s Motto: “OK, the guy can run. But why celebrate a quarterback that can’t throw?”

     

    The Skinny

    Given the success of his ground game, quarterback Jordan Lynch’s shortcomings through the air have been overshadowed.

    While much of the focus of the Huskies win over Western Michigan, 33-14, in the regular-season finale was on the senior’s rushing performance—he set an FBS record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 321—few noted his porous showing while throwing the ball. Lynch finished with just 39 yards and a touchdown on 5-of-17 passing.

    Northern Illinois fans and Lynch backers will be quick to point out the ridiculous weather as the cause of the poor performance. However, Mother Nature didn’t seem to affect Broncos quarterback Zach Terrell, who nearly quadrupled Lynch’s passing numbers, throwing for 139 yards on 13-of-26 passing.

    But forget that game for a second. What about the MAC title game loss to Bowling Green?

    Lynch threw for 219 yards and a touchdown, but he also only completed 21 of 40 passes and tossed two costly interceptions. One came at the end of the half in Falcons territory and the other came in the fourth quarter, leading to a touchdown that put the Huskies in a 20-point hole.

    That doesn’t really sound like a Heisman Trophy winner, now does it? 

QB AJ McCarron (Alabama)

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    You can't blame Foster (left) for losing McCarron (right) the Heisman.
    You can't blame Foster (left) for losing McCarron (right) the Heisman.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 67.6 CMP%, 2,676 YDS, 26 TD, 5 INT, 165.9 RAT

    Hater’s Motto: “He hasn’t done enough. He’s just a game manager. Nothing more.”

     

    The Skinny

    The three BCS title rings and 36-3 record as a starter aside, quarterback AJ McCarron doesn’t deserve the Heisman Trophy.

    While respectable, the senior’s stat line is nowhere near the best in the nation. In fact, McCarron is left sniffing the top five in many of the major statistical categories.

    Seriously, how can you consider a quarterback worthy of the award for “most outstanding player” when he’s been held under 200 passing yards in seven of 12 games?

    Not to mention, McCarron’s 2013 campaign is arguably not even the best of his career. Just last year, he threw for 2,933 yards, 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions on 67.6 percent passing for a passer rating of 175.3.

    Still, McCarron didn’t get an invite in 2012. So why does he deserve one now?

    If anything, the invitation is just a pat on the back for a sensational career. Nothing more.

RB Tre Mason (Auburn)

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    Mason (21) might be brought down short of winning the Heisman.
    Mason (21) might be brought down short of winning the Heisman.Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Poll Points: 32

    Season Stats: 283 CAR, 1,621 YDS, 22 TD; 11 REC, 121 YDS

    Hater’s Motto: “Better late than never…except in the race for Heisman.”

     

    The Skinny

    There’s no doubt that Tre Mason has been one of the nation’s best running backs in recent weeks.

    But therein lies the problem.

    Sure, the junior’s overall resume is pretty impressive. However, he’s accumulated most of it in a little over a month.

    Over the Tigers’ final five games, Mason has rushed for 864 yards and 13 touchdowns. That includes a 304-yard, four-touchdown performance against Missouri in the SEC title game.

    Basically, he’s racked up 53.3 percent of his rushing total and 59.1 percent of his touchdowns in a five-week span.

    In the eight games prior, Mason only topped the century mark on three occasions while finding the end zone just nine times.

    The Heisman Trophy winner should present a track record of performing at a high level consistently, not just recently.

RB Andre Williams (Boston College)

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    Not so fast, Mr. Williams.
    Not so fast, Mr. Williams.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Poll Points: 40

    Season Stats: 329 CAR, 2,102 YDS, 17 TD

    Hater’s Motto: “Two words: five losses.”

     

    The Skinny

    We get it.

    The Eagles followed up a two-win season by winning seven games in 2013. Rightly so, a lot of that credit belongs to the phenomenal performance of running back Andre Williams.

    Although the senior may lead the nation in rushing yards, that doesn’t change the fact that his Boston College squad has five losses this season.

    The most losses a Heisman Trophy winner has had in a season in the last couple of decades has been Tim Tebow, whose Florida squad lost four games in 2007. But at least that team finished ranked in the Top 25.

    Whether it’s fair or not, the Heisman Trophy winner won’t come from a team just two games over .500.

    It certainly doesn’t help that Williams failed to find the end zone against USC, Florida State and Clemson, three of the best run defenses he faced.

QB Jameis Winston (Florida State)

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    The recent legal case has cast a shadow of doubt on Winston's character.
    The recent legal case has cast a shadow of doubt on Winston's character.Tallahassee Democrat-USA TODAY S

    Poll Points: 80 (16)

    Season Stats: 67.9 CMP%, 3,820 YDS, 38 TD, 10 INT, 190.1 RAT; 77 CAR, 193 YDS, 4 TD

    Hater’s Motto: “Even I could put up those numbers with Florida State’s schedule.”

     

    The Skinny

    Entering the season, college football analyst Phil Steele had quarterback Jameis Winston’s Seminoles ranked No. 64 in strength of schedule rankings. Only three spots higher than the No. 1 target for the “Who did you play, though?” crowd: Ohio State.

    But a fast start by several ACC squads had many believing respect and credibility should begin returning to the embattled conference.

    Maryland, Clemson and Miami all entered matchups with Florida State both ranked and undefeated. The Seminoles won those games by the scores of 63-0, 51-13 and 41-14 respectively.

    Either Florida State was that good or the ACC was that overrated.

    With the Terrapins, Tigers and Hurricanes combining for 10 losses over the last nine weeks of the college football season, I believe we have our answer.

    Not to mention Winston’s accuracy seemed to waver a bit near the tail end of the season. The redshirt freshman tossed seven interceptions in his final seven games while completing fewer than 62 percent of his passes in all but two of those contents.

    And who could forget the sexual assault investigation launched against Winston over the last month? 

    Although Winston wasn't charged, five out of seven Heisman Trophy voters polled by Bleacher Report said that his legal case would affect their vote, via B/R's Max Rausch

    Does someone whose character has a black cloud hanging over his head deserve to win this award?

     

    All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com.

    For complete coverage and everything college football, you can reach Sebastian on Facebook, on Twitter and via email at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com.