Six Heisman hopefuls head to New York

A.J. McCarron won’t win the Heisman, and it’s a damn shame.

“A quarterback will never win the Heisman playing at Alabama.” “Anyone can play quarterback for the Crimson Tide and be that successful.” “He just hands it off to the running back.”

Or maybe McCarron just makes it look easy.

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football each year, and with McCarron at the helm, Alabama has made three straight BCS bowl appearances.

The Sugar Bowl is no national championship, but it’s nothing to scoff at, either. And two national titles in a row? Jeez, what a resume.

Sure, the run game is big for Bama, but remember that 99-yard pass to Amari Cooper that put the Tide ahead of Auburn in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl? Perfect ball placement and a “job well done” from Nick Saban himself.

Not that it mattered, as Auburn shocked the world and made sure Alabama kicker Cade Foster would regret this game for the rest of his life.

Melodramatic? Maybe. But you better believe that coaching staff is going to recruit the best kicker they can find to avoid a repeat.

If Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman, I will lose faith in college football. He’s a great player, and his stats are off the charts, but he’s no longer “America’s Candidate.”

Last year he was “Johnny Football,” Texas A&M superstar who could do no wrong.

This year he played under constant suspicion of foul play and lost the respect of many fans for his callous behavior. While Manziel passed for more yards and threw more touchdowns, his rushing numbers are way down from a year ago. In fact, they are almost cut in half.

Repeating is almost unheard of. The only other player to win the Heisman Trophy twice was Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in the ‘70s.

Then there’s Tre Mason. Where the heck did he come from?

Oh yeah, he’s relevant because Auburn is the luckiest team in America. No one knew his name until the Iron Bowl, and even then he wasn’t a Heisman contender.

Mason put himself in the running after rushing for 304 yards against Missouri in the SEC Championship Game. In his postgame interview with CBS’ Tracy Wolfson, Mason admitted his desire to win the Heisman.

That simple sentence, that gall, is what got him a ticket to New York. It made people think, “Hey, this guy believes he’s the best player in the nation, so maybe he is.”

Jordan Lynch is representing for the Mid-American Conference, for all the great players that don’t get recognition because of who they play for.

The Northern Illinois quarterback was a force to be reckoned with. If they hadn’t lost to Bowling Green in the MAC Championship, NIU would be heading to a BCS Bowl. But no, they’ll be facing Utah State in the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

What a mouthful, and what a disappointment.

Boston College’s Andre Williams joins Tre Mason as the two running back candidates to earn a ticket to New York. Despite his impressive numbers — 2,101 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns — Williams doesn’t have the national recognition necessary to win the Heisman. He can’t compete with household names like Manziel and McCarron. 

Rounding out the six finalists is Jameis Winston, the Florida State quarterback who narrowly escaped being prosecuted for sexual assault just last week.

Known affectionately as “Famous Jameis,” this freshman led the Seminoles to an undefeated record and a berth in the VIZIO BCS National Championship Game.

Can these bowl names get any longer?

If Winston wins the award, as many expect him to do, he’ll be the second straight freshman to earn the honor, following in the footsteps of Johnny Football.

Maybe having a good nickname is a prerequisite for winning the Heisman. Just ask RGIII.

The ceremony will take place this Saturday and will allow one of these athletes to taste the closest thing college football has to immortality: the Heisman Trophy.

Aryn is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ArynBraun.