The Norman Transcript

National Sports

August 27, 2013

Pick 6: Ways to win the Heisman

NORMAN — To win the Heisman Trophy, a player needs the right combination of numbers and narrative, highlight plays and signature victories.

Johnny Manziel’s Heisman run last season was fueled by dizzying stats, a brilliant performance in Texas A&M’s upset victory against Alabama, complete with a couple of ‘did-you-see-that?’ plays, and the fact that he was trying to become the first freshman to win college football’s most prestigious individual award.

Here are six (or so) Heisman contenders and what has to happen for them to win the big bronze statue.

1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Assuming Johnny Football plays the entire season, he should put up more video-game numbers in a potent offense. Even so, it’ll be hard for him to top last season and anything less won’t have the same wow-factor. There is room for improvement in one category: victories. The Aggies went 10-2 in the regular season last year. Make that 13-0 or 12-1, with a Southeastern Conference title and a berth in the BCS championship game, and Manziel could join Archie Griffin as the only two-time Heisman winners.

2. Marqise Lee, WR, USC: Heisman voters are generally not impressed by wide receivers. Only two (Tim Brown in 1987 and Desmond Howard in 1991) have won it. Lee is coming off the most prolific season (118 catches and 1,721 yards) by a receiver in Pac-12 history. It was good enough for a distant fourth in the Heisman voting, despite USC’s disappointing fall from preseason No. 1 to 7-6. Far less is expected of the 24th-ranked Trojans this season and Lee will have a first-year starting quarterback getting him the ball. If Lee has another huge year and USC can reach the Pac-12 title game — and maybe knock off Notre Dame along the way — the story will be how he carried the new QB(s). At the least that makes him a Heisman finalist.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Pyrenees help leader Nibali, winner Rogers in Stage 16

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Mountain stage rough on Yankee rider

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday for the first of three mountain stages that may well determine the final podium of this year’s race....

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong prefers not talking about a national title

    DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game....

    July 23, 2014

  • TCU’s Fields investigated for alleged assault

    FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, “I should blast ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Sun Belt boss expresses faith in the ‘Power-5’

    NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt Conference’s 11 institutions are prepared to pay more to remain part of major college football, commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday....

    July 23, 2014

  • Crunch time for Ryder Cup

    HOYLAKE, England — The end of the British Open means the Ryder Cup is getting closer, and there are a couple of regulars still not in the team. That starts with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods....

    July 23, 2014

  • Sam excited about next phase of career

    ST. LOUIS — Now it starts to get intense for Michael Sam and the rest of the St. Louis Rams rookies....

    July 23, 2014

  • Rory McIlroy appears poised to be golf’s next big thing

    HOYLAKE, England — Golf has been looking for the next big star the last five years, and Rory McIlroy is the most obvious candidate....

    July 23, 2014

  • Yankees acquire Headley from Padres

    NEW YORK — Trying to boost one of the weakest lineups in the American League, the New York Yankees acquired third baseman Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday for rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Rays get to Wainright, win sixth straight

    ST. LOUIS — Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night....

    July 23, 2014