High Fives: QBs crowd the Heisman field - The Buffalo News
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High Fives: QBs crowd the Heisman field

Heisman Hopefuls

Let’s face it, Johnny Manziel allegedly took some dough for memorabilia and his college eligibility is in serious jeopardy, but here are some candidates who are Heisman worthy:

1. Braxton Miller QB, Ohio State

The Buckeyes will finish the regular season unbeaten and he’ll put up Manziel type numbers.

2. Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina

Manti Te’o finished second last year and isn’t nearly as talented as this Julius Peppers clone.

3. AJ McCarron QB, Alabama (below)

Gets overshadowed by the Tide’s destructive defense but had the nation’s highest QB rating.

4. Tajh Boyd QB, Clemson

Pencil him in for 3,800 yards passing and 30 or more touchdowns, which will get him an invitation to New York.

5. Aaron Murray QB, Georgia

Has all the glossy numbers but needs to win a big game or two to warrant serious consideration.

Top five players on EA Sports NCAA Football 14

Because of licensing issues, this could be the final edition of the long-running and popular video game

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

2. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

4. De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon

5. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

Five coaches on the way up

These coaches will be running a BCS program soon:

1. Brian Polian, Nevada: Recruited well for Notre Dame, Stanford and Texas A&M.

2. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois: Will follow in the footsteps of Jerry Kill (Minnesota) and Dave Doeren (N.C. State).

3. Bryan Harsin, Arkansas State: Boise State posted a 61-5 record, including two undefeated seasons with Harsin running the offense.

4. Matt Campbell, Toledo: Won nine games in his first season and is the second-youngest coach in the FBS.

5. Ron Caragher, San Jose State: Led FCS San Diego to three league championships in six seasons.

Five coaches on the hot seat

Win now. Or else?

1. Lane Kiffin, USC: What did he do to deserve the Trojans job in the first place?

2. Charlie Weis, Kansas: Mr. Charlie ­–1-11 in his first year ­– was an upgrade over Turner Gill?

3. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: Since Ferentz signed an extension in 2010 worth more than $37 million, the Hawkeyes are .500 overall and 10-14 in the Big Ten.

4. Mack Brown, Texas: Brown continues to sign top prospects but the last three seasons have not been pretty.

5. Bo Pelini, Nebraska: Pelini is supposed to be a defensive guru but giving up 70 points to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game is troubling.

Five sons of famous fathers: The apple doesn’t fall far ...

1. Alston Smith, DT, Virginia Tech (Bruce Smith): Third-string on the depth chart as a redshirt freshman.

2. Barry Sanders Jr., RB, Stanford (Barry Sanders): Redshirt freshman is competing for time at tailback.

3. Nick Montana, QB, Tulane (Joe Montana): Transferred from Washington.

4. Trey Griffey, WR, Arizona (Ken Griffey Jr.): Has great hand-eye coordination like his dad. And grandfather.

5. Jesse Bongiovi, CB, Notre Dame (Jon Bon Jovi): Walk-on is said to be a big hitter.

Five best NFL prospects

Sundays can’t come soon enough

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Will be a double-digit sack threat from Day One.

2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Last year’s Big East Player of the Year.

4. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: Has added 50 lbs. since his senior year in high school.

5. Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA: Former RB picked up LB responsibilities quickly.

Five toughest schedules

No easy W’s for these programs:

1. Kentucky: First-year coach Mark Stoops is in for a rough ride opening with Western Kentucky followed by state rival Louisville, last year’s Big East champ, and that’s before they step into the SEC against Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Combined 2012 record of opponents: 103-50.

2. Arkansas: Bret Bielema has no sympathy for Stoops with non-conference games vs. Louisiana Lafayette and at Rutgers before a pitiless four-game stretch vs. Texas A&M, at Florida, vs. South Carolina and at ’Bama. Combined 2012 record of opponents: 99-54.

3. Purdue: Former Kent State coach Darrell Hazell has his work cut out for him opening up the nonleague schedule at Cincinnati, then home games against Notre Dame and defending MAC champion Northern Illinois. Purdue hosts Nebraska and Ohio State but hits the road for Michigan State and Wisconsin. Combined 2012 record of opponents: 96-56.

4. Cal: Sonny Dykes, yet another first-year coach, starts with two Big Ten teams in Northwestern and Ohio State before the Pac 12 portion kicks in at Oregon. There’s Arizona, Oregon State and USC at home but they play UCLA and Stanford on the road. Combined 2012 record of opponents: 93-60.

5. Florida: The Gators finally play at Miami and SEC road trips at LSU and South Carolina will be just as challenging as will the trip to Jacksonville to face Georgia. Florida State’s trip to The Swamp could have BCS ramifications.

Five who could emerge

These squads could break through in the national title picture.

1. Fresno State: Bulldogs will get another big season from QB Derek Carr.

2. Arizona State: You will hear about the talents of QB Taylor Kelly soon.

3. Northwestern: 15 starters return and the offense is just plain frightening.

4. Northern Illinois: Another trip to a BCS bowl is in the cards.

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