The 2012 Heisman Trophy candidates have been announced and one of these three players will have his life changed forever this weekend. With Manti Te'o, Johnny Manziel and Collin Klein being named as the finalists, history will be made either way on Saturday night.
We will either witness the first freshman, first Kansas State player or first defense-only player to win the award in its history (remember, Charles Woodson played offense as well). Regardless, something unprecedented will occur in college football.
But who should win this prestigious award? What is your reasoning, and do you see one of the underdogs having a chance to pull off an upset when it comes to the Heisman votes?
With only a couple days away from finding out who will hoist that bronze statue, let's throw out odds and predictions for the big night.
Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Prediction: Collin Klein is kind of the odd-man out in this situation. He was the favorite at one point, but with an embarrassing loss to Baylor, nearly everybody in the college football world has forgotten about him. It was his award to lose at one point, but getting blown out to a team that plays absolutely no defense really rubbed everybody the wrong way.
The problem with Klein is that he doesn't have the off-the-chart numbers. Sure, he has more than 800 rushing yards, 2,490 passing yards and 38 total touchdowns (one receiving), but that's not much of anything when looking at the numbers of Johnny Manziel.
The Kansas State senior also lacks any true Heisman moment throughout the year. When looking back on the season, it is truly hard to find that one play that sticks out that would help Klein's case for winning this award.
If we are talking about most valuable player, look no further than Klein. Unfortunately, this is the Heisman, and it won't be handed to the starting quarterback of the Kansas State Wildcats.
Odds to win: 19/1 (5 percent chance of winning)
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Prediction: The prediction for Johnny Manziel is that he is going to become the first freshman ever to win this prestigious award.
Usually, it takes a while for a freshman to gain necessary exposure and momentum, but nearly everybody and their grandmother knows who "Johnny Football" is at this point.
When Tim Tebow won the Heisman back in 2007, he had set the SEC record for total yards. Cam Newton went on to break that record back in 2010, which also earned him the hardware. Now, Manziel holds that record and will likely keep the streak alive.
Freshman or not, the Heisman deserves to go to the best overall player for that season. Manziel may be young, but he has proved to be the best player in college football this season. The award will be handed to the Texas A&M Aggies quarterback.
Odds to win: 1/3 (75 percent chance of winning)
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Prediction: If there was ever a defensive player that could win this award, I would think it would be Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. Think about it—he is the best player on the defensive side of the ball and plays for a team that is undefeated, which also happens to be playing in the national championship.
Defense wins championships, right?
Well, why wouldn't the best player who starts for a potential champion walk away with the award?
Who gets your vote?
Well, Te'o's incredible consistency and efficiency don't stand out as much when competing for the Heisman. To win this award, you have to have the sexy statistics, prove yourself against top-notch opponents, have a Heisman moment and receive boatloads of attention. In other words, you have to be thrown into the national media every other day and pretty much force the voters to write your name on that ballot.
People know who Te'o is, but he doesn't have a catchy nickname like Manziel. His stats are incredible for a defensive player, but they aren't as sexy as a quarterback accounting for 43 touchdowns playing the majority of his games against SEC defenses.
Te'o is a great player, who is key to the success of the Irish, but the Heisman is given out to the more popular offensive player these days. The senior linebacker will have to settle for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy instead.
However, I do give him somewhat of a shot because I think this race does come down to Te’o and Manziel.
Odds to win: 4/1 (20 percent chance of winning)