Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o. (Jeff Haynes, Rueters)

The lone problem with the Heisman Watch is it's less reliable than a $50 Rolex purchased on the sidewalks of New York. Heck, I'm so old I remember when USC quarterback Matt Barkley was a lock to win the most famous trophy in American sports. And when did it become a prerequisite for the Heisman winner to play for a national title contender, an unofficial rule that stuck us with Gino Torretta and Mark Ingram?

But, for all its flaws, I love Heisman.

This year's race is full of intrigue. Please, help me pick. Here's my final five:

• Collin Klein: He loves Jesus as much as Tim Tebow and throws a spiral better than Tebow. Remind me again how Tebow was the greatest college football player of all time. Any number of quarterbacks could lead Florida to the national championship. But Kansas State? Now that would be a real football miracle.

• Johnny Manziel: "John-eeee Football! Gig 'em!" Broncos linebacker Von Miller shouts so loudly that I fear my ears might bleed Texas A&M school colors. Not going to tell you what young college quarterback comes to mind when watching Manziel. But his name was John.

• Manti Te'o: It was oh-so-very-popular three months ago among pundits who keep score by number of Twitter followers to declare Notre Dame football as irrelevant. Te'o stuffed that stupidity the way he stuffs the run. In an era when an Oregon team that surrenders 51 points is called dominant, shouldn't defense count for something?


• Marqise Lee: So we had the wrong player from Southern Cal from the start. If we're starting a pickup game of Heisman candidates, you can have the rest. I'm taking Lee. Who says the most disappointing team in America can't have the best player in the country? And wouldn't knocking Notre Dame from the ranks of the unbeaten count as a Heisman moment?

• Colby Cameron: Who? Are you kidding? I also got those same incredulous looks the year I voted for a Miami (Ohio) quarterback by the name of Ben Roethlisberger. For Heisman voters who think the state of Louisiana begins and ends with Baton Rouge, Cameron plays at the alma mater of Terry Bradshaw. Ever heard of him?