Johnny Manziel: Breaking Down Texas A&M Star's Heisman Case

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 13, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 20:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrates a touchdown against the LSU Tigers at Kyle Field on October 20, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Collin Klein may have the best team in college football this season, but Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel is hands-down the best player in college football right now.

The redshirt freshman has been lighting up the scoreboard this fall, and doing it in the toughest conference in America—the SEC. If you weren't convinced that Johnny Football is the real deal through the season's first two months, then you should be after Saturday's sensational performance against Alabama on the road in Tuscaloosa. 

Manziel accounted for 345 yards of total offense and threw two dagger touchdown passes to help the Aggies upend the Crimson Tide 29-24. 

Let the Heisman chatter begin.


The Numbers

Without question the biggest key to winning the Heisman Trophy is boasting huge numbers. In the case of Johnny Manziel, the statistics are impressive and more than good enough to earn him the coveted trophy at season's end.

Through 10 games this season, Manziel has 3,794 total yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns. He leads the Aggies in rushing yards and touchdowns with 1,014 and 15 respectively, and has another 2,780 yards and 18 scores through the air.

No player in the country has more total yards than Manziel this season, and only Baylor quarterback Nick Florence is averaging more yards per game. 

With two games left for Manziel and A&M to play before the trophy ceremony in December, the freshman has plenty of time to build on his already jaw-dropping numbers. Assuming Johnny Football maintains his current pace in home games against Sam Houston State and Missouri, he'll wind up with around 4,500 total yards and 40 total touchdowns heading into December. 

To provide some context, take a look at what the past two Heisman-winning quarterbacks did through their 12 regular season games: 

Year Winner Total Yards (12 games) Total TDs (12 games)
2011 Robert Griffin III 4,642 45
2010 Cam Newton 3,590 42


Manziel already has more yards than Newton did during the regular season in 2010, and could very well outdo RG3's regular season yardage production if he stays hot over the next two weeks.


Team Success

There's no doubt that Texas A&M is having enough success in 2012 for Johnny Manziel to be considered the Heisman Trophy front-runner. The Aggies are 8-2 through 10 games and are ranked No. 8 in the current BCS standings. 

Robert Griffin III's Baylor Bears finished the regular season 9-3 last season and were 12th in the BCS standings when he won the Heisman, so clearly Manziel is in good shape when it comes to overall team success.

He may not have the 12-0 regular season record that Newton had in 2010, but it's hard to argue that he isn't every bit (if not more) exciting to watch than the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner. Not to mention, this is Texas A&M's first season in the SEC, and they're 4-0 on the road against conference opponents.

Plus, the Aggies boast a road win over the nation's top team, which neither Griffin's Bears nor Newton's Auburn Tigers can boast. If A&M finishes the year 10-2 and in a BCS bowl game, how can anyone question Manziel's impact in College Station?


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