Jameis Winston can now officially add “Heisman Trophy Winner 2013” to his growing list of football accolades after beating out the five other finalists to take home the award. Of course, many fans and voters had already unofficially given him the honor earlier in the season, and the freshman’s victory was never in doubt.
Winston won the trophy with the seventh-highest margin of victory in the award’s history, with more than three times as many points second-place finisher AJ McCarron:
Results 1. Winston (2,205), 2. AJ McCarron (704), 3. Jordan Lynch (558), 4. Andre Williams (470), 5. Johnny Manziel (421), 6. Tre Mason (404— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) December 15, 2013
Furthermore, the Florida State quarterback soared to an easy Heisman win despite being completely left off 115 ballots:
Wow ... Jameis Winston left off 115 ballots entirely. And still had the fifth largest margin in the modern era.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 15, 2013
The primary reason for his dominant win was the lack of other viable challengers. This year’s ceremony tied a record with six Heisman finalists in attendance, but none of the other five candidates had a resume as complete as that of the Seminoles quarterback.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron finished second mostly due to his spectacular career as opposed to his statistical excellence. Just by this year's numbers, McCarron didn’t even deserve to be there except for the fact that he had led the Crimson Tide to two straight national championships and is the best signal-caller in school history.
McCarron’s hopes of becoming the Tide’s first Heisman quarterback were erased after a loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl ended Alabama’s chances of making its third straight national championship game.
A big reason for that Iron Bowl loss (aside from one of the most exciting endings in history) was the spectacular play of Tigers running back Tre Mason. The Auburn back used a strong end to the season (including a monstrous performance in the SEC title game) to force his way to New York as a finalist, but his numbers didn’t compare to the other running back in the green room.
Boston College’s Andre Williams led the nation in rushing yards and was the only player to top 2,000 yards in 2013.
His numbers compared favorably to the last two Heisman running backs, but a lack of team success (BC went 7-5 and didn’t beat a ranked team) and weaker competition in the ACC meant that his chances of winning were slim.
Similarly, last year’s Heisman winner Johnny Manziel was even better as a passer this season, but his decreased rushing numbers and the 8-4 record posted by Texas A&M doomed him to a fifth-place finish in the voting.
Jordan Lynch was the quarterback whose numbers and record could possibly stack up to Winston if Northern Illinois had gone undefeated, but the Huskies’ loss in the MAC championship game took out Winston’s last challenger.
And that brings us back to “Famous Jameis” himself.
Not only was he the last man standing, but he was a phenomenal default winner and was easily one of the nation's best quarterbacks.
|Passing Yards Per Game||293.8||10th|
|Yards Per Completion||16.1||2nd|
|Points Responsible For Per Game||19.4||8th|
The Seminoles star had it all. Florida State went 13-0, beating teams by an average of 42 points, and Winston set freshman records in the process:
Heisman Finalist: Jameis Winston ACC Offensive Player of the Year 3820 yards, 38 TDs, 10 INTs Freshman FBS record for most TDS & Yards— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) December 10, 2013
He had signature wins (like the 51-14 drubbing of Clemson) and multiple “Heisman moments,” like this ridiculous play against Maryland.
By the season’s end, no other finalist could compete with Winston’s combination of record-breaking numbers and team success. The Heisman ceremony had all the pageantry and nice coverage, but it never had any drama other than who would finish second.