What If Johnny Manziel and Braxton Miller Switched Teams?
Johnny Manziel is who he is, both on and off the field.
Off the field, he appears to be a typical college-age male, partying, living it up and taking advantage of whatever opportunity presents itself to have a good time. From sitting courtside at NBA games to getting kicked out of a frat house over the weekend, there is little that Johnny Football has done that thousands of college students wouldn't do the same if they could.
Johhny Manziel needs to stop making an ass of himself and his school on twitter. Don't turn into another Ryan Leaf.— kenzie (@Raised__Right) July 29, 2013
So cool it with the criticism. Before predicting that he will be the biggest bust since Ryan Leaf and the worst quarterback in SEC history in 2013, let him play at least a down of football.
Johhny Manziel doesn't appear to get it either, Someone should introduce him to Ryan Leaf of wsu. He thought he was God's gift as well.— Eldridge Recasner (@erecasner) July 29, 2013
Anyone see the video of Manziel getting kicked out of a Texas frat party? Silly Johhny— Jake Hulsey (@JakeHulsey1) July 28, 2013
On the field, the Texas A&M quarterback is the best football player in the nation. At least Heisman voters in 2012 thought so.
He has the ability to create plays with his feet, finish them with his arm and put up incredible numbers with regularity.
But it was his ridiculous ability to create the highlight reel material that captivated us last season.
His escape from Alabama's pressure and scramble resulting in touchdown pass against the Tide has been played over and over, and stands as one of his many "Heisman moments" last year.
But Manziel is not the only quarterback who routinely produced highlight plays and jaw-dropping jukes last season.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was not far behind.
Miller led the Buckeyes to a perfect season, posting a 12-0 record and making defenders look silly in the process.
This is not to say that the two were anywhere near the same level in 2012. As a matter of fact, there are other quarterbacks such as Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota who were more productive than Miller.
But what would it look like if the two switched teams in 2013? There is plenty of hype already pointing to these two leading the Heisman voting for this year, and neither of them has played a down of football this year.
So what if they switched teams?
Comparing last season's numbers, Manziel easily put up better stats:
Manziel - 3,706 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 68 percent completion rate, 1,410 rushing yards, 21 rushing touchdowns
Miller - 2,039 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, six interceptions, 58.3 completion rate, 1,271 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns
It is not even close, with Manziel leading in every category, except interceptions.
But rather than compare the performances of the two, take a look at the teams as a whole.
Last season, Miller was the Buckeye offense. Without him, they would have struggled to do anything. He was the team's leading rusher, with Carlos Hyde 42 attempts and 301 yards behind him.
His 1,271 yards accounted for 43.7 percent of Ohio State's rushing yardage in 2012.
Meanwhile, Manziel also led his team in rushing with 1,410 yards. This number accounted for 44.8 percent of TAMU's rushing yardage in 2012.
Miller rushed for 243 yards and one touchdown against two ranked opponents, but only gained over 100 yards against on of those opponents: Nebraska.
Manziel rushed for 408 yards and three touchdowns against four ranked opponents, but only reached the 100-yard mark against Oklahoma.
The biggest disparity was in the passing game, where Miller threw for roughly 1,600 yards fewer than Manziel. But this can be accounted for with attempts.
Miller attempted 254 passes last season, while Manziel attempted 434. The more accurate gauge might be yards per attempt. Miller finished with eight per attempt, while Manziel checked in at 8.5.
So the two are much more similar than one might imagine.
Kevin Sumlin and his staff attempted far more passes than Urban Meyer and his staff. Manziel accounted for one percent more of his team's rushing yards, and a half a yard more per passing attempt than Miller.
Manziel was incredible with his feet.
Miller made defenders look silly on a regular basis.
If the two switched teams, there is very little reason to believe there would be much drop-off or change in production from either.
It could be argued that Manziel played against better competition in the SEC, but he did not have a particularly good game against any of the ranked SEC teams he faced, and the Aggies tied with two other teams for fourth place in the SEC.
Meanwhile, Miller led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season.
Put Miller, or Mariota or Bret Hundley in Kevin Sumlin's system, and he will be uber-productive. Quarterbacks usually are for Sumlin. Put the same guys, or Manziel, in Urban Meyer's limited system last year, and watch them put up similar numbers to Miller.
The two, though producing vastly different yardage totals last season, would see a switch in said production with a switch in program.
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