Johnny Manziel Will Fail to Improve Upon Heisman-Winning Campaign

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08:  Quarterback Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M University Aggies poses with the Heisman Memorial Trophy after being named the 78th Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winner at a press conference after at the Marriott Marquis on December 8, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Sequels are almost never as good as the original.

The Godfather II is a rare exception to that rule, surpassing expectations and finding itself mentioned in the same breath as its legendary predecessor.

In the film that is Johnny Manziel's college football career, those expectations will be outrageous.

Manziel—who led Texas A&M to a Top 10 ranking in the BCS standings (h/t ESPN), a 6-2 record in the school's first year as a member of the vaunted SEC and a 10-2 record overall—managed to put together one of the best college football seasons ever.

He broke Cam Newton's SEC record for total yardage with 4,600 yards, passing for 3,419 and rushing for nearly 1,200 more. Manziel found the end zone 43 times in 2012 with 24 of them coming through the air.

Did I mention that he won the Heisman Trophy as well, becoming the first freshman to ever take home college football's highest individual honor? (To be both accurate and fair, Manziel is technically a redshirt freshman.)

Like I said: Manziel had one heck of a season. 

A legendary season.

Not bad for a guy who wasn't his team's starting quarterback coming out of spring practice.

Nobody expected anything from Manziel entering 2012. If we are being honest, most people didn't even know who Johnny Manziel was before the season started.

But they do now, and therein lies the rub.

Texas A&M's opposition in the SEC now has a full season's worth of film to watch on Manziel. It's been said before that Alabama head coach Nick Saban does wonders when he has a month to prepare for a game.

Imagine what he'll come up with over the next seven or eight months?

Now, I'm not saying that Johnny Manziel won't improve as a quarterback. He will. It's the natural progression of things.

Manziel will spend the spring and summer getting stronger, working on areas of his game that Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies coaching staff believes that he needs to improve in, and he'll enter 2013 a better player than he was in 2012.

But with a bulls-eye affixed to his back, the entire country will be gunning for him, and a repeat of, much less a more impressive statistical season from Johnny Football, will be a virtual impossibility.

Sure, there's a chance that he'll be starring in his own version of The Godfather II next season.

But it's far more likely that the lofty expectations Johnny Football will be facing will find him on the set of The Godfather III instead.