Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
After an amazing freshman campaign that resulted in a Heisman for "Johnny Football", statistically, Manziel has been even better. After 26 touchdowns last year, Manziel has 33 this season, and his quarterback rating has improved from 155.3 to 170.4. Manziel and the Aggies haven't been as scary this season, they are 8-4 and were really dominated by LSU and Missouri. Much of their issues can be blamed on the defense which played atrocious against Alabama and Auburn, but Manziel had his two worst games of his career against LSU and Mizzou which really hurt him. Heisman Finish: 2nd
Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
Mason has been a huge reason why Auburn has vastly improved and stunned the nation by going from 3-9 to 12-1 and a national championship caliber team. Mason, a junior, has rushed for 1,621 yards this year but really improved his hopes with his performances against Alabama in the Iron Bowl and Missouri in the SEC Championship game. Mason had 164 yards against the Tide, and absolutely dominated the Tigers, rushing for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns, to help enter them in the National Championship Game. Heisman Finish: 5th
Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois
Lynch has been absolutely fantastic this year, rushing for nearly 2,000 yards and setting multiple rushing records along the way. He also has 2,676 passing yards and 23 touchdowns through the air. Quite honestly, if Lynch and Northern Illinois had never played Bowling Green in the MAC Championship Game, he might have been my pick. Unfortunately, Lynch played terrible against Bowling Green, as the Huskies suffered their first loss of the year. Lynch has had an amazing two years with Northern Illinois but not enough to win the Heisman. Heisman Finish: 4th
Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Of all the dominant players in college football this year on both sides of the ball, no player has meant more to his team than Williams to the Eagles. The senior has ran for 2,102 yards and 17 touchdowns this year though injuries and his team's struggles have seriously hurt him. But amazingly, Williams has done all that for Boston College even when everyone in the stadium knows he is getting the ball, as the Eagles' aerial attack has really struggled. Though, much like Lynch, Williams is yet to have a defining Heisman moment. Heisman Finish: 3rd
A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
McCarron has been great this season but not at all on the level of the other five that are going to New York. The reason he is going is because of what he has done his whole career, winning two national championships, nearly another and only losing three games in his team at Tuscaloosca. If something had happened to Winston and McCarron and 'Bama hadn't lost to Auburn, the Tide could well have won the Heisman. Heisman Finish: 6th
So Winston wins the award but why? All the other five have been fantastic this season, but Winston's play surpasses them. The redshirt freshman has thrown for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions and a great completion percentage of 67.9%. Perhaps the thing that pushes him over the others is the fact that he has been the leader of the most dominant team in the nation in Florida State. Plus, he has played amazing in big games against both Clemson and Miami, throwing for a combined 769 yards in them, as the Seminoles blew both ACC opponents out.
Only a couple get to go to New York, and there are a lot of players who deserve recognition for what they have done this year. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr leads the nation in passing yards at the moment with 4,866 and if the Bulldogs had gone undefeated he might well be heading to New York for the ceremony. Along with Carr, there are a number of other non-BCS contenders that deserve a lot of credit for what they have done this year. San Jose State's David Fales has been fantastic as well in the Mountain West along with Carr, throwing for 4,189 yards and 33 touchdowns. Carr's favorite target, wide receiver Davante Adams, a speedster should also contend for Heisman votes. Backs like Arizona's Kadeem Carey and Washington's Bishop Sankey should also get a ton of credit for what they have given to their teams this season. Defensive studs like Pitt's defensive linemen Aaron Donald and sack machine Trent Murphy should be a Top 10-finisher.