Probably the best individual accomplishment one can achieve in collegiate sports is winning the Heisman Memorial trophy. It puts you in an elite category and stamps legendary status on your career that no one can take away.
The Heisman race this year is about as wide open as it gets, at least after this past Saturday. Front runner Geno Smith had a bad game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but hurting him more is the fact that West Virginia got completely blown out by Tech.
Fortunately for Smith there aren’t many more worthy candidates behind him. ESPN’s expert Heisman watch still has Smith in the lead, which obviously should be the case. Smith is putting up video game numbers, with 2271 passing yards and 25 touchdowns to 0 interceptions.
But behind him the candidates are not having amazing years, and someone who is not getting consideration that should be is Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. Let’s compare him to ESPN’s No. 2 candidate, Braxton Miller of Ohio State.
In seven games Miller has 1,271 passing yards, 11 touchdowns to four interceptions, and an eye popping 912 rushing yards with nine touchdowns (2,183 total yards, 20 total touchdowns). Miller accounts for 68.9 percent of Ohio State’s offense which is ranked 34th in the nation.
In just six games Manziel has 1,680 passing yards, 14 touchdowns to three interceptions combined with 674 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns (2,354 total yards, 24 total touchdowns). Manziel accounts for 72.2 percent of Texas A&M’s offense which is ranked 6th in the nation.
Other than Smith, Manziel has better numbers than every single candidate on ESPN’s list. Texas A&M hasn’t played top competition yet, but they did play Florida and Manziel held his own despite being just a redshirt freshman. The guy can flat out play and it is time for the rest of the country to take notice.
He’ll be in the national spot light when the Aggies take on LSU and Alabama, so we’ll see how he responds against two of the nation’s top defenses. If he has a good game against even one of those teams, the Heisman watch lists will no longer be able to ignore his numbers.