Heisman finalist: AJ McCarron

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

Key stats: 2,676 yards, 26 TDs and 5 INTs on 67.6 percent passing

Why he made it to NYC: Was it a nod toward career achievement that McCarron was invited to the Big Apple? Considering many of his key numbers are nearly identical to a season ago, it's hard to argue his 36-3 record and two national championship rings as a starter didn't sway voters. "If you look at my play over three years, I feel like no quarterback in the SEC or the country has played as consistent as I have," McCarron said on his own behalf. "I think the numbers do the talking." And they do. Because of the system, he's not going to throw the ball most downs, but he's still eighth in the country in QBR and fourth in touchdown percentage this season.

Heisman Moment: Can a Heisman type of moment come in a loss? When Alabama was backed up against its own goal line on the road at Auburn and the game was tied at 21, McCarron reared back and threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to put the Tide ahead by seven in the fourth quarter. Looking back, it had all the earmarks of a Heisman moment. But then the Tigers' miracle comeback got underway and McCarron's play was lost in the shuffle of orange and blue. Instead, Heisman voters might go way back to the first third of the season and Alabama's trip to College Station, Texas, to find a time when McCarron shined brightest in victory. After falling behind early to the Aggies, McCarron led a furious comeback in which he threw for four touchdowns and 334 yards as Alabama won a shootout 49-42.