Coming into the 2012-2013 college football season, many analysts and fans were talking about quarterbacks such as Matt Barkley, Aaron Murray and Geno Smith.
Respectively, those quarterbacks have done exceptionally well, but the real show-stoppers this season have been two redshirt freshmen known as Marcus Mariota and Johnny Manziel.
Interestingly enough, both of these quarterbacks had it in mind that they would commit to the University of Oregon during their high school careers. Unfortunately for Oregon, they didn't get the chance to hog both talented QBs, as Manziel went on to commit with Texas A&M.
Mariota's decision to stay and Manziel's decision to leave probably couldn't have worked out any better for each quarterback. Both have been handed the reins to their offenses as young men and taken advantage of the opportunity presented.
Now that these two quarterbacks have proved they can play, they will be analyzed over and over from the minute the BCS National Championship Game is over until the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.
Upon a glance at the stats between these two, any coach in his right mind would choose Manziel over Mariota to run his offense. They would see that Manziel, also known as "Johnny Football," has 3,047 passing yards to Mariota's 2,371, but it's unfair to go off of stats when analyzing these two quarterbacks.
Upon a second glance, a good coach would notice that Mariota and the Ducks have throughout the season blown teams out in the first half, leading to second-string QB play.
Mariota could easily surpass Manziel in paddng his stats if he were to play every single down of every game.
In 2013, I expect both quarterbacks to put up gaudy numbers that show off their talent. However, I see Mariota getting more playing time early in the season with a good nonconference schedule against Nevada and Tennessee.
Mariota also has a lot more talented players to work with, especially with the skill players in Oregon's 2013 recruiting class. This year, Manziel has had to improvise and make plays happen for his team, but with teams keying on him next season, that won't be so easy.
We will see the lack of skill players Johnny Football has to work with and the losses that come with that.
Both of these quarterbacks are tremendous, but in 2013, Mariota will be the better quarterback.