1. Johnny Manziel Qb, Texas A&M
Why he could win: He’s Johnny Football, the most electric player in college football. He makes the kind of splash plays that end up on highlight packages, and he seems to thrive under the spotlight.
Why he won’t: The NCAA investigation into allegations he sold his autograph could throw Manziel’s season into disarray. Plus, it’s hard to repeat as Heisman winner because expectations are so high.
2. Braxton Miller QB, Ohio State
Why he could win: Miller is a perfect dual-threat quarterback in Urban Meyer’s system. Plus, he has the Ohio State PR machine and the Buckeyes should be in national title discussion.
Why he won’t: Manziel’s rushing, passing and touchdown totals were far superior to Miller’s last season. Miller will need to close that gap.
3. Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina
Why he could win: He’s a freakish athlete who created a national buzz with his jarring hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl. Every sack or big hit will get national hype.
Why he won’t: It’s hard for defensive players to win because voters love offensive statistics. Plus, Clowney probably will face constant double teams.
4. AJ McCarron QB, Alabama
Why he could win: He plays quarterback for the best program in college football. He’ll play well, win a lot of games and have Brent Musburger to fawn over his model girlfriend.
Why he won’t: He might not put up video game numbers against stout SEC defenses.
5. Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville
Why he could win: He made big strides last season and should be even better this season. A soft schedule will help, especially if Louisville stays in national title race.
Why he won’t: He doesn’t have the same national profile as the guys ahead of him or play in one of the premier conferences.