Heisman Watch 2012: Our Ballot After Week 13 is Top Heavy with the SEC

Sam Greenwood

The latest Heisman ballot has a front-runner extending his lead for a potentially historic finish

1) Johnny Manziel: QB, Texas A&M (Last Week: 1st)

By now, it seems that the only way that Johnny Football will not take home the Heisman is if the voters simply refuse to vote for a freshman on principal. He's imply the best player in the nation this year, and had another sensational performance on Saturday. Manziel passed for 372 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 62 yards and two more scores, and delivered a number of jaw-dropping plays in Texas A&M's 59-29 thrashing of Missouri. In the process. His 439 yards of total offense give him 4,600 on the year, breaking Cam Newton's SEC record.

2) Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia (Last Week: 4th)

Just like the rankings have so often been, this ballot is top-heavy with the SEC. Murray had another great game in leading the Bulldogs to yet another win. Murray was efficient in going 14 of 17 for 215 yards and two touchdowns—his 29th and 30th of the year—in the Dawgs' 42-10 dismantling of Georgia Tech, and now Murray is just a win over Alabama in next week's SEC Championship Game from taking his team to the national title game.

3) Manti Te'o: LB, Notre Dame (Last Week: 3rd)

To overcome his "handicap" as a defensive player in what has become an offensive award, Te'o needed a strong performance in the Irish's marquee match-up with USC. He got it. Te'o made five tackles, giving him 103 on the year, and made his seventh interception of the year, which is the second-highest total in the nation.

4) Collin Klein QB, Collin Klein (Last Week Unranked)

He may have needed to take the Wildcats to make a real run at the award, but that doesn't diminish the terrific year that Klein has had. Kansas State was idle this week, and still have a showdown with Texas ahead for Klein to pad his already-impressive Heisman resume: 14 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing and 3,093 yards of total offense.

5) Braxton Miller: QB, Ohio State (Last Week: Unranked)

His team is ineligible for the postseason, but Miller is not banned from postseason award consideration. The dynamic sophomore capped Ohio State's perfect 12-0 year with a win over Michigan, in which he threw for 189 yard and his 15th touchdown of the year and added 57 yards on the ground, giving hims 1,261 for the season.

Darkhorse Spotlight: Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois

Lynch has been on the edges of many of a darkhorse list all season long, and it's easy to see why after another dominant showing. Lynch, who entered the weekend as the nation's second-leading rusher, topped 100 yards on the ground for the 11th straight week, and tossed a touchdown in Northern Illinois' 49-7 win over Eastern Michigan to improve to 11-1 on the year. Lynch now has thrown for 2,918 yards and 25 touchdowns and run for 1,718 and 18 scores.

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