Heisman watch: House of Sparky's midseason balloting

Marcus Mariota is the midseason favorite to win the 2013 Heisman. - Steve Dykes

Our staff give their midseason picks for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Memorial Trophy is the most sacred award in college football, given out annually to the most outstanding player in the sport. There are currently eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who won the Heisman in college, including Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen and Roger Staubach.

This year's crop includes the leader of perhaps the fastest offense in the nation, a freshman who has taken college football by storm and the man who captured the trophy last year. Find out who the candidates are and what our midseason Heisman ballots look like.

The Candidates

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (123-197, 2,501 YDS, 19 TD, 0 INT, 493 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns)

Mariota seems to be the Heisman favorite through eight weeks of the college football season. The Oregon signal caller has been dynamic for an Oregon team that is averaging 57.6 points per game. Mariota committed his first turnover of the year last week when he fumbled against Washington State and has 27 total touchdowns in 2013.

The sophomore has a 62% completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 181.7 through seven games. Mariota has thrown just one interception in his last 14 games, with 36 touchdown passes in that span. Mariota will be tested the next two weeks, as Oregon faces UCLA and Stanford.

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (159-217, 2,289 YDS, 18 TD, 7 INT, 486 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns0

The reigning Heisman trophy winner is making a strong case to be the first two-time winner of the award since Archie Griffin. Manziel is completing 73% of his passes and threw five touchdown passes against Alabama. Manziel's three best statistical games of the season have come against Alabama, Ole Miss and Auburn.

Texas A&M ranks fifth in the nation in passing yards and fourth in points per game. The sophomore has a chance to feast in his next three games, as Texas A&M faces, Vanderbilt, UTEP, and Mississippi State.

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd (140-222, 1939 YDS, 16 TD, 4 INT, 195 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns)

Boyd started off the season with three touchdowns in a victory over Georgia and didn't throw an interception until his fifth game of the season. Boyd led the Tigers to an undefeated record and a top three ranking through the first seven weeks. However, that all came crashing down last Saturday when Clemson lost 51-14 at home to Florida State.

Boyd is completing 63% of his passes and has a quarterback rating of 156.6 on the season. The senior faces an easier slate in his next four games before facing South Carolina to end the season.

Florida State QB Jameis Winston (112-157, 1,885 YDS, 20 TD, 3 INT, 137 rushing yards three rushing touchdowns)

The freshman sensation appropriately nicknamed "Famous Jameis" has taken the college football world by storm this season. Winston hast thrown at least two touchdowns in each game this season, including three in a dominant victory over Clemson last week.

Winston does not have the rushing yards of Mariota or Manziel. Instead, he has a 210.4 quarterback rating and a win over a top three team on the road. Winston has Florida State at No. 2 in the initial BCS rankings and if the Seminoles can get past Miami in two weeks, they have a good chance to run the table.

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater (154-214, 2,213 YDS, 20 TD, 2 INT, 44 rushing yards, zero rushing touchdowns)

Bridgewater is the odds-on favorite to be picked first in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has all the tools that NFL scouts are looking for and has been nearly perfect this season. In his first four gams of 2013, Bridgewater threw 14 touchdowns and just one interception.

However, Bridgewater has slowed down as the season has gone on, throwing six touchdowns in his last three games. Louisville fell to UCF last week despite him throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

The Ballots

Kerry Crowley

  1. Marcus Mariota
  2. Jameis Winston
  3. Johnny Manziel
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Bryce Petty
Cody Ulm
  1. Mariota
  2. Manziel
  3. Winston
  4. Boyd
  5. Bridgewater
Ben Haber
  1. Mariota
  2. Sean Mannion
  3. Winston
  4. McCarron
  5. Bridgewater
NIck Kruger
  1. Manziel
  2. Mariota
  3. Winston
  4. McCarron
  5. Bridgewater
Mauricio Casillas
  1. Mariota
  2. Winston
  3. Manziel
  4. Mannion
  5. Marion Grice
Ryan Bafaloukos
  1. Mariota
  2. Winston
  3. Manziel
  4. Boyd
  5. Mannion
It's your turn Sun Devil fans, drop us a comment in the section below and tell us what your midseason Heisman ballot looks like.
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