Jameis Winston smiling? After Saturday, he has reason to
NOV 24, 2013 4:38a ET
After Johnny Manziel was humbled in his third loss of the season, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and the Ducks were embarrassed with their second, and Baylor's stumbling Bryce Petty tripped up and got blown out by Oklahoma State, it's safe to say the Heisman race has narrowed a lot.
Three weeks ago there were talks of Oregon playing in the title game and Mariota taking home the Heisman, along with Manziel and Petty being among the front runners, but all that has changed.
Petty might have had the worst luck out of them all on Saturday, because when you start a game with a clear path to the end zone and you just fall at the goal line without getting in ... it spells bad game. Guarantee you will shake your head in pity after seeing this.
The No. 4 Bears ended up getting beaten in convincing fashion, 49-17. Umm ... yeah. Even though it marks Petty's first loss of the season, the Heisman voters aren't very forgiving this late in the game. You can pretty much stick a fork in Petty's chances.
Sorry, Johnny Football fans, Ohio State's Hall of Fame running back Archie Griffin is going to remain the only Heisman winner to repeat for at least another year. The QB who pops bottles of Dom in the club before his 21st birthday can rest assured that Heisman voters have seen enough. When you get judged off the field for your antics, you should make sure your on-field play is damn near flawless.
Manziel came into Saturday's game No. 2 in the nation in total offense at 392 yards per game with a high-octane Aggies offense averaging 49 points. Well ... for some reason the generally average LSU defense held the Aggies to 10 points and Manziel was able to put up only 224 yards through the air and 54 on the ground. This was the first time since Week 3 of the 2012 season that he did not surpass 300 yards. Manziel also struggled against the Tigers last season when he threw three interceptions and rushed for just 27 yards. LSU just has Johnny Football's number.
"We could never really get it going," said Manziel, who was sacked twice. "They kept us guessing, and it really took us awhile to figure it out. They have a very talented defense regardless of how their season's gone."
Yeah, it's a wrap for Johnny.
Mariota and Oregon can say goodbye to the Rose Bowl after losing to an Arizona team they were highly favored to beat. This was the Ducks' first loss to an unranked team since 2009, Mariota's first interceptions of the season (he threw two) and their second loss in two weeks. While Mariota might have been seen as the best QB before today and his numbers are still good, voters just aren't going to see it that way.
Now let's look at who's left.
Alabama's AJ McCarron has been playing like a beast all season, racking up 23 TD passes, 2,400 passing yards and only five picks, and could be on his way to being the first QB in FBS history to win three national titles in a row with an undefeated Crimson Tide team. That's saying something.
Does the name Jordan Lynch ring a bell? It should.
The Northern Illinois QB is leading an undefeated Huskies team and has been playing out of his mind lately. In their past five games, Lynch has rushed for 13 touchdowns and passed for eight more, with only one interception. He's piled up 818 yards with his legs (163.6 a game). During that five-game span, he has completed 89 of 117 passes (76 percent) for 1,085 yards (217 a game). Those numbers aren't speaking Heisman shot to you?
Being that NIU's schedule isn't that competitive, these numbers might not hold up with judges, but if ever there were a day that a player from a MAC school should be considered Heisman-worthy, it is now. Lynch is bringing it.
And then you have Jameis Winston. On Saturday he threw for 225 yards and four TD's going 14-25. Only 10 completions weren't TDs? Oh. Florida State is 11-0 with Winston under center and he has piled up 32 TD passes, more than 3,000 yards and only seven picks. There's no way to tell how his legal issues will play out, but right now Winston should have just as fair of a shot as McCarron does. Chances are it will be one of those guys who walks away with the Heisman.
After Saturday, at least, that's the way it should be.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.