KSAT Ball Hog Blog: Johnny Football Manziel takes on Te'o, college football tradition for Heisman
Johnny Manziel has done some amazing things this season. He put up huge offensive numbers, tore through the SEC, beat top-ranked Bama at their place and made Nick Saban blow a gasket simultaneously. Awesome. But Saturday would be Johnny Football's biggest accomplishment: Beat a Notre Dame guy to win the Heisman Trophy.
I'm all for Johnny Football bringing the Heisman back to Lonestar State, but he faces an uphill climb in my opinion. Had this award been handed out two weeks ago after the Mizzou game, then I'd say JF would have won running away, but time is not on his side.
National pundits have had time to dissect Manziel's resume, and despite astronomical, record breaking numbers, there are some flaws including the losses at home against Florida and LSU, and the belief he padded his numbers against a weak schedule.
There's also this whole thing about first-year guys never winning the Heisman and there is precedent for this. All-time freaks like Adrian Peterson and Herschel Walker were men amongst boys in their freshman seasons and didn't win. Marshall Faulk and Larry Fitzgerald were snubbed as sophomores despite clearly being the best players in the country. Look, if I'm a voter, I go Johnny Football, but I'm 30 and most of these voters are old guys who really car about this tradition stuff.
That's where Manti Te'o comes in. He had a very good, not great statistical year. But a few things stand out.
His heart warming personal story, which in all honesty makes "Rudy" seem like amateur stuff. Add into the equation he led Notre Dame to an undefeated season and brought the Irish back to relevance as a senior. This is a college history buff's dream come true!
Will all this be enough to derail Johnny Football's Heisman hopes? Just re-watch that signature fumble/touchdown pass play against Bama and tell me Manziel wasn't the most electric player on the field this season. He was by a mile.
Either way, voters were faced with two unconventional options this year. We'll find out Saturday which way they went, but Manziel may have to pull some more magic from his bag of tricks. He's done it on all season long. I wouldn't doubt Johnny Football, but I get the feeling some voters have.
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