Johnny. Johnny Manziel. Johnny “Football” Manziel. Johnny Heisman. HeisManziel. Several nicknames Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been called. Let’s add Johnny Repeat to that list now.
Manziel is returning to the “Big Apple” this December as one of the Heisman Finalist along with four other quarterbacks, Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, Alabama’s own AJ McCarron, Jameis Winston of Florida State and two runningbacks (Tre Mason of Auburn and Andre Williams of Boston College). Manziel perfomance has been hidden a bit with poor performances against LSU and Missouri, although playing with a broken right thumb, separated shoulder, and other injuries that has plagued Manziel this season. Along with these poor performances, the Aggie’s defense has been less than stellar, and with that, comes losses, which most Heisman contenders tend to stay away from.
Although the Aggies are 8-4, Manziel has still been the most outstanding player in college football. Totaling 3,732 passing yards (255 more than last year’s Heisman season) and 33 passing touchdowns, while rushing for 686 yards and 8 touchdowns, Manziel has proven he is deserving of this reward. Not only has Manziel proven it, but the Aggies tough schedule against five ranked opponents, and almost defeating the Crimson Tide for the second straight year. Although not just stats, Heisman contenders tend to be “entertaining” and well, Manziel is just that. The amount of TV games (and don’t forget the ratings for these games!) for the Aggies this season as compared to previous seasons, as well as the millions of dollars Manziel has brought into the University. As well, Manziel’s Aggies are considered the 3rd most-watched college football team.
Now if these stats haven’t proven Johnny deserves this award, then let’s talk about the other contenders. Jameis Winston, seemingly the “front-runner” in the race, has stats similar to Johnny with 3,820 pass yards (38 passing touchdowns), while running the ball for slightly under 400 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. These stats may be great, but let’s talk strength of schedule. The Seminoles faced 2 top 25 teams, including Duke (22nd in the AP poll), and a poor Clemson team (12th in the AP poll). Other than these teams, the Seminoles have faced poor football teams, and quite frankly, have had an easy ride to the National Championship. You may disagree with about Winston, he very well could receive this prestigious award for stats, but had Johnny played the first half against Rice, and the Aggies actually had a defense, I would have not been surprised to see them in the National Championship.
The other contender on everyone’s watch is Norther Illinois’ Jordan Lynch. Sure the kid has amazing stats (2,676 passing yards, 1,881 rushing yards, and totaling 46 touchdowns), but can we please look at NIU’s schedule? The best win for the Huskies? Iowa, who will have to face the LSU Tigers in the Outback Bowl. Other than Iowa, the schedule for the Huskies has been terrible. The Huskies have played a limited amount of Automatic Qualifying (for the BCS) teams that the Huskies have played is very limited, but not to forget, these wins haven’t been blow outs either, struggling against Idaho and Eastern Illinois. As well, the Huskies’ performance against Bowling Green (47-27 loss) may have secured Lynch a 4th place (or worse) finish in the Heisman race. If Manziel hasn’t earned the Heisman, then I’d like to know who has?