Comparing Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston statistically (stats from espn.com):
|Marcus Mariota||56||511||9.1||71 (TD)||9|
Team Record: Oregon 8-0, ranked #2 Florida State 8-0, ranked #3 (BCS standings come out at 5:30 on ESPN and the Seminoles are likely to pass the Ducks).
Notable wins: Winston, 51-14 over #3 Clemson, 41-14 over #7 Miami; Mariota 45-24 over #16 Washington, 42-14 over #12 UCLA (all rankings at the time of the matchup).
Points separate FSU and UO in the BCS. They’ve been leap-frogging each other every week, depending on the strength of their matchups and game results. The Seminoles hold an edge right now after their wins over Clemson and Miami. Miami doesn’t face another ranked team and could finish 11-1, strengthening perceptions for the Noles. Clemson travels to South Carolina on November 30th.
Pitching a shutout: Famous Jameis Winston has captured the imagination of football fans with his uncommon poise and maturity in big games as a redshirt freshman, but out West, Marcus Mariota has been doing the same thing for two years. The last non-USC player to win a Heisman from the West was Jim Plunkett in 1971.
In the complex calculation of the BCS, it’s not just who you’ve beaten, it’s who your victims have beaten. Oddly, it puts Oregon fans in the position of rooting for Washington, UCLA and Stanford to win the remainder of their games.
Both Florida State and the Ducks face a potential conference championship game, a last opportunity to impress the BCS voters and computers. Baylor doesn’t have one. Ohio State doesn’t faced another currently-ranked team until the Big Ten title game, where #18 Michigan State awaits.
In the Heisman race, Mariota has to fight perception. He is so cool and even-keel he doesn’t appear to be a leader; Winston is more outward and vocal–there are all these closeups of him firing up his team or giving direction. The Florida State qb is more flamboyant, and the Seminole attack features more downfield passing. With three big, tall, fast outside receivers, the Nole’s offense creates a lot of opportunities for him to make big highlight film plays as a passer.
Mariota has the decided edge of being a much more productive runner. The last five quarterbacks to win the Heisman have been dual-threat qbs; the last pocket passer to win was Sam Bradford.
The Winston highlight reel:
Marcus Mariota at midseason: