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College Football Preview: Heisman

Although the past couple of years, the Heisman winner has been a surprise (Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin) it is still tradition to think about what players may be fighting for this year's Heisman. Here are a list of the top contenders:

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel
Since he won it last year it would be silly not to put Johnny Football on this list. Manziel should still be one of the most exciting players in college football and it is reasonable to think that he will improve this year. Although, he didn't have a lot of weaknesses in 2012 and he shredded some of the nation's top defenses, Manziel still made bad decisions and struggled in close games. Other than a pivotal matchup with Alabama on September 14th, the Aggies schedule is pretty
favorable. Other than dates with LSU and Ole Miss, Texas A&M should be able to win easily. If Johnny Manziel performs as well as 2012 and manages to beat the Tide once more another Heisman will be in his hands.

Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten and they should be picked to win every single game this season. They will be favored to go 13-0 and appear in the national championship game meaning Miller will automatically get a lot of hype because he is the quarterback of an undefeated team. Everybody loves a dual threat for a Heisman and Miller is definitely one; he threw for 2,039 yards and ran for 1,271 more. If Miller's passing game continues to develop and the Buckeyes do indeed go undefeated in the regular season, Miller might well be the favorite.

A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Many believe (including me) that the Tide will win their third straight national title this year. If McCarron has the year he had in 2012, 30 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions it will be tough for Heisman voters not to give him the nod. McCarron isn't the exciting, dual threat that Miller and Manziel are but he is still a proven winner who is the leader of the nation's best team. If 'Bama beats Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, McCarron should be the favorite early on the season. The Tide's late-season schedule is relatively easy so if he does become the early favorite, McCarron could ride all the way to a Heisman.

Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The strong-armed quarterback out of Louisville who will likely be the first QB taken in next year's draft, Bridgewater should put up the numbers to sneak into the Heisman race. The question for him will be whether Louisville has the schedule for him to win it. The Cardinals play in the weak American Athletic and even if they do go undefeated it may be tough for them to get into the national championship game. Bridgewater should put up some huge numbers but he may remind some people of Boise's former QB Kellen Moore; a stat machine who doesn't play in enough big games to win the big one.

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
Thomas has the explosiveness and excitement to get votes, especially if Oregon manages to win the Pac-12.

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
If a defensive player is to win the Heisman anytime soon it will likely be Clowney. The massive, athletic end should be a sack machine and an impact player the whole year.

Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Lee had a magical 2012 but Matt Barkley is gone and we still don't know who will be the QB at USC this year. Even if there are QB issues, Lee should still be a playmaker.

2013 Heisman Winner: Braxton Miller

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