- Created on Saturday, 17 November 2012 20:37
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
Johnny “Football” Manziel is easily one of the most exciting players in college football today. Statistically he ranks near the top of every relevant offensive category in the SEC as well as the nation. He can run with the best, passes the ball like a seasoned veteran, and knows how to lead his team in the clutch.
The natural reaction to those opposed to him becoming the first freshman in history to win the Heisman Trophy is that he hasn’t played anyone. True, both Florida and LSU made the necessary adjustments in the second half and were able to contain him. His many supporters would counter that argument by pointing out how he dominated the No.1 defense (and team) in the nation en route to a 29-24 win.
Is his play in the win over Alabama enough to balance out the two losses earlier in the season? Many are saying yes, but then why is Colin Klein still favored to win the Heisman?
Statistically Manziel has performed better or comparable to Klein in every way. The only category in which Klein has done better is in wins over top 25 teams. He’s has four while Manziel is 2-2 against top 25 teams.
But Manziel beat the No.1 team…
If the winner of the most prestigious award in college football was easy to predict then what would we talk about?
Were the Aggies undefeated or had at least beaten LSU then Manziel would probably be the current Heisman favorite. Since he is a freshman he has been largely an unknown commodity to many voters across the nation. The win over Alabama is serving as his introduction to many. Klein, on the other hand, has been in the national spotlight since the beginning of the season.
Early exposure is not always necessary when it comes to winning the Heisman. We saw evidence of that last season when Robert Griffin III ended up overtaking the season long favorite (Andrew Luck) to become Baylor’s first Heisman winner.
The Bears had been one of the worst teams in the nation for decades. They barely registered as a blip on the Texas football radar let alone that of the nation. Even as he began the season lighting up his opponents and scoreboards he hardly got a mention. A one-point loss to Kansas State didn’t help his cause. Two lopsided losses to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State should have made him an afterthought.
However, with his play down the stretch (including a game that he was injured in and played only a half) was enough for him to overtake Luck and win the award. The question now becomes if RG3 can overcome three losses to win why can’t Manziel overcome two? What is it that RG3 had that Manziel does or will not?
A signature win to end the season.
RG3 had Texas a game where he threw for 295 yards and rushed for another 55 en route to beating one of the most watched teams in the nation 48-24. Manziel? He’ll have a poor Missouri team to destroy for his swan song; a team that if he doesn't destroy them he’ll lose votes.
If this was any of the last 100+ seasons that would not be the case. The Aggies would be closing out against their hated rival and a team in the top 20 of the AP, USA Today, and BCS rankings—the Texas Longhorns. A strong win over the Longhorns would have given Manziel the type of win he would need to convince voters he is the best player in college football this season.
Instead, he closes out against Missouri and Klein gets to close out against the Longhorns.
Here’s hoping for once the tsips can do an Aggie a favor!