The Heisman Trophy finalists would make one heck of an offense.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper and record-breaking Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon are set to make the trip to New York for the Heisman presentation after the finalists were announced Monday.

Mariota is considered the clear the front-runner to win the 80th Heisman on Saturday night in New York. He would become the first Oregon player to earn college football's most famous player of the year trophy.

Mariota and the second-seeded Ducks will face Florida State and last year's Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, at the Rose Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Jan. 1.

Cooper helped Alabama earn the top seed in the playoff. The Crimson Tide play Ohio State at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Winston became the seventh player since 2003 to take a shot at a Heisman repeat and come up short. Ohio State's Archie Griffin is the only player to win two Heismans.

Winston's omission from group of finalists wasn't a total surprise as voters may have been put off by his off-field distractions.

Winston completed a university hearing last week to determine whether he violated any or all of four sections of the student code of conduct - two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment - stemming from a sexual assault allegation.

He was not arrested and a prosecutor declined to file charges last December, citing a lack of evidence

Finalists are determined by percentage of votes received from 929 media members and former winners.

Mariota is the nation's top-rated passer (186.3) and has thrown for 3,783 yards and 38 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He also has run for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Pac-12 champions.

Gordon leads the nation with 2,336 yards rushing and 179.7 yards per game. Gordon broke the single-game FBS rushing record with 408 yards against Nebraska, a record that only stood for a week.

Cooper set a Southeastern Conference record with 115 catches for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns for the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

Graduation rates. A study of this year's bowl-bound schools revealed a narrowing gap between the graduation rates of white and African American players.

According to the annual report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, the average graduation success rate for black football players at bowl schools is 67 percent compared to 85 percent for whites. The 18-point gap is the smallest in the study's history.

The four teams in the inaugural College Football Playoff - Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State - all had good academic records. Alabama is graduating 80 percent of its football players, Ohio State 78 percent, Oregon 70 percent and Florida State 65.