ESPN has released its first Heisman watch list for the 2013 season.
And, not surprisingly, only one Big 12 player got votes. Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk received a third-place and two fifth-place votes, placing him ninth on the watch list going into the season. Colleague Brandon Chatmon was actually one of those voters who gave Seastrunk a fifth-place vote.
Seastrunk, the preseason Big 12 offensive player of the year, is really the only player from the conference on the Heisman radar. And the way he finished last season, he should be on the radar.
Seastrunk was as explosive as any running back in college football late in the season, rushing for 831 yards while averaging 8.1 yards per carry during Baylor's final six games. If he extends that kind of production throughout the entire season -- and Baylor contends in the Big 12 -- Seastrunk should have an excellent chance of being a Heisman finalist.
Consider this: the Big 12 has had at least one finalist in four of the last five years, including winners Sam Bradford and Robert Griffin III. Neither Bradford nor Griffin were deemed the frontrunner going into their Heisman seasons, either.
If the Bears can start out the season 7-0 -- their most losable game to that point will be at Kansas State -- then Seastrunk could really begin to generate some Heisman buzz.
As for the other Heisman contenders, Brandon and I both voted Ohio State QB Braxton Miller No. 1. Miller is second on the watch list behind South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. As someone who voted Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for the Heisman in 2009, I have no problem with a defensive player topping the list. I had Clowney second; Brandon had him third, behind USC WR Marqise Lee.
Neither Brandon nor I had Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in our top 5. Yes, he's the reigning Heisman winner. But it's hard to vote for someone who might or might not play every game this season.