Heisman Trophy

Heisman Watch 2012: Manziel Still Favorite Despite Te'o's Early Award Success

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs upfield during their 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
Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

Manti Te'o had as good a night as anyone could possibly have on college football awards night, but Johnny Manziel will still win the Heisman.

Te'o took home just about every award that he was eligible for so far. From the Bednarik, which goes to the defensive player of the year to the Maxwell award which goes to college football's most outstanding player to the Walter Camp award which goes to the national player of the year, Te'o did as well as anyone could when it comes to individual accolades.

However, when it comes to college football's most prestigious award, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is still the odds-on favorite to win.

Many will point to Te'o winning the Camp and Maxwell awards as a clear indicator that a Heisman upset is possible. In fact, there have been players before Te'o that won both awards and didn't win the Heisman—and they played offense (h/t ESPN Stats & Info).

Manti Te'o won Walter Camp & Maxwell Awards, 4th straight year a player won both. 3 of last 4 players to win both did not win the Heisman.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 7, 2012

 

While it may seem egregious that a player can win the "National Player of the Year Award" and not win the Heisman Trophy, it happens more frequently than you would think.

One case that has been made for Te'o's chances of winning the Heisman is that many voters won't vote for a freshman to win the Heisman. The truth is Johnny Manziel made a little history of his own last night that could be a much better indicator of who will win the Heisman (h/t ESPN Stats & Info).

Johnny Manziel is 1st freshman to win Davey O'Brien Award. 5 of last 6 Davey O'Brien winners have also won Heisman Trophy.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 7, 2012

 

Manziel became the first freshman to win the Davey O'Brien Award and Davey O'Brien award winners have had a much better track record with winning the Heisman recently.

So when looking at the trends from the awards show, Te'o came away the winner but it was Manziel that looks more likely to win the Heisman.

When it comes to things like the Heisman Trophy, Vegas oftentimes has a little insight into how things will go down. Looking at the most recent odds things don't look good for Te'o in that respect either.

According to Bovada, Johnny Manziel is a massive favorite to take home the award at 1/12 odds. Te'o, on the other hand is a fairly sizable underdog at 15/4. For the sake of not leaving him out, Klein is a near impossibility at 25/1 odds.

Watching Te'o be acknowledged for so many awards was a great scene for college football. His impact at Notre Dame has been undeniable and he was undoubtedly deserving of all the hardware that he received.

However, it looks like we'll see history made on Saturday when Johnny Manziel becomes the first freshman to win the Heisman.

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