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Column: Three start to pull away from Heisman race

NCAA Football Columnist

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013

Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 00:10

Last week I wrote about how the Heisman was in the hands of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and how the heartbreak kid would take the trophy home in the most exciting of fashions.

Well, over the weekend Murray threw two interceptions to the Missouri defense and any Heisman hopes out the window in a 41-26 loss. Sure, he was missing a lot of offensive weapons, but you would like to see your Heisman winner be able to overcome adversity and carry the team on his back against an inferior opponent.

I’m officially taking Murray off my Heisman watch. This might be a bit of an overcorrection after putting him at the top of my list last week, but I’m feeling a little confused and hurt after putting so much trust in the senior Georgia quarterback.

So with only half the season to go, here is my new Heisman watch list:
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Marcus Mariota is the smartest player in college football right now. There is nothing harder than running a spread offense and option in college football.

The amount of checks, audibles and reads that a quarterback has to make before the ball is even snapped is astronomical, making Mariota’s job one of the hardest in college football.

Mariota has thrown for 1724 yards and 17 touchdowns this season and rushed for 426 yards and eight touchdowns. If he continues his unworldly season expect him to hoist the bronze Heisman statue at season’s end.

2. Jameis Winston, Florida State
Winston has also been nothing short of outstanding in the early going, leading the Seminoles to a 5-0 record to start the season. With 1441 yards passing and 17 touchdowns, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Heisman trophy go to a second straight freshman.

3. Bryce Petty, Baylor
Do you like to watch video-game-type offenses and obscene offensive numbers? Well the Baylor Bears have become the mid-Western equivalent to the Oregon Ducks, gaudy offensive numbers and all.

The Bears are led by Petty with 13 touchdowns this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his running back Lache Seastrunk in New York with him either.

The two have been steamrolling opponents, scoring 70 or more on three different occasions and scoring 69 points on another.

Continue to keep your eyes on these three as the season continues. They just might be your Heisman favorites come December. 

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