Paul Finebaum Flip-Flops on Johnny Manziel, Names Him Heisman Favorite

Sebastian LenaAnalyst IOctober 23, 2013

Manziel's play this season has turned his biggest critics into fans.
Manziel's play this season has turned his biggest critics into fans.Michael Chang/Getty Images

In a shocking turn of events, one of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s biggest critics, Paul Finebaum, has recently become one of his biggest supporters.

Appearing on SportsCenter Wednesday morning, one of college football’s most controversial talking heads had no doubt who his Heisman favorite is, according to The Dallas Morning NewsSean Lester:

“The bottom line is this — he’s played spectacularly,” Finebaum said. “In spite of what I said and what others said, he has shut us all up. To that I give him a lot of credit. He’s not only played with pain as we saw against Auburn but he’s played against all odds.”

There's no doubt that Manziel has once again been phenomenal.

Through seven games, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner has thrown for 2,289 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 73.2 percent passing. He’s also added another 486 yards and six scores on the ground.

Manziel’s performance has him ranked in the top five in various statistical categories including yards, completion percentage and QB rating.

However, given the stellar play of Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Manziel’s Heisman campaign has taken some hits.

The sophomore currently sits at No. 3 in ESPN’s latest Heisman Watch.

Regardless, Finebaum isn’t budging from his stance:

“I’m staying with Johnny Manziel and here’s why,” Finebaum said. “He has played better than anyone else and not only that, we can’t take our eyes off of him. The Heisman goes to the most outstanding player, not the most outstanding team. As a longtime Heisman voter I criticize my fellow colleagues because we get caught up in who won, who lost, you’re out.

“The bottom line is, Johnny Manziel is still the best player in the country. His team has lost twice but I’m sticking with him right now.”

To his credit, it wasn't like Manziel wasn't near his best during the Aggies' two losses.

Against Alabama, he racked up 562 yards of total offense while tossing five touchdowns. Versus Auburn, Manziel totaled 502 yards of total offense while accounting for five scores.

Ironically, his QB ratings in those contests—203.8 and 198.2, respectively—rank among the best in his 20-game career.

Let’s see how Winston and Mariota fare backed behind the nation’s No. 120-ranked total defense.

Odds are, they both probably wouldn't be leading two undefeated teams.


All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of

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