The 2013 Heisman race is in full swing, and it looks like we have a clearer picture of who voters will be deciding between. If you missed it earlier this week, Fox completely snubbed Johnny Manziel by not placing him in their Heisman Watch graphic. Other analysts and talking heads out there are also starting to dismiss him as a potential Heisman candidate, and I just can't understand why.
I decided to take this year's Heisman hopefuls and stack them up statistically against all Heisman winning QB's since 1992. This includes all-time greats like Cam Newton and Carson Palmer, and in 2001 the nation was so locked in to the burgeoning war against terror that they just kind of gave a Heisman to Eric Crouch.
Here's what 2013's current ballot looks like:
- Johnny Manziel - Because no one puts Johnny in the corner
- Jameis Winston - Potentially the next Freshman Heisman winner
- Bryce Petty - He's been playing Baylor Bold, which believe it or not, is a good thing apparently
- AJ McCarron - Because he's earned it over his body of work, or some other similarly dumb argument
- Derek Carr - Because I hate his brother so much that I feel bad for him
Here is where each of these guys stack up in major passing categories:
|Passing Categories Rankings|
Johnny Manziel rules the roost here. If he keeps up his current track, he'll wind up with the best completion percentage of any Heisman winning QB in the last 20 years. Pretty spiffy for a running, scrambling QB huh narrative creators?
Bryce Petty on the other hand has been completing 2/3rds of his throws, which would put him in the Troy Smith / Cam Newton / Mett Leinart range.
If somehow Derek Carr won the Heisman, which is completely ludicrous given the fact that he will have played no top 25 opponents, he would wind up with the most total passing yards out of this grouping with a projected 4941 yards.
Manziel, Petty and Winston all get bunched together here all pushing up towards the 4000 passing yard mark with only 10 yards separating Petty and Manziel, and Winston not far behind.
Adjusted Yards per Passing Attempt (AY/A)
I glossed over just the generic yards per attempt and jumped straight to AY/A. This is a number that factors in yards, attempts, touchdowns and interceptions. Right now, Winston and Petty would be up at the top of the list, only being split by Robert Griffin III. Johnny Manziel, as prolific as he has been as a passer, would wind up bunched around Cam Newton and Tim Tebow. AJ McCarron and Derek Carr are further down this list primarily because of the number of passing attempts they have, or total TD's that they contribute to their team's success.
Touchdowns and yards are the meaty stats that everyone can wrap their brains around and start applying all kinds of logical and illogical analysis to. If everything stayed on pace, Jamies Winston with 38 and Johnny Manziel with 37, edge out RG3's 36 passing TD's. Derek Carr would end up with 46, only 2 TD's behind Sam Bradford.
Bryce Petty and AJ McCarron are on pace to be best on this list. Bryce Petty, if he only wound up with 2 INT's, would be doing a phenomenal job. Unfortunately he is just hitting the meat of his schedule now, so I don't expect these numbers to hold up.
Manziel on the other hand would be tied for last place on this list with Danny Wuerffel at 13 INTs. It would still be hard to discredit him based on this, considering Jameis Winston would be sitting there in Eric Crouch land with 10 INTs.
Based on passer rating (essentially passing efficiency) Bryce Petty, Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel would all be putting up monster numbers that would have them at or near the top of this list.
Here is where each of these guys stack up in major rushing categories:
|Rushing Category Rankings|
Johnny Manziel is on pace to be in the top 5 list in all rushing categories for QB's over the last 20 years. Again. The person currently sitting in the top 5 that he would knock out by placing his name in there twice? Robert Griffin III. That's a heck of an accomplishment.
Bryce Petty has gotten some sneaks to put him up there in TD's, but everyone else in this list would be considered an average rusher at best. No one has wheels like Manziel.
AJ McCarron would be at the bottom of this list with -32 rushing yards.
The stats tossed around the most are total yards and TD's Here is where everyone winds up in those categories:
|Name||Total Yards||Total TD|
Derek Carr would be at the top of the list with over 5000 total yards. Yards come cheap in the MWC.
Johnny Manziel on the other hand would be third on this list if he kept on pace and wound up with 4,709 yards. He would also be 4th in TD's.
As far as total yards and TD's go, any of the candidates available would be good picks except for AJ McCarron. He is far behind the pack in offensive contribution based on these data points.
There have only been two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks in the last 20 years who have played 3 or less AP Top 25 teams during the regular season. Matt Leinart played 2, and Eric Crouch played 3. Bryce Petty and Jameis Winston will both 3 this year, Derek Carr will play 0, and both AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel will play 4.
Only 4 quarterbacks who won the Heisman in the last 20 years were completely undefeated after their regular season and conference championship games: Gino Torretta, Matt Leinart, Troy Smith and Cam Newton.
Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, Tim Tebow and Carson Palmer all won the Heisman Trophy with 2 or more losses.
Over 5% of Eric Crouch's pass attempts wound up as Interceptions. This is mind numbing.
If I had to pick between AJ McCarron and Derek Carr to win the Heisman, I would do a write-in for Eric Crouch.
Full Stat Table
|Year||Name||School||Pos||Class||Cmp||Att||Pct||Yds||Y/A||AY/A||TD||Int||Rate||Att||Yds||Avg||TD||Total Yds||Total TD||INT/A %||Opp||W||L||T|
|1992||Gino Torretta||Miami (Fla)||QB||Sr.||228||402||56.7||3060||7.6||7.8||19||7||132.8||34||-24||-0.7||0||3036||19||1.74%||4||11||0||0|
|1993||Charlie Ward||Florida State||QB||Sr.||264||380||69.5||3032||8||8.9||27||4||157.8||65||339||5.2||4||3371||31||1.05%||6||11||1||0|
|2000||Chris Weinke||Florida State||QB||Sr.||266||431||61.7||4167||9.7||10.1||33||11||163.1||30||-97||-3.2||1||4070||34||2.55%||4||11||1||0|
|2006||Troy Smith||Ohio State||QB||Sr.||199||297||67||2507||8.44||9.7||30||5||167.9||62||233||3.76||1||2740||31||1.68%||4||12||0||0|
|2011||Robert Griffin III||Baylor University||QB||Jr.||267||369||72.4||3998||10.8||12.1||36||6||192.3||161||644||4||9||4642||45||1.63%||4||9||3||0|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||QB||Fr.||273||400||68.3||3706||9.27||9.57||24||8||161.9||184||1181||6.42||19||4887||43||2.00%||5||10||2||0|
|2013||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||QB||Sop||276||378||73||3976||10.5||10.9||37||13||186.8||132||733||5.55||12||4709.2||49||3.44%||4||8||2||0|
|2013||Bryce Petty||Baylor University||QB||Jr.||203||303||67||3986||13.2||15||32||2||211||66||177||2.68||12||4163||44||0.66%||3||8||0||0|
|2013||Jameis Winston||Florida State||QB||Fr.||240||347||69.2||3844||11.1||12||38||10||192.6||77||227||2.95||4||4071||42||2.88%||3||9||0||0|
|2013||Derek Carr||Fresno State||QB||Sr.||467||672||69.5||4941||7.35||8.32||46||6||152.1||45||113||2.51||3||5054||49||0.89%||0||9||0||0|