With the college football regular season over, the biggest event between now and the BCS bowls is the Heisman Awards ceremony.
With three invitations extended to as many worthy candidates, it could have been anyone’s race, but it would be a surprise to hear another name besides Johnny Manziel called on Saturday night.
The Texas A&M signal-caller, affectionately known as “Johnny Football” around the College Station campus and to admirers everywhere, would defy the odds by becoming the first freshman in history to win the award.
While Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Kansas State’s Collin Klein are certainly elite football players, they simply don’t have the same accolades that Manziel has garnered throughout the 2012 season.
Over the course of 12 games, Johnny Football completed 273-of-400 passes for 3,419 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for another 1,181 yards and 19 scores on 184 attempts.
Who deserves the Heisman?
He pulled off a signature win against then-No. 1 Alabama, which remains the sole victory against Nick Saban’s squad since LSU squeezed by the Crimson Tide in November of 2011. Manziel also led the Aggies to wins over No. 23 Louisiana Tech and No. 15 Mississippi State, while helping TAMU to a No. 9 BCS ranking. The Aggies, in their first SEC season, now have a Cotton Bowl date with the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners.
We’re not here to take away from Te’o’s (103 tackles, seven interceptions, two fumble recoveries while leading the Fighting Irish to the only undefeated record and a BCS Championship appearance) or Klein’s (180-of-272 for 2,490 yards, 15 TDs and seven INTs, with 194 rushing attempts for 890 yards and 22 TDs) spectacular seasons, but they just don’t measure up to Manziel’s.
Johnny Football should win the Heisman Award on Saturday night, and it would be a shame if the voters didn’t feel the same way as us.