Would Promotion, Gimmicks by Notre Dame Have Helped Manti Te'o Win Heisman?

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterNovember 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24:  Linebacker Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates his teams 22-13 victory over the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

A few weeks ago Kansas State University sent out a tin of adhesive bandages—with Collin Klein's face plastered all over the front and back—to Heisman voters. Inside were bandages with "KSU Football" printed on the packaged bandages. 

It was cute—no wait, adorable—because Klein has been synonymous with playing while beat-up for the last two years. It was a great reminder of how tough Klein is. 

Notre Dame, to date, hasn't sent one email or marketing promotion to remind Heisman voters about linebacker Manti Te'o. This seems a bit odd considering that even Louisville sent out a Teddy Bridgewater promotion which included a couple pieces of bubblegum. 

But maybe Notre Dame doesn't need to remind Heisman voters about Te'o.

He stands alone, doesn't he?

While Johnny Manziel, Collin Klein and Braxton Miller all get lumped together as the quarterback candidates, Marqise Lee and Kenjon Barner get lumped together as other offensive candidates, Te'o is the lone defensive player in the Heisman race.

He really doesn't need to separate himself from anyone else. Either you are all-in on a defensive player winning the Heisman or you're not. Either you believe a Heisman winner should get a lot of touches on the ball or you don't.

Te'o will win a slew of defensive awards this year and that's some consolation but it's not the Heisman—the most prestigious award in college football. And Notre Dame the school hasn't done much to promote Te'o for the Heisman. Head coach Brian Kelly, on the other hand, has. 

Kelly has kept Te'o's name in the press but admitted the school won't do any gimmicks.

It's old-fashioned, yet refreshing. Gimmicky Heisman promotions are not necessary for Te'o and they wouldn't make a difference in his odds to win the coveted award. As a defensive player, he's a long shot. And he, and the school, know it. 

Te'o's Heisman campaign, or lack thereof, is akin to Notre Dame's 2012 season.

Understated, unassuming and frankly, a pleasant surprise.