Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was among a record-tying six Heisman Trophy finalists revealed Monday, along with Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Auburn’s Tre Mason and Boston College’s Andre Williams.
Six finalists invited to New York for the presentation are the most since 1994. The winner will be announced Saturday.
Winston is the overwhelming favorite to win the award now that a sexual assault complaint against him in Tallahassee, Fla., has been closed without charges being filed.
He could become the second freshman to win the award. Manziel was the first a year ago.
Famous Jameis, like Johnny Football last season, is a redshirt freshman.
While Winston was a lock to be invited, the rest of the field was muddled. Some contenders had late stumbles (Manziel and Lynch), others (Mason and Williams) made late runs.
Manziel will try to join another exclusive Heisman club by becoming the second player to win the award twice. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin won the award in 1974 and ’75. The Aggies’ quarterback is third in the nation in total offense with 368 yards per game.
Lynch led No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-1) to within a victory of a BCS bid and has set the major college record for yards rushing by a quarterback this season with 1,815.
McCarron completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide (11-1).
Mason helped No. 2 Auburn reach the BCS title game, running for 304 yards and four TDs in the SEC championship game. He is ninth in the country in rushing (124 ypg).
Williams is the nation’s leading rusher at 175 yards per game and the 16th player in FBS to run for 2,000 yards in a season.
MCCARRON WINS UNITAS
Alabama’s AJ McCarron won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes to the top senior quarterback.
McCarron completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide this season.
The other finalists were Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch and Georgia’s Aaron Murray.
Kansas State’s Collin Klein won the award last season.
KOETTER VISITS BOISE STATE
Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith says offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has interviewed for the Boise State coach position.
Koetter, a native of Pocatello, Idaho, was Boise State’s coach from 1998-2000. He posted a 26-10 record with the Broncos with back-to-back Humanitarian Bowl wins before six seasons as Arizona State’s coach.
Koetter is in his second season with the Falcons.
The Idaho Statesman first reported Koetter would interview with Boise State, which is looking for a new coach after Chris Petersen was hired by Washington.
Smith offered no details Monday on Koetter’s interview, saying, “I am aware they have had conversations.”
POLICE ARREST ROWDY FANS
East Lansing, Mich., police said at least 15 people were arrested during a rowdy celebration over the weekend after Michigan State’s victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.
The police report said 12 people arrested were students and one was an alumnus. East Lansing police said there were at least 57 fires, especially in a neighborhood of apartments just off campus.
The street scenes occurred early Sunday after the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes and earned a bid to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
Police are offering up to $20,000 for tips that lead to convictions.
ALL-SEC AND BIG 12 TEAMS
Auburn running back Tre Mason was named the All-Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year by The Associated Press.
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn claimed the coaching award, Missouri’s Michael Sam won the defensive player of the year award and Arkansas running back Alex Collins was the top freshman.
In the Big 12, the AP voted Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and Texas defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat offensive and defensive players of the year.
Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff, who was thought to be a potential first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, said he’s staying with the Hawkeyes for his senior season. … Troopers say South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was ticketed for driving his Chrysler 300 110 mph in a 70 mph zone on a South Carolina highway Saturday evening. … Auburn’s Reese Dismukes and Florida State’s Bryan Stork are among the six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best center. The other finalists are Oregon’s Hroniss Grasu, Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard, Utah State’s Tyler Larsen and Arkansas’ Travis Swanson. The winner will be announced Thursday. … The University at Albany hired Greg Gattuso as football coach.