SEC Heisman Candidates: Five players poised to strike the pose

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Dec 30, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the 1968 Heisman Trophy of Southern California Trojans tailback O.J. Simpson (not pictured) at Heritage Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With football season around the corner, we take a look at the early SEC candidates to win the Heisman Trophy. No one will judge you if you strike your own Heisman pose as you read the article. Well, except maybe your co-workers or roommate.

The SEC has been represented four times in the last ten years by the Heisman Trophy winner. The last time the SEC had a Heisman winner was in 2012 when Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel won the award.

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It is hard to imagine now, but his Heisman acceptance speech was essentially his first “interview” as the team had not permitted Manziel to do any interviews during his freshman season. Since the reality show known as “Johnny Football” was unleashed, the SEC has had finalists but no winners.

In 2013, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron came in a distant second to Jameis Winston. Last season, Alabama sent wide receiver Amari Cooper to New York. Cooper finished third in voting after Marcus Mariota and Melvin Gordon. Shortly after, Cooper traded his crimson jersey for the Oakland Raiders’ silver and black.

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All this brings us to 2015 and has us wondering which players in the SEC have the best chance of winning the Heisman Trophy. As we begin the process of narrowing down the players, there are a few guidelines that are helpful to remember. The first thing to consider is if a player is not a quarterback or a running back there is almost as good of a chance of winning the lottery as winning the Heisman.

The last player to not play one of these two positions was in 1997 when Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson won the award. Woodson winning the award was even more rare as only a few defensive players have won the award throughout its history.

Secondly, within the last two years a running back has only won the award twice. The Heisman website has apparently erased 2005. However, I remember Reggie Bush winning the award no matter what the NCAA tells me.

This does put the SEC at a bit of a disadvantage as there could be as many as eight new starting quarterbacks in the conference. Young quarterbacks like Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston are exceptions to the rule and not the norm. Most times it takes a quarterback a season to get fully accustomed to playing at the collegiate level.

Finally, as you consider the best quarterbacks and running backs in the conference, keep in mind that the award almost always goes to a player on one of the best teams in the country. If you rack up a lot of yards on a sub-par team you might get an invite to New York City as a finalist, but you are not winning the award.

These are the five SEC players I believe have the best chance of winning the Heisman trophy. What are yours? Leave a comment, tweet me or send pigeons to let me know who you have on the list.

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