Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel: Three quarterbacks, two with National Title hopes and all with one goal in mind – to win the Heisman Trophy.
This weekend may just separate one of them from the pack.
There are only three choices to choose from. Everyone else has eliminated themselves (Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater) or the team has done them in (Georgia, Aaron Murray). There are two dark horses (AJ McCarron of Alabama and Zach Mettenberger of LSU) but it is a little too late. The three at the top are the ones we will remember and the voters will focus on.
This is the weekend to watch college football.
While I am partial to Winston (have I mentioned lately that I am an FSU grad?), I understand the performance in Tallahassee over the weekend left a few voters with doubts. Yes – Mr. Super Freshman squints and is mortal.
I also understand Mr. Manziel has already won one of these awards and while he has put up huge numbers this season, he may be the victim of his own press at the beginning of the season and the “Tim Tebow Disease” where voters want someone new to win the award, so they do not vote for him.
Mariota appears to be the front runner and should he beat Stanford on the road tomorrow night, then he will certainly be the one to beat. Manziel has a date with Missouri left on the Texas A&M schedule and Mariota has games against Arizona and Oregon State that could give Oregon trouble.
Winston’s only “roadblock” in all of this is his meeting with Florida and the Gators’ defense and a rematch possibly with Miami in the ACC Title game.
Looking at the numbers, all three are deserving and for some reason, I do not see the trophy being broken in half or in thirds. If there was ever a time when co-winners should be named, maybe it is this season. This could be the tightest voting for the voting for the Heisman since Bo Jackson edged out Chuck Long.
Basically, in my opinion, it comes down to this: If Mariota beats Stanford and continues to throw the way he is, not giving up the ball, no interceptions and Oregon continues to score 42 points or more, I say it goes to him. I think Manziel is a great story, but with three possible losses (Missouri), and his past and the fact he won it already, I saw he is the third in line.
That leaves Winston. The Seminoles has beaten everyone in sight and handily. As my father said (and he is a Gators fan), “There is a machine in Tallahassee this season.”
I was in college during the Charlie Ward-led 1993 team. I saw destruction on offense and defense. Both that team and this one are similar. This is a team that puts its foot on the accelerator and never takes it off.
Bobby Bowden would be so proud.
The Seminoles have outscored their opponents 409-99 this season. They are winning games by an average of 51-12. That is complete annihilation. And Winston with his arm and his legs are making that happen.
This last three weeks will be a long stretch. There is plenty of football still to be played. While the freshman might be the most deserving, the quarterback in the west coast may take home the hardware.
All we can do is sit back and wait – and hope the best player with the most to gain takes home the hardware.