Texas A&M Football: 4 Reasons Johnny Manziel Is the Heisman Front-Runner

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2013

Texas A&M Football: 4 Reasons Johnny Manziel Is the Heisman Front-Runner

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    The Texas A&M football team is currently ranked in the Top 10 because Johnny Manziel has been better on the field than he was in 2012. The Aggies' sophomore quarterback is once again the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.  

    Manziel made history in 2012 when he became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman. He is attempting to make history again by becoming only the second player to ever win two Heisman Trophies besides Ohio State's Archie Griffin

    Manziel has been at his best in big games. He has proven the doubters wrong and shown that he is the most dominant offensive player in college football today. 

    This is a look at why Manziel is the front-runner for the 2013 Heisman Trophy. 

His Main Competition Has Bad Press

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    Johnny Manziel generated some bad publicity off the field during the offseason. Logic dictated that this poor press would prevent him from winning the Heisman Trophy for a second season in a row. 

    Manziel's main competition for the Heisman Trophy is Florida State's freshman quarterback Jameis Winston. He has been a great player for the undefeated and No. 2-ranked Seminoles.

    Like Manziel, Winston has run into some trouble off the field also. Unfortunately for Winston, it does not appear that his sexual assault case will be decided anytime soon.

    Heisman voters are not going to vote for someone who has a felony charge hanging over his head. Whether he is ever convicted or not, the specter of a sexual assault case hanging over Winston's head will make people view him in a different light.     

    The fact that Winston is related to this case will push him behind Manziel in the Heisman voting. 

He Almost Slayed the Dragon Again

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    Johnny Manziel became a household name in 2012 when he helped lead the Aggies to a 29-24 victory over Alabama. Many thought that with an entire offseason to plan, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban would devise a way to stop Manziel. 

    Even though Alabama outlasted A&M 49-42 earlier in the season, Manziel's memorable performance left no doubt that he was a special player. He accounted for 562 total yards and five touchdowns in the loss. 

    Manziel led the Aggie offense to 628 total yards and 42 points against the Alabama defense. No offense has ever put up more total yards against an Alabama team. 

    In the process, he helped shorten Nick Saban's life span. Manziel appears to be the only player in the country capable of single-handedly slaying the dragon that is the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.  

     

He Has Been Better in 2013 Than 2012

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    Johnny Manziel has been even better in 2013 than he was in 2012 when he won the Heisman Trophy. He has developed into a better pocket passer who is a complete quarterback. 

    In 2012, Manziel completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns. With two regular-season game remaining in 2013, Manziel has completed 73 percent of his passes for 3,313 yards and 31 touchdowns. 

    He has only rushed for 611 yards in 2013 compared to 1,410 in 2012, but he is leading a more prolific offense. The Aggies averaged 558.6 yards per game in 2012, compared to 578 yards per game in 2013. 

    In 2012, Manziel spent much of the season just reacting and using his instincts as an athlete. In 2013, he has become a complete quarterback. 

Everyone Knows Manziel Is Carrying the Team

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    The Texas A&M defense has been nothing short of atrocious in 2013. The Aggies are allowing 454.4 yards and 30.9 points per game. 

    Even with that porous defense, the Aggies stand at 8-2 on the season and within two wins of a BCS bowl birth. The Aggies have only lost two games because Johnny Manziel and the offense have carried them. 

    The Aggies lost to Auburn 45-41 when Manziel missed two series with a shoulder injury. That underscored Manziel's importance to the team. 

    When Manziel got injured, the Aggies were leading the game 31-24. When he came back into the game the Aggies were trailing 38-34. 

    Manziel and the offense have carried this team to a Top 10 ranking.