Heisman intrigue is merely in margin

While Williams was the BC offense, Lynch for two years has been Northern Illinois football, nearly leading the MAC power to a second consecutive BCS bowl game. The term we're going to adopt to describe his numbers is "stupendous." As in: 1,881 yards rushing and 2,676 yards passing with 45 total touchdowns, 23 coming through the air. On the downside, the Huskies lost the MAC title game to Bowling Green and the competition Lynch has faced wasn't stellar.

Manziel certainly faced rugged competition, and he often looked like a more refined quarterback this year compared with his swashbuckling redshirt freshman season. But, although he provided a steady supply of spectacular plays, his rushing numbers were down and his interception total went up. Further, there was no marquee win as there was last year at Alabama. The Aggies lost all four of their games against ranked teams.

Winston? His numbers are exceptional. He set FBS freshman records for passing yards (3,820) and touchdown passes (38) while the Seminoles dominated every team on their schedule, averaging 53 points per game.

Winston was not on the preseason Heisman radar as a first-year starter. He eclipsed early-season favorite Tajh Boyd when he led the Seminoles to a 51-14 road stomping of Boyd's Clemson team on Oct. 19, throwing three touchdown passes in the process. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota had a midseason surge in most Heisman polls, but, when the Ducks lost at Stanford on Nov. 7 with an injured Mariota playing poorly, Winston became the front-runner.

Although Winston's route to New York and the bronze statue wasn't straight, it's a near certainty he'll become the 58th winner of the award. The only intrigue is by what margin. And perhaps who'll finish second.

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