Heisman Watch: Mariota falls behind Manziel and Winston

Ben Fisher,

11/11/2013 12:46:06 PM

Marcus Mariota lost some ground last week with his bye; he may be entirely out of the Heisman Race after this week.

After Mariota was pushed around by Stanford on Thursday, finishing 20/34 with 250 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon's Title hope-crushing defeat, he's going to need a poor performance or two from the remaining frontrunners to have a shot at the most coveted individual trophy in college sports.

The remaining frontrunners of course being Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston.

While there is some considerable Heisman momentum in Winston's corner through 11 weeks, is sticking with Manziel as the lead dog.

Manziel put up another monster performance in accounting for at least five touchdowns for the 10th time in his relatively short college career. The defending Heisman winner's stat line can't be touched by any of the other contenders with just four weeks left until conference championships. He has 39 combined scores on the year, eight short of his 47 from last year.

What keeps Winston in the race is Texas A&M's two losses on the season, Manziel's three interceptions against Mississippi State this week, and of course, Oregon's loss putting Florida State in pole position to take on Alabama in the BCS National Championship.

Two days after the Ducks saw their National Title hopes fade, Winston and the now second-ranked Florida State cruised by Wake Forest with 159 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Seminoles have three bird matchups to round out the regular season with Syracuse, Idaho, and a now very mediocre-looking Florida squad on rivalry weekend; a great stretch for Winston to catch up to Manziel in the stat lines.

Someone else to keep your eye on is Baylor QB Bryce Petty. Lache Seastrunk had his name known in this column earlier this year but his teammate has passed him in the Heisman race of late. The Bears have continued to impress me all season and while Petty is still a fringe candidate through 11 weeks, what makes him a player to watch is Baylor's remaining schedule.

The fifth-ranked Bears still have huge games against Oklahoma State and Texas to decide the Big 12. If Petty continues to look good and Baylor finishes the year undefeated, that's two potential statement games that could go a long way come Heisman voting time.

To go from Robert Griffin to Bryce Petty, it's a good time to be a Baylor Bears fan.