It is Time to Stop Ignoring Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in the Heisman Race

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

If you hadn’t heard of Johnny Manziel prior to this weekend, you certainly have now. Texas A&M‘s fabulous freshman, affectionately dubbed Johnny Football, took the college football world by storm with a legendary performance against the nation’s best defense. For those of you that have been counting him out of the Heisman race, that has to stop.

It was an embarrassment Manziel wasn’t on more radars prior to his performance against the Alabama Crimson Tide. His stats were off the wall good, and remain as such. Now that he has a statement win on the schedule, voters have to ignore the fact that he is a freshman.

We are supposedly a nation that is evolving, one that is open to new ideas. A freshman has never won the Heisman Memorial trophy in its 78-year history, and the trend has to be ignored if the voters are going to continue to be fair. Simply being a freshman is an argument I’m tired of hearing, and so should the voters.

The legitimacy of the award goes by the wayside when you exclude players like Herschel Walker and Adrian Peterson from winning because of a number on their birth certificate. If a player is the best in the country, he’s just the best.

Now, having said that, the other candidates worthy of mentioning in this Heisman race are talented in their own right, and Johnny Football is by no means the overwhelming favorite. He should be considered the front runner, however, and I’m not seeing that from any major sports site.

Take the favorite, Collin Klein, for example. On the season he has completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,020 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has an impressive 748 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. So that is 2,768 total yards and 31 total touchdowns. He accounts for 65 percent of Kansas State‘s yards gained and 58 percent of their touchdowns.

Manzeil, on the other hand, has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,780 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. He adds 1,015 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. So that is 3,795 total yards and 33 total touchdowns. He accounts for 70 percent of Texas A&M’s offensive yards gained and 58 percent of their touchdowns. Manziel is set to become the first QB in SEC history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards.

So, in the same amount of games, and having played in the toughest defensive conference in college football, Manziel’s numbers are way better than Klein’s, who pretty much tops the list of every respectable sports news outlet. Also do not forget that Klein plays in the Big 12, where defensive coaches are all pretty much lucky to have jobs.

Manziel has played Florida, LSU and Alabama already, all of whom rank in the top five in the nation in yards allowed. If that’s not a tough schedule, I don’t know what is. Yes, Texas A&M has had their cupcakes, but that is most programs.

If Klein and Kansas State go undefeated, I can certainly understand why he would win. But if you’re going by the numbers, JFF is the man.

Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. Like Jeff’s Facebook Page here. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Shull

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