Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 1/4/13

I’m not a fan of the bowl system. I’d love an eight-team bracketed playoff to find a true national champion. With the way things are set up now, are teams really feeling that great coming off a win in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl? Doubt it. But one thing that bowl season does do is give a brief spotlight, however dim it might be, on each bowl and its participants one at a time. While it can be about juniors and seniors elevating their draft stock in their final collegiate game, it can also be about a younger crop of players increasing their national notoriety. The best of those players will maintain that spotlight throughout the off-season. Once the 2013 season kicks off this fall, these players will be at the top of the list of front-runners for the most prestigious individual awards in sports: the Heisman Trophy. (NOTE: This list only includes players that have competed in a bowl games through January 2nd. I understand Johnny Manziel will be a Heisman frontrunner, as will the likes of AJ McCarron, Marcus Mariota, and TJ Yeldon and Eddie Lacy, as well as Braxton Miller, who did not play in a bowl game this year. I’ll update the list after the completion of bowl season.) 1) Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina I honestly think that Clowney will begin the year at the top of the Heisman list, and rightfully so. If he were eligible to enter the NFL draft after this season, there’s a very good chance (especially given the weak QB crop) that he could go first overall. Yeah, he might have only had three tackle,s but this play should tell you all you need to know about how good Clowney can be in his upcoming junior season. 2) Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville The Cardinals entered the Sugar Bowl as huge underdogs as champions of the (disrespected…and rightfully so) Big East. Louisville was facing off against Florida, who had been near the top of the rankings all year. Louisville’s defense got the ball rolling with a pick-six on the first play from scrimmage, but then Teddy Bridgewater took command from there, throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-23 win that wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Bridgewater will have the advantage of playing in the weakest “power conference” and could put up some serious stats. 3) Aaron Murray, Georgia I’ve been very impressed with Murray over the last few Bulldogs games, including the SEC championship where Georgia fell just short of toppling Alabama. The senior-to-be came out and had an excellent day against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, throwing for 427 yards and five touchdowns against what was the nation’s top-ranked pass defense. Murray was particularly impressive in the second half, completing 7 of 10 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Bulldogs back from a third-quarter deficit. Georgia loses a few key cogs (namely Jarvis Jones) but should reload enough to contend in the SEC. Murray’s name is already out there and in my opinion, fairly close to a lock to at least head to the Heisman ceremony. 4) Marqise Lee, USC As far as pure talent goes, Lee is right up there with Clowney as having the most of any player in the country. Sure, USC got pounded 33-7 by Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, but you can’t chalk that up to Lee, especially when quarterback Max Wittek completed just 14 of 37 passes. Lee caught nearly half of those, finishing with 6 catches for 41 yards. The numbers don’t pop off the page for the bowl game, but the over 1,700 he had over the course of the season certainly do. It’s incredibly tough for a wide receiver to remain in the Heisman conversation all season long, but in his upcoming junior season, Lee just might have the ability to do so. 5) Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona Carey was a consensus All-America selection at running back for the Wildcats this season, and he could maintain his lead in the overall rushing title if Kenjon Barner is held in check against Kansas State. In the New Mexico Bowl against Nevada, Carey helped lead Arizona to a come-from-behind 49-48 win over the Wolfpack. The junior rushed for 172 yards on 28 carries, including three touchdowns, to give him 1,929 yards on the season. With one more season in RichRod’s spread offense, there’s no reason not to think he couldn’t approach the 2,000 yard plateau again. ***** What other performances from the bowl games thus far have impressed you the most? The post Bowl Games Shed Light on Early 2013 Heisman Frontrunners appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker