Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM
THE JIM SEZ MID-WEEK REPORT: HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST IS HERE PLUS THURSDAY’S #19 LOUISVILLE AT CINCY PREVIEW
By Jim Hurley
Let’s concentrate solely on the college kids on this first Jim Sez Mid-Week Report of the month and we’ll kick it off with the Heisman Trophy race:
THE JIM SEZ HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST!
We’re back with the latest Installment of the 2013 Heisman Trophy Watch List where we offer up our top five weekly contenders for college football’s most coveted individual award.
Note that we’ve really had a couple of major shakeups in recent weeks and so follow the bouncing ball below – but our leader has stayed the same for the past four weeks now.
1 -- JAMEIS WINSTON, QB, FLORIDA STATE – Suffice to say all the off-the-field issues facing this redshirt frosh could kayo him from the race for the bronzed trophy, but we’ll base things solely on his play here, and how could you say anything but Winston is the runaway leader right now? Last weekend’s 327-yard, 3-TD showing in the 37-7 win at Florida marked Winston’s latest magic as he has now thrown for 3,490 yards with 35 TDs and 8 INTs while completing nearly 69 percent of his passes. P.S., Florida State’s number one at 12-and-oh.
2 – JORDAN LYNCH, QB, NORTHERN ILLINOIS – Gotta say that this Mid-American Conference mega-star is firmly in control of the number two spot in the Heisman Trophy race while heading into Friday’s MAC Championship Game against Bowling Green. The sheer numbers don’t tell the whole story, but Jordan’s thrown for 2,457 yards with 22 TDs and he’s run for 1,755 yards with 20 scores. A great college player.
3 – AJ McCARRON, QB, ALABAMA – We’ll keep this two-time national champ signal-caller in the third spot despite his team’s epic collapse in last weekend’s Iron Bowl in which he threw three touchdowns including a 99-yarder than was a true “Heisman moment” for sure. On the year, McCarron’s posted 2,676 yards passing with 26 TDs and 5 INTs – truth is we probably would not have pushed McCarron past Lynch even if ‘Bama had beaten Auburn, but right at this moment we only give ‘em about a 10 percent chance to win the award.
4 – JOHNNY MANZIEL, QB, TEXAS A&M – Truth is there’s slim pickings for these spots below the 1-2-3 guys, but last year’s Heisman Trophy winner still has enough goodies on his docket with 3,732 yards passing and 33 TD chucks, and if you’re keeping a career track then note “Johnny Football” has 59 TD passes and 7,438 yards passing in two years … not bad.
5 – KA’DEEM CAREY, RB, ARIZONA – First time we’re inserting this U of A star in our Heisman Trophy Top Five, and we realize his team does come off a humbling 58-21 loss to Arizona State last holiday weekend. Still, Carey has rushed for 1,716 yards with 17 TDs this year while averaging a haughty 5.3 yards per carry.
Note: Don’t get left out in the cold – win all week and cash in big with both Football and Basketball when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network either here online at www.vegassportsmasters.com or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155.
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ACC Duke vs. Florida State (-29) on ESPN
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Now, here’s the NCAA Football Thursday Night preview …
#19 LOUISVILLE (10-1, 6-1 AAC) at CINCINNATI (9-2, 6-1 AAC) – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Gotta love what they play for here in this next-door neighbor rivalry game … the Keg of Nails trophy!
Hey, it could be the last time these teams play for that award as Louisville is going to be one-and-done in this newfangled American Athletic Conference (the Redbirds are ACC-bound, you know) but the really high stakes are these:
Each of these teams could earn a share of the conference crown with a win here and a UCF loss at SMU this Saturday, and keep in mind Cincy still has a shot to get a BCS bowl berth with a “W” here and a UCF loss and a higher poll ranking.
If Tommy Tuberville’s team wishes to take a 30-22-1 all-time series lead here, then slowing down Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater is a must as last year the Card slinger threw for 416 yards with two TDs in a wild 34-31 home win as PK John Wallace boomed a 30-yard field goal as the clock struck all zeroes.
Bridgewater fell out of the Heisman Trophy race early this year, but keep in mind his 2013 numbers include 3,268 yards passing with 25 TDs and only 3 picks.
Cincinnati – believe it or not – is the 16th-ranked passing offense in the land (averaging 314.7 ypg) while Bridgewater’s team is ranked 18th nationally aerial-wise (307.3 ypg), and so keep an eye on Bearcats QB Brandon Kay (2,797 yards passing with 22 TDs).
Hey, don’t sleep on these defenses:
The ‘Ville ranks second among FBS teams in total “D” while allowing his 242.5 yards per game while Cincinnati ranks eighth nationally in total defense (302.4 ypg).
Spread Notes – Louisville is a money-burning 4-7 ATS (against the spread) this season and note the Cardinals enter this prime-time game having gone just 2-4-1 vig-wise in their last seven head-to-head battles against Cincinnati. Did you know the Bearcats – 6-5 against the odds this season – are a solid 8-3 ATS at home since late in the 2011 campaign?