Archie Manning: 'I'd vote [McCarron] for the Heisman'

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

AJ McCarron has become a legit Heisman threat in the last few weeks
AJ McCarron has become a legit Heisman threat in the last few weeks. (USATSI)

He's already won two national championships and could win a third this season, but in the last few weeks there's been a lot of talk about another possible award for Alabama's AJ McCarron.

The Heisman Trophy.

Following some poor performances by Heisman contenders last week, along with the uncertainty surrounding Florida State's Jameis Winston, McCarron has heard his name mentioned as a Heisman possibility quite a bit lately. And you can add Archie Manning to the list of names supporting his campaign.

"He's had a Heisman career," Manning told USA Today. "If I had a vote, I'd vote for him for the Heisman."

Well, Archie, if you did have a vote for the Heisman, you'd have just lost it by publicly stating who you'd have voted for. But aside from that, I also think you'd have voted for the wrong player.

Listen, I've long been of the belief that AJ McCarron is actually underrated by most college football fans and analysts. He's been labeled a game manager simply because he's not asked to throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns a game, and he's surrounded by some of the best talent in the country.

Even so, McCarron is never hurting his team's chances, either, and he's capable of doing more if more was actually asked of him.

But he's not a Heisman Trophy winner, I'm sorry. It's not a career award. According to the trophy's official site, the award goes to "the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity."

And while he's been solid this season, nothing about McCarron's 2013 campaign has been outstanding. If you look at the major statistical categories for a quarterback -- yards, touchdowns, rating, yards per attempt -- McCarron doesn't rank higher than tenth in any of them, which is where his 165.13 QB rating puts him this season. Behind guys like Jameis Winston, Bryce Petty, Zach Mettenberger, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater just to name a few.

If you aren't the best player at your own position, how exactly can you be the best player in the country?

If you want to make the Heisman an award given to the quarterback of the best team in the land the last four years, then by all means, vote for McCarron. But if you're actually giving it to the best player in the country, there's no logical argument to be made for him.

 
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