Nation's top five impact players

Our panel ranks game-changers, debates surprise teams and tabs top WRs

Updated: November 5, 2013, 9:15 AM ET
By College Football Insiders | ESPN Insider

Mariota-Manziel-WinstonUSA TODAY SportsWhen it comes to making a game-changing impact, Mariota, Manziel and Winston reign supreme.

As we enter the stretch run of the 2013 college football season, the discussions surrounding the nation's top team and individual player awards continue to heat up.

Week 11 likely will provide further answers in determining which teams are best positioned to play in the BCS title game -- No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon and No. 6 Baylor all square off against opponents ranked in the top 13 -- as well as which top candidates have the inside track for the Heisman, Biletnikoff and other awards.

Outside of awards focused on certain positions or specific criteria, who are the nation's top impact players?

In this week's "No Huddle," Insider's panel of experts debates that topic, as well as other key questions heading into Week 11, including which team has been the biggest surprise of 2013, which player is the nation's top wide receiver, which non-power-conference team is the best and which top-ranked favorite is most likely to lose this week.


1. Who are the top five impact players in college football?


Travis Haney: 1. Marcus Mariota, 2. Jameis Winston, 3. Johnny Manziel, 4. Bryce Petty, 5. Ka'Deem Carey

Mariota, who is so difficult to scheme against, is what Manziel was a year ago. Winston had a "rough" start Saturday against Miami, but finished nearly flawless in the second half, as the Seminoles reeled off the final 20 points. Manziel's 49-yard rushing touchdown on Saturday, when he weaved through UTEP defenders, was classic Johnny Football (he's still got it). Baylor's Petty, while highly efficient in the Bears' system, has made very few mistakes and his deep throws have been terrific. Carey is not as versatile as he was a year ago because Arizona's offense is more geared toward him, but he is averaging nearly 27 carries and about 150 rushing yards a game.