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Best Heisman: Manziel, Winston, or Mariota?

The last three years have graced us with 3 fantastic Heisman winning Quarterbacks, but who is the best?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The last three Quarterbacks to win the Heisman have been very special, but which has been the most spectacular? Fresh off the presentation of the 2014 Heisman trophy, its hard not to compare the newest winner to those who preceded him in winning college football's most coveted award.




Pass yds

Pass TD


Comp %

Rush yds

Rush TD

Johnny Manziel







Jameis Winston







Marcus Mariota








Team wins and overall impact to their team's success



Best Win

2nd Best win

3rd Best win

Best Performance

2nd Best Performance

Worst Performance

Johnny Manziel


#1 Alabama

#12 Oklahoma

#17 Miss St

29-38 453 yds 3 TD 0 int 114 rush yds 1 TD


22-34 287 yds 2 TD 1 int

229 rush yds

2 TD


29-56 276 yds 0 TD 3 int 27 rush yds

L 24-19 LSU

Jameis Winston


#2 Auburn

# 3 Clemson

# 7 Miami

25-27 356 yds 4 TD 0 int 25 rush yds 1 TD


22-34 444 yds 3 TD 1 int

7 rush yds 1 TD


21-29 325 yds 1 TD 2 int

27 rush yds

W Miami 41-14

Marcus Mariota


#7 MSU

#12 AZ

#14 UCLA

19-25 367 yds, 4 TD 0 int

39 rush yds, 2 TD Ore St

21-25 339 yds, 5 TD, 0 int

58 rush yds

Wash St

20-32 276 yd 2 TD o int

1 rush yd

L AZ 31-24

The season finishes are very different for each of the three years. A&M had one of its best seasons in its first year with Manziel, first year with Coach Kevin Sumlin, and first year in the SEC. They finished 11-2 with a win in the cotton bowl and a #5 ranking in the AP poll. A&M had a very lackluster defense at times and Manziel had an incredibly positive impact on the team.

Jameis Winston led Florida St to the national championship and one of the most dominant college football seasons in recent history. They were undefeated and destroyed the competition all year long, and Winston was undoubtedly the key to this success.

Oregon's finish remains to be season, and Winston can have something to say about how well Mariota's Heisman season finishes. If they do win, the Ducks will have completed their first national championship of this era where they have been incredibly close every year for the past 5.

The Verdict

So some solid facts in the analysis of the Heisman winners' stats. Winston had the most passing yards. Manziel had the most total offense (about 900 more than 3rd place Winston). Mariota had the most Total TDs, completion percentage, and least interceptions. Best Individual performers: 1. Marcus Mariota 2. Johnny Manziel 3. Jameis Winston

Now for the analysis on their overall impact on their teams' success. Winston gets the national title, although it was with an incredible defense that gave us just 12 ppg. Manziel led A&M despite a mediocre defense, in their first year in the SEC, which was by far the best conference. Mariota's impact was huge, leading his team to the playoff despite a less-than-fantastic defense. In the end, Winston was incredibly valuable to that offense, and Mariota was a part of a program that has been stellar even before his coming. This race is much closer though than the individual stats comparison 1. Jameis Winston 2. Johnny Manziel 3. Marcus Mariota

My final take? I am inclined to go with Marcus Mariota. His TD-int ratio is off the charts and he has the best balance of the three of a pure passer and a talented scrambler. In the end it's tough to pass up on that 19:1 ratio.