Heisman Trophy Watch: Why Marcus Mariota is Not No. 1

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Nov 29, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) scores on a touchdown pass in the third quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2. Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver, Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 8-0)

Last Game: 13 Receptions for 224 Yards and 3 Touchdowns

2014 Season: 103 Receptions for 1,573 Yards and 14 Touchdowns

If you were asking who we’d put ahead of Marcus Mariota, well, we can start here. Amari Cooper also passes the numbers test and having his team in championship contention test. Yes, we know he is a receiver. But Cooper’s performance this year at receiver has been one of the best in history.

And his performance against the Auburn Tigers was a shining moment.

Unlike Mariota, Cooper has come through in the biggest games and in the most crucial moments. In a game where the Tide were down by two scores to the Auburn Tigers, Cooper managed to finish with 3 touchdowns and 224 receiving yards. Maybe I’m missing something, but shouldn’t the Heisman Trophy winner prove that he can perform at the highest level? Cooper has done that on a much more regular basis than Mariota.

Even the loss to Ole Miss wasn’t Cooper’s fault, as he had 9 receptions for 91 yards. He had more than 80 yards and a touchdown in huge wins against Mississippi State and LSU. And he also has three games with more than 200 receiving yards on the year.

That’s all we need to know to put him ahead of Mariota for now, although this could change depending on how both play this weekend.

Next: No. 1 Ranked Heisman Candidate