Niagara Gazette

Z_CNHI News Service

September 24, 2013

Real battle for Heisman Trophy begins

(Continued)

But attach your name to the trophy that features a guy carrying a ball and ready to stiff-arm anyone that gets near him, and all of that high-profile stuff changes.

This year’s field has been chopped down, but here’s a quick update on who’s still standing tall:

1. Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) – Last August, some thought he may be suspended for the 2013 season, but two quarters on the bench dictated by the NCAA haven’t done anything to slow him. He was remarkable against Alabama and accounted for 346 total yards, including his first 100-yard rushing game against SMU. He might be a bad boy, but he’s proving again there’s something to love about his game.

2. Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) – He’ll likely win the Heisman if voters grade him on what he’s done instead of who he’s done it against. Bridgewater finds himself caught somewhere in football purgatory between the old Big East Conference and next year’s run in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He’ll roll up big numbers in The American (or AAC, not the ACC) and few will care. He’s got 14 TD passes in four games and could approach the NCAA record of 58 by year’s end, if anybody cares.

3. Marcus Mariota (Oregon) – The Ducks look like a juggernaut in the Pac-12. If they keep winning week after week, a BCS championship game appearance is a real possibility. Mariota ranks fifth in total offense and looks like a future pro quarterback, according to the scouts.

4. Lache Seastrunk (Baylor) – The Bears may have the best running back in college football. Seastrunk has punched across six touchdowns this year and averaged 15.6 yards per carry on 10 runs in a 70-7 romp over Louisiana Monroe. Only an injury will slow his production.

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