The Heisman Trust announced the finalists for the coveted award on Monday evening. In astounding fashion, ESPN.com reported that four quarterbacks and two running backs were named Heisman Trophy finalists. For what looked like a three horse race in November, six players getting invited to New York is a large number.
Here's an excerpt from ESPN.com. "The six finalists invited to the ceremony in New York are the most since 1994."
It’s widely known that Jameis Winston is the heavy favorite, but he has a large contingent of players that make a great case for the award this season. Ironically, with all of these passing stats exploding around the country, not one receiver garnered enough votes to get invited to New York.
Instead, two running backs came on strong late in the season to give voters a lot to think about.
First, Andre Williams of Boston College made the list with over 2000 yards rushing this season. William’s helped Boston College to a winning record in the ACC.
The second running back made a name for himself as Auburn made a push for the SEC championship. Tre Mason finished the season with 304 yards rushing on the biggest stage. His involvement in the final proves that most voters waiting until the final day to send in their ballots. Mason also rushed for 2,000 yards.
While there were plenty of quarterbacks to choose from, late losses by Oregon and Baylor knocked out their most recognizable player. Even though, Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty won their last game, neither player had the cache with the majority of the voters.
However, the other three quarterbacks lost their last game. The powerful and multidimensional Jordan Lynch finally lost a conference game at Northern Illinois. Lynch had the Huskies one win away from consecutive BCS bowl appearances.
Reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel had another tremendous season, but four losses may prove too much for Johnny “Football” to become the second player to win two Heisman trophies.
The last quarterback to be invited to New York is A.J. McCarron. His 99 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl may have been enough to put him over the hump if Alabama won. Yet, the loss is what the voters may harp on.
There’s no doubt that Jameis Winston would have been a runaway winner if sexual assault allegations didn’t make headlining news in November. Although, there weren’t any charges, there are voters that said they would not vote for him at all. That could contribute to the number of invitees.
Every Heisman finalist is involved in the Eastern part of the United States. Three players are from the SEC and two players are from the ACC. The final player, Jordan Lynch is from Chicago.
The Heisman Trophy winner will be announced on Saturday night. You can watch the program on ESPN.