The 9 Candidates That Have Worked Their Way To The Top Of The Heisman Trophy Conversation

Collin Klein

Photo: Getty Images/Brett Deering

It’s been an absurd season in the Heisman Trophy raceAt the beginning of the season the consensus was that Matt Barkley, Denard Robinson and Montee Ball were the biggest threats to take home college football’s highest honour, but only one of those has a shot at this point in the season.

Several less prominent players have profited from a largely unpredictable season across college football to grab some attention.

We’ve assembled a list of the players that have earned the chance to win the honour and where they stand in the race at this point in the season.

DARKHORSE: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Quarterback

He's the SEC's leader in total offence, but the freshman's performance against LSU has put his Heisman credentials on the back burner. He'll need huge performances against Mississippi State and Alabama to regain support.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 157/246, 1,965 yards, 14 TDs, 6 INTs

108 rushes, 703 yards, 10 TDs

DARKHORSE: Seth Doege, Texas Tech Quarterback

Doege is a player that remains off several Heisman lists despite everything he's accomplished for the Red Raiders this season. Doege has thrown the most touchdowns in the nation and has Texas Tech at 6-1. A win over Kansas State on the road this weekend could launch his stock skyward.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 189/267, 2,209 yards, 28 TDs, 7 INTs

(No significant rushing stats)

DARKHORSE: Matt Barkley, USC Quarterback

The loss to Stanford, where he failed to throw a touchdown pass and had two interceptions, will remain a bruise on Barkley's chances. In a season where USC was expected to run the table, Barkley will need to remain unblemished from here on out to have a shot at the Heisman.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 140/213, 1,773 yards, 22 TDs, 6 INTs

(No significant rushing stats)

IN THE HUNT: Manti Te'o, Notre Dame Linebacker

The play of the Notre Dame defence is a major reason why the Irish are undefeated and No. 5 in the country, and Te'o serves as the catalyst on that side of the ball. A defensive player hasn't won the Trophy since Michigan's Charles Woodson in 1997, though.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 69 tackles, 4 INTs, 7 Pass Deflections, 2 Fumble Recoveries

IN THE HUNT: AJ McCarron, Alabama Quarterback

McCarron's numbers aren't flashy and he's supported by a great defence, but it's time we recognise him for what he brings to the table. He plays error-free football, is a great game manager and has the Tide in the No. 1 spot for a school-record eigthth straight week.

Season Totals : 106/154, 1,476 yards, 16 TDs, 0 INTs

(No significant rushing stats)

IN THE HUNT: Braxton Miller, Ohio State Quarterback

Ohio State was dealt a serious scare when Miller's head bounced off the turf in the third quarter against Purdue this weekend. It seems he should be fine after being taken to the hospital.

His Heisman hopes have never been higher after leading the Buckeyes to an impressive 8-0 start.

Season Totals (eight gms.): 105/179, 1,384 yards, 11 TDs, 5 INTs

141 carries, 959 yards, 10 TDs

IN THE HUNT: Geno Smith, West Virginia Quarterback

Two weeks ago, Smith looked like an all-odds favourite to win the Heisman, but then West Virginia hit the gauntlet of its Big 12 schedule. Smith still has a strong shot, but after two pedestrian starts against Texas Tech and Kansas State his chances have taken a step back.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 216/291, 2,414 yards, 24 TDs, 2 INTs

35 rushes, 56 yards, 1 TD

IN THE HUNT: Kenjon Barner, Oregon Running Back

Barner is the focal point of Oregon's juggernaut offensive attack and has the numbers to prove it. He has four games in which he's scored two touchdowns or more and has the same number of 100-yard games for second-ranked Ducks.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 132 carries, 870 yards, 12 TDs

11 catches, 111 yards, 1 TD

FRONTRUNNER: Collin Klein, Kansas State Quarterback

Klein has Kansas State on the path to the national title game should one of the giants slip up, and no one even saw the Wildcats coming. He scored seven(!) total touchdowns against West Virginia last Saturday. He's the most valuable player in the country right now.

Season Totals (seven gms.): 98/139, 1,397 yards, 10 TDs, 2 INTs

110 rushes, 551 yards, 14 TDs

Now learn more about last year's Heisman Trophy winner

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