1. Florida State QB Jameis Winston (Fr.)
Last Week (W, 37-7, vs. Florida): 19-for-31, 327 yards, 3 TD, INT
Season: 218-for-317 (68.8%), 3,490 yards, 35 TD, 8 INT (134 rushing yards, 3 TD)
With Alabama’s loss in the Iron Bowl, Florida State became the top-ranked team in the nation and Winston remained the Heisman favorite. There simply has not been a more valuable player to his team than Winston so, barring a complete disaster against Duke, “Famous Jameis” will take home the trophy. After a promising and close race through most of the year, Winston clearly pulled away from the pack, which will win him the Heisman. Off-the-field issues could sway some voters, though at this point it’s hard to find someone else worthy of a first-place vote.
2. Boston College RB Andre Williams (Sr.)
Last week (L, 31-34, at Syracuse): 9 attempts, 29 yards, TD
Season: 329 attempts, 2,102 yards, 17 TD
Williams was injured in the first quarter of the Eagles’ loss to Syracuse on a 26-yard touchdown run and did not return. Though he was largely ineffective until that point, Boston College’s collapse proved Williams’ value to this team and its offense. Williams’ 2013 campaign fell 84 yards short of fourth place in single season rushing in FBS history but he will have a chance to move into that spot in the Eagles’ bowl game.
3. Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch (Sr.)
Last week (W, 33-14, vs. Western Michigan): 5-for-17, 39 yards, TD (321 rush yards, 3 TD)
Season: 212-for-329 (64.4%), 2,457 yards, 22 TD, 5 INT (1,755 rush yards, 20 TD)
Lynch struggled throwing the ball in the Huskies’ latest win, but more than made up for it with his feet. In Northern Illinois’ second half of the season, Lynch scored 16 touchdowns on the ground and ran for 1,139 yards while adding nine touchdowns through the air. His rushing yards total and touchdown total already top that of Mark Ingram’s 2009 Heisman-winning campaign. If he had done this in a major conference, Lynch probably would win the Heisman but the Huskies’ weak schedule can’t be ignored. While he won’t win the Heisman, Lynch could deliver Northern Illinois’ second consecutive BCS berth with a victory in the MAC title game over Bowling Green on Friday.
4. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller (Jr.)
Last week (W, 42-41 @ Michigan): 6-for-15, 133 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception(153 rush yards, 3 touchdowns)
Season: 138-for-210 (65.7%), 1,759 yards, 21 TD, 5 INT (891 rush yards, 8 TD)
With Alabama’s loss to Auburn, Miller now has the Buckeyes in position to play for the national title, at least for the time being. Ohio State has now won 24 straight games and Miller is a major reason why. Despite missing two games this season due to injury, Miller threw for six more touchdowns than in 2012, including 15 in his last six games. Miller has also picked up his game on the ground, rushing for 481 yards and six touchdowns in the past three contests. His five-touchdown performance against Michigan should be remembered for years to come by the Buckeyes faithful, regardless of how the season ends.
5. Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey (Jr.)
Last week (L, 58-21, at Arizona State): 32 attempts, 157 yards, 1 TD
Season: 322 attempts, 1,716 yards, 17 TD (26 receptions, 173 yards, TD)
Carey finished the regular season with yet another impressive performance, and claimed Pac-12 Player of the Year honors despite his team’s struggles. The loss was a huge letdown after Arizona’s win over Oregon, but somewhat expected by such a consistently inconsistent squad. Carey won’t win the Heisman, but his numbers over the past two seasons combined are impressive (more than 4,000 total yards and 42 touchdowns). He won’t win the Heisman, but the Doak Walker Award for the top running back is pretty much a toss-up between him and BC’s Williams.