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      Alabama's AJ McCarron generating Heisman Trophy buzz

      AJ McCarron has thrown 16 touchdowns in 2012 and zero interceptions, and many believe he should be in the Heisman Trophy race. ( graphic)

      Ralph D. Russo, a college football writer for the Associated Press, said Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner could begin to enter the Heisman Trophy conversation in the coming weeks.

      "McCarron and Barner are set to surge, with high-profile games coming up." Russo wrote on Tuesday. "Alabama's next three opponents are No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 6 LSU and No. 22 Texas A&M. McCarron is already tops in the country in passer rating with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions."

      McCarron has been called a "game manager" at quarterback, but Russo believes the junior has outplayed that label.

      "He won't put up gaudy, Big 12-like stats, but he's more than just a 'game manager.'"

      Russo on Oregon's Kenjon Barner:

      "As for Barner, spectacular teammate D'Anthony Thomas gets a lot of attention for the Ducks, but he is the engine of their prolific offense. The senior is 10th in the nation in rushing (124 yards per game) and has scored 13 touchdowns.

      "With games against No. 10 Southern California, No. 19 Stanford and No. 7 Oregon State still to come, the guy who spent the last three years backing up 2010 Heisman finalist LaMichael James could earn a trip to New York for himself."

      Click here to read Russo's complete article