The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 25, 2013

Muddy Heisman Trophy race

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Votes from the 928-member Heisman electorate are due by Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. EST. The winner is announced Dec. 14.

Meanwhile, the stage is set for AJ McCarron to make a late push. The Alabama quarterback could have two more chances to display his talents, starting Saturday at Auburn. Win that and it’s on to the Southeastern Conference title game for the Crimson Tide.

Braxton Miller, No. 3 Ohio State’s dual-threat quarterback, is in a similar situation.

He gets Michigan on Saturday, and then No. 11 Michigan State the week after for the Big Ten title.

While voters have cooled on Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman last year, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Baylor’s Bryce Petty — all of whom had below-average performances in losing efforts last Saturday — they’re warming up to Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and Boston College running back Andre Williams.

“I was probably leaning toward Johnny Manziel until this past weekend,” said Hugh Kellenberger of The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss. “Earlier in the year I thought it was Marcus Mariota’s to lose. So right now I’m certainly looking for other candidates, and a guy like Alabama’s AJ McCarron probably has a better candidacy now than he did just a couple weeks ago.”

McCarron is the second choice on Bovada’s board at 2-1, making a huge move after being 13-2 last week. There doesn’t seem to be a massive groundswell of support for the senior with two national championship rings.

It’s been more of a steadily growing appreciation for his consistent production. A cover story in Sports Illustrated last week didn’t hurt him, either. And, of course, he’s now facing more pushback from skeptics.

“I get it that Baylor, A&M and Oregon lost and many have moved up AJ McCarron, but it’s not a lifetime achievement award,” said Robert Cessna of the Bryan-College Station (Texas) Eagle. “I don’t know if he’s even the best player on the team.”

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