On the official Heisman Trophy website, the mission statement says the coveted award goes to the "outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity."

Unless you're incredibly naïve, you know that the last word -- "integrity" -- is going to play a role in this season's Heisman race.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, bidding to become the second consecutive redshirt freshman to win the award, is the current leader in most Heisman polls. But Winston's involvement in a sexual-assault case has caused angst among some voters.

We certainly understand that it likely antagonizes some folks that in the midst of a sexual-assault investigation, there are people who worry about who might or might not win a trophy, but the fact remains it is a topic of discussion.

Winston has not been charged in the case, and Leon County (Fla.) State Attorney Willie Meggs has said it might be another week or two before any decision is made on any possible charges.

All Heisman voting will be done on-line this year. Voters will receive a voting link next Monday, and all ballots must be submitted electronically by Monday, Dec. 9, at 5 p.m. ET.

It seems likely that a decision will be made on any charges by Dec. 9. But that is by no means definite.

If Winston is charged, he won't win the Heisman. Yes, he has been magnificent on the field, but a player winning the Heisman while facing sexual-assault charges? Won't happen, not in a million years.

If there is no decision or if he isn't charged? The situation might not be as simple as it would appear. At first glance, if he's not charged and a voter thinks he's the best candidate, why wouldn't it be an easy choice? Still, there likely would be some who would have trepidations about voting for him simply because he was involved in the investigation. And there also likely would be some voters looking for another candidate, if for no other reason than to soothe their conscience.

There won't be a shortage of other candidates.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has a shot at winning his second consecutive Heisman, and he has two big games to close out the regular season: Saturday at LSU and next Saturday at Missouri. Those are two high-level opponents, both currently in the BCS top 25.