Johnny Manziel's Dominance vs. SEC Will Resonate with Heisman Trophy Voters

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 is seen during warmups prior to the start of the game against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on November 24, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Johnny Manziel will win the Heisman Trophy this December because of the conference he plays in, the SEC, the toughest in college football.

Manziel's dominance against SEC competition, most notably the Alabama Crimson Tide (345 total yards and two touchdowns in Tuscaloosa), will resonate with the Heisman voters over the next week and ultimately give him the edge over Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o, who has made a tremendous case for the award himself.

The numbers don't lie; that's for sure. But the competition Manziel has excelled against tells an even more impressive tale.

The Texas A&M redshirt freshman has racked up 4,600 total yards and 43 total touchdowns (24 passing, 19 rushing) in 2012. And although 22 of Manziel's 43 scores came in the Aggies' four nonconference matchups, Johnny Football still managed to account for 2,987 yards and 21 touchdowns in eight SEC matchups.

That equates to over 373 total yards and nearly three touchdowns per SEC game. 

This tweet from actress Holly Robinson Peete provides a stunning, case-making fact with some important perspective:

Johnny Football #FreshmanPhenombroke the SEC's total yards in a season record set by Cam Newton. In a knee brace. #crazyfootballmomma

— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) November 25, 2012


Manziel might not be playing for a national championship this coming January, but he topped Heisman Trophy-winning legend Cam Newton's production in the SEC as a freshman while wearing a knee brace in the season finale against Missouri, as Peete points out. 

CNN analyst Roland Martin also made a great point pertaining to Manziel's strength-of-competition argument via Twitter:

If #SEC is the so-called toughest football conference, and Johnny Manziel is the best player in the #SEC, how does he not win the Heisman?

— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) November 25, 2012


There's something to be said for the quality of Manziel's opponents. Not to slight Te'o's performance in 2012, but Notre Dame didn't play a single SEC team this year, while Manziel played eight and still put up unfathomable numbers.

Throw in the fact that Manziel is set to turn just 20 years old this month, and you have the sort of season accomplishment that voters won't soon forget. 


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