Voters will begin filling out ballots. The race has seen fluctuations – Geno Smith was once a 1/1 favorite – though opinions are hardening. We list six, because we feel there are six players with a shot to reach New York. Here is how they stand right now.
Johnny Manziel [Texas A&M] Johnny Football beat Alabama in sparkling fashion. He completed 78 percent of his passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. He added another 91 yards on the ground. He should finish the season with more than 4,000 total yards and, potentially, 40 touchdowns. He has the feel-good narrative and the iconic win. He’s on top at present, but, without a marquee matchup left, he will be off the national radar.
Collin Klein [Kansas State] Klein was strong in a weak field. The field has caught up and is putting up far more explosive numbers. Klein is winning, but he has not thrown a touchdown pass his last two games. He has been held under four yards per carry. He’s doing enough to carry Kansas State to the BCS Title Game, but not to win the Heisman. With no title game, he may need a huge game against Texas.
Kenjon Barner [Oregon] Barner was slowed by an injury last week, though still pulled off a decent 100 yards on 23 touches. He has three prime opportunities left against Stanford, Oregon State and (probably) USC. To win, he must stand out in those games. Doing so could push him toward 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. That may be enough to eek out a narrow win.
Marqise Lee [USC] Lee’s numbers are sick. He has 1,447 yards and 13 touchdowns on 98 catches this season. The trouble is his promotional campaign is both late and obvious. Kiffin ran the ball six times with him last week, has discussed using him on defense and, normally unwilling to discuss injuries, played up his allergic reaction to the media. Great player, but he will be hurt by USC’s disappointing season and the rest of his season being a Kiffin production.
Manti Te’o [Notre Dame] Notre Dame keeps winning and not allowing points. Te’o padded his stats with another interception. There does not seem to be much he can do to win, though needing to award someone for an undefeated Notre Dame finish could see him rack up a number of lesser votes.
Marcus Mariota [Oregon] Chip Kelly turned him loose on the road at USC and Cal the past two weeks. He threw for nearly 700 yards and 10 touchdowns, not to mention the 138 rushing yards on 21 carries. He has the same opportunity as Barner to make a statement the next three games. It might be too late to get him to the podium this season, though he should be a frequent resident in coming years.
[Photo via Presswire]