Heisman Candidates 2012: Why Johnny Manziel Hasn't Leapfrogged Collin Klein Yet

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 10:  Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs and looks downfield during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

You can call Johnny Manziel "Johnny Football" if you like (and if his family approves). But don't go calling him "Johnny Heisman" just yet.

Collin Klein still has something to say about that.

Manziel is going to shoot up Heisman lists after leading Texas A&M to a shocking 29-24 upset over previously top-ranked Alabama, a team many pundits (this one included) didn't expect to lose this season.

Manziel was phenomenal in the contest, finishing 24-of-31 with 253 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 18 times for 92 yards, and without question it was his effort that spearheaded the unexpected result.

But that Klein fella, well, he and his Kansas Sate Wildcats haven't lost yet and remain No. 2 in the country, in large part because Klein hasn't put up one clunker game yet this season. And unless Kansas State loses and Klein has a terrible effort in the game, the Heisman will remain his to lose.

That's the difference between the two at this point. Otherwise, the value of each is obvious. Both players account for a huge percent of their team's offensive production. And both have put up excellent stats this season:

Player Pass Yards Pass TD INT CMP% Rush Yards Rush TD
Collin Klein 2020 12 3 69.7 748 19
Johnny Manziel 2780 18 6 67.6 1014 15

But Manziel has two losses on his resume, while Klein has none. Look closely at Klein's game logs, and you won't see a single clunker in there.

He's only failed to account for two touchdowns or more twice, and one of those games was against Oklahoma State, which he left early due to an injury. He's only accounted for less than 200 yards from scrimmage once, and that was his 195-yard performance this past weekend against TCU.

Nowhere on Klein's resume is anything resembling the three-interception, no-touchdown performance Manziel had against LSU. (I won't kill Manziel for his performance in the loss to Florida—he led A&M to a 17-7 lead at the half but Florida didn't let him do anything after that).

The Heisman race between the two has certainly tightened after Saturday, however. And let's not so quickly dismiss Kenjon Barner (1,579 yards from scrimmage, 20 touchdowns), Manti Te'o (90 tackles, six interceptions, two sacks) or Braxton Miller (2,919 yards from scrimmage, 27 total touchdowns, six interceptions).

But for now, it remains Klein's to lose in my opinion. But Johnny Football is nipping at his heels.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets can handle as many Hall of Fame egos as you like.

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