Heisman Watch 2020: Latest Race Predictions Entering Week 13
This year, it's possible the top two finishers in Heisman Trophy voting will be going head-to-head before the award is handed out. And it could be a crucial game for both teams involved.
The Heisman front-runners are Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask. The former has led the Crimson Tide to seven straight wins to open the season, while the Gators are 6-1, with their only setback being a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 10.
If both teams win out to end the regular season, then Alabama and Florida will face off in the SEC Championship Game. The winner would likely guarantee its spot in the College Football Playoff, putting the loser on the bubble.
While team success is likely their primary objective, Jones and Trask would also have a chance to impress Heisman voters during their potential head-to-head showdown. Perhaps that will have effect who takes home the award this season.
Here are the latest predictions for how the Heisman voting will shake out in 2020.
1. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy could go to either Jones or Trask, but it will be the Alabama quarterback who captures the award thanks to his performance over the rest of the season. The Crimson Tide appear poised to make a run to the College Football Playoff, and if Jones leads them to the SEC title, that could make a difference.
Jones has passed for 2,426 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions in his redshirt junior season. It's his first full season as Alabama's starting quarterback, as he didn't get an opportunity last year until Tua Tagovailoa went down with a season-ending hip injury.
The Crimson Tide have only two regular-season games remaining (against Auburn and at Arkansas), and both should allow Jones to continue to rack up his stats. And if they face Florida in the SEC Championship Game, Jones could have another big showing, as the Gators defense has been susceptible to the passing game this year.
Jones would be the first Alabama player to win the Heisman since running back Derrick Henry captured the award in 2015. There's never been a Crimson Tide quarterback to win the Heisman, with the only player in school history to win the award prior to Henry being running back Mark Ingram II in 2009.
2. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Now a redshirt senior, Trask has taken huge strides since last season. He's already passed for 31 touchdowns this season, which is six more than he had in 2019, and he's only played seven games. Trask had three touchdown passes in a win over Vanderbilt in his most recent game—the first time he didn't throw at least four in a game in 2020.
However, he didn't have one of his top weapons, as junior tight end Kyle Pitts missed Florida's past two games because of a concussion and facial injury. With Pitts set to be back for the game against Kentucky on Saturday, Trask should be in position to again put up huge numbers (especially considering Alabama scored 63 points against the Wildcats last time out).
In the next three games, Trask should continue to impress, as Florida is set to take on Tennessee and LSU after the Kentucky matchup. If he can then lead the Gators to a win against the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game, then perhaps he can emerge as the Heisman winner.
While the prediction is that Jones will win this year's Heisman, it should be a close vote considering how well both quarterbacks have played in 2020.
3. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
That's right. It won't be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields placing third behind Jones and Trask in Heisman voting. Instead, it will be Zach Wilson, who has led BYU to a remarkable season, putting up impressive numbers along the way.
Wilson has passed for 2,724 yards, 26 touchdowns and two interceptions and rushed for 191 yards and eight touchdowns while leading the Cougars to a 9-0 start. With only one regular-season game remaining (Dec. 12 against San Diego State), it's unlikely BYU will reach the College Football Playoff, even if it stays undefeated. Still, Wilson should be recognized for his impressive junior campaign.
With his 26 passing touchdowns, Wilson has already had more this year than he had in his first two seasons at BYU combined (23). Not only has that put him among the Heisman contenders, but it has likely also boosted his stock for the 2021 NFL draft, assuming he doesn't return for his senior year at BYU.
Wilson's stats will be a notch lower than those of Jones and Trask, which is why he will finish third. But that's still an impressive showing for him and highlights the tremendous improvement he's displayed in 2020.