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Everything you need to know about the 2013 Heisman

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The 2013 Heisman ceremony is approaching. It will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m ET.

Here’s all you need to know about the trophy heading into the show. Your viewer’s guide, if you will:

— This is the 32nd Heisman ceremony featuring multiple finalists to be broadcast on live television. Prior to 1982, only the winner went to New York to pick up his trophy. The announcement for the Heisman wasn’t broadcast live until 1977. Prior to that, the announcement was taped and then showed either on newsreels or at halftime of an NFL game. The first Heisman finalists in this format were Herschel Walker, John Elway and Eric Dickerson in 1982. However, Elway did not attend the ceremony, so the only finalist present were Walker and Dickerson.

— The announcement date — December 14th — is the latest the trophy has been awarded since 1996. The only other time the trophy has been awarded this late was in 1991.

— If you wonder where Jameis Winston’s pending landslide might rank on all time Heisman lists, here are the five largest margins of victory in Heisman history:

1968, OJ Simpson, 1,750 points

2006, Troy Smith, 1,662 points

1993, Charlie Ward, 1,622 points

1991, Desmond Howard, 1,574 points

1998, Ricky Williams, 1,563 points

— Winston will be the third No. 5 to win the award, joining Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung in 1956 and USC’s Reggie Bush in 2005.

— Two previous Heisman winners went to high school in Alabama, Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan. Winston, who hails from Hueytown High in Bessemer, Ala., would be the third.

— Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has a chance to notch the highest finish by a non-BCS-conference player in the BCS era. Colt Brennan finished third as a finalist in 2007. The only only other finalists from a non-BCS-conference school in the BCS era was Kellen Moore of Boise State, who placed fourth in 2010, and Chad Pennington of Marshall, who was fifth in 1999.

— Between 1935 and 2006, a span of 71 years, no sophomore or freshman had ever won the Heisman. Since 2007, three sophomores and one (soon to be two) redshirt freshmen have won. The last senior to win the Heisman was Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006.

— The Heisman voting is done by 927 voters, 870 of whom are media members and 57 who are former winners of the trophy. There is also one fan vote done via online voting. The 870 media voters are dispersed over six regions — the Far West, the Midwest, the Southwest, the South, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Balloting is done online. A first-place vote gets 3 points, a second-place vote gets 2 points and a third-place vote gets one point.

— Winston will be the third Heisman winner from Florida State. His win would come on the 20th anniversary of FSU’s first Heisman, Charlie Ward, back in 1993.

Kentucky QB Patrick Towles to transfer

Patrick Towles

Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles will transfer, he announced in an Instagram post Sunday afternoon.

Towles leaves school as Kentucky’s sixth-most prolific passer, completing 427-of-759 passes for 5,099 yards with 24 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Once compared to Ben Roethlisberger, Towles’ career peeked in a 2014 game with then-No. 1 Mississippi State, as he completed 24-of-43 passes for 390 yards with two touchdowns in a 45-31 loss to the Bulldogs.

But Kentucky stumbled down the stretch, starting 5-1 and finishing 5-7, and Towles stumbled through a 2015 campaign in which he threw nine touchdowns against 14 interceptions.

He’d been passed by freshman Drew Barker by the end of the season, and threw only four passes in a loss to Louisville on Saturday.

A junior, Towles will complete his political science degree in December and be eligible for immediate playing time at a new destination in 2016.

Penn State fires offensive coordinator John Donovan

Penn State football practice, Sept 9, 2015

Penn State has fired offensive coordinator John Donovan, the program announced Sunday.

“I have tremendous respect for John and the work he has put in the last five years,” head coach James Franklin said in a statement. “I wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.”

Donovan originally hooked up with Franklin when the two were at Maryland, then coordinated his offenses at Vanderbilt and later Penn State.

Despite playing with what many project to be a future first-round pick in quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State ranked 101st nationally in scoring, 108th in total offense and 80th in yards per play.

Penn State dropped its final three games of the regular season and averaged only 14.6 points in its five losses.

Purdue retains head coach Darrell Hazell, fires both coordinators

Markell Jones
AP Photo

It’s never a good thing when a head coach has to fire both of his coordinators on the same day. Of course, it’s never a good thing to be 6-30, either.

Both are realities at Purdue, as the Boilers announced Sunday head coach Darrell Hazell will return for a fourth season in 2016, but offensive coordinator John Shoop, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson and defensive line coach Rubin Carter will not.

“I appreciate the efforts of each of those guys over the last three years,” Hazell said in a statement. “They are quality men who are well respected by their players and their peers, and I am disappointed that things didn’t work out better. But I believe that in order to turn around this program, we need to make some significant changes and move in a different direction at those positions.”

Purdue, 2-10 in 2015, ranked 115th nationally in yards per play and 112th in yards per play allowed.

Virginia Tech announces Justin Fuente as head coach; Bud Foster to stay on as DC

Associated Press

Justin Fuente is officially Virginia Tech’s new head coach. A day after reports linked the two parties, the Hokies made the match official by announcing the 39-year-old as their new head coach on Sunday afternoon.

“Justin is a very impressive individual who also happens to be one of the brightest offensive minds in college football,” Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock said in a statement. “He elevated Memphis to unprecedented heights. His recruiting philosophy is progressive and comprehensive. Coach Fuente has displayed tremendous talent in evaluating players and developing young men as they strive to reach their full potential. Simply put, Coach Fuente exudes all the qualities that Hokies hold near and dear. We are excited to officially welcome Justin Fuente as the leader of the Virginia Tech football program.”

Fuente went 26-23 in four years as Memphis’s head coach, but his success runs far beyond a simple won-loss record. After going 7-17 in his first two seasons, Fuente guided the Tigers to a 19-6 mark in 2014-15, which included a 15-game winning streak, a No. 13 national ranking and a win over rival Ole Miss within that run.

Simply put, it was the absolute peak of modern Memphis football.

And now Fuente is tasked with taking Virginia Tech to new heights. The Hokies dominated the ACC throughout much of the 2000’s, taking conference crowns in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010. But as Florida State and Clemson have risen, Virginia Tech has fallen.

After posting 13 top-25 finishes in 14 seasons, the Hokies are set to conclude their fourth straight campaign outside the national rankings, going just 16-16 in ACC play over that span.

The offensive numbers state exactly why Fuente was hired, and what he must do in Blacksburg; Memphis ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense and eighth in passing efficiency, while Virginia Tech sits at 64th and 59th, respectively.

The cupboard is not bare, though. Virginia Tech is in the midst of a 23-year bowl streak, and Fuente has already secured one key commitment — longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster has agreed to stay on staff.

“I’ve been privileged to work for a legendary coach who always did it the right way,” Foster said. “I enjoyed that chapter and the success we’ve had, however, I am equally excited for the next chapter and working for Justin. Justin and I share a vision for the future of our program. After spending time together, I’m convinced he’s the right person to continue building on the standard we’ve established at Virginia Tech. I’m truly looking forward to working with him and supporting him.”

Clearly, Babcock and the VT brass believe, a Fuente offense and a Foster defense are what the Hokies need to catch Clemson and Florida State.

Now it’s Fuente’s job to make that happen.