Heisman Trophy: Five Reason Why Johnny Manziel Wins

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Five Reasons Johnny Manziel Wins the Heisman Trophy

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Jery Lai-USA TODAY Sports & Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

So in less than a day the College Footballworld will have a new king…

A legend that will be anointed with all the other greats of all-time at the Downtown Athletic Club

And this year’s class comes down to the cagey senior, the lovable linebacker and the living video game freshman…

Could there be any three different candidates?

Probably not…

And it is guaranteed that this year’s Heisman Trophy Presentation will be one of the most watched in history.

Now Manti Te’o and Collin Klein are great stories and worthy of the award.

Their seasons have been amazing…

But there is only one man who is the clear choice…

And that man is a Freshman

Yes, Johnny Manziel has had a season second to any other previous winner of the trophy.

He even has the perfect name…

Johnny Football is the perfect nickname for a Heisman Winner

A multiple winner of the award…

And there is only one reason Manziel will not stand on the stage as the winner.

The bias of the old fogeys in the voting process who believes a freshman can’t win because they are a freshman…

The belief they haven’t been around long enough to “earn” the award…

That’s a steaming pile of hot crap…

And if it is the reason that keeps Johnny Football from winning it will be the greatest travesty in the history of the award and college football.

So with that being said, let’s take a look at the Top Five Reason Why Manziel Wins the Heisman Trophy.

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No. 5 - Leadership

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Can you think back in the history of College Football where a freshman had this kind of an impact on his team?

Hershel Walker, Bo Jackson

Anyone else…

Even Tim Tebow wasn’t handed the keys to the team until a sophomore.

But with all that said, the one thing that separates him from any other freshman QB and puts him in the class of Walker is that his team believes in him 100%.

Every player would do everything in their power to go where ever he asked them to go…

And that’s a freshman in the huddle who followed Ryan Tannyhill who has proved his NFL leadership with the Miami Dolphins.

That is impossible in the college game and Manziel has made it look easy…

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No. 4 - Maturity

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Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

So Manziel’s first ever start in his College Football career with the Texas A&M Aggies came also as the first SEC against the Florida Gators.

He was average rushing for 60 yards and going 23-30 for 173 yards in a 20-17 loss to the one-loss Gators.

Remember, no one in the nation did not know who this kid Manziel was nor did anyone care…

But what he did over the next few weeks were simply unreal…

How about six touchdowns against the SMU Mustangs, 454 yards passing and 104 yards rushing and four scores versus the Arkansas Razorbacks and 181 yards rushing and 395 passing and six touchdowns against then No. 23 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

He had his only bad game against the LSU Tigers with 27 yards rushing and 295 yards passing with one score and three picks…

That is his worst game of the season…

Most QBs in the country would kill for a 295 yard passing day against the Tigers’ defense.

Manziel bounced back with 369 total yards against the Auburn Tigers and 450 total yards against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

He simply got better as the season went along…

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No. 3 - Giant Killers

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

To win a Heisman Trophy you have to have a signature moment…

Desmond Howard’s Heisman pose in the end zone after a punt return type moment…

Johnny Football is a walking and breathing video game with all of the highlights he had this season.

But nothing compared to his biggest moment in his biggest game against the Top-Ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

The circus fumble, catch and run was silly and a video moment for sure…

But it was his overall performance against the Tide that was second to none.

Manziel went 24 for 31 for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added 92 yards rushing in front of 102,000 rabid Bama fans.

He had A&M up 20-0 before Nick Saban and Kirby Smart even knew what hit them.

In fact, Alabama needed a million dollars worth of supplies from Tactical Medical Solutions just to get the Tide ready for the next game...

Bottom line is that if you play as flawless as Manziel did in your biggest test of the season and beat the most dominate team in college football not only this season but over the past five seasons plus, you are a Heisman Winner…

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No. 2 - Legendary

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Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

There is no way to describe the season Manziel had in 2012 other than legendary…

Passing – 273 for 400 (68.3%) for 3419 which was good for 8.5 yards per play, 24 touchdowns against only 8 interceptions which all totaled a QB ranking of 155.9.

Rushing – 184 attempts good for 1181 yards which was 6.4 yards per carry and 19 touchdowns.

In all that 4600 total yards which is a new NCAA Record in a season…

But here is the big one…

Johnny Football has gone for more than 300 yards passing three times this season and 100 yards rushing six times…

That’s in one season…

No other QB has done this in the history of College Football multiple times in a season and only four times since the days of leather helmets.

Oh and he’s a freshman…

That is legendary…

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No. 1 - History

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Jery Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Heisman Trophy is all about history…

There is no doubt Manziel had a super season, but how great was it in relation to some Heisman Winners

Player Games Played Rush Yards Rush TDs Pass Yards Pass TDs Total Offense
Manziel (QB) 12 1181 19 3419 24 4600
Robert Griffin III (QB) 13 699 10 4293 37 4992
Cam Newton (QB) 14 1473 20 2854 30 4327
Mark Ingram (RB) 14 1658 17 n/a n/a 1658
Sam Bradford (QB) 14 47 15 4720 50 4767
Tim Tebow (QB) 13 895 23 3286 32 4181

Hopefully this will put into perspective just what a season Manziel has had and why he is the clear choice for the Heisman.

So what if he is a red-shirt freshman…

The game has changed and no one has had the season this young man has had…

Even some of the guys who already won the trophy would have loved to have had a season like Manziel.

And if a Heisman Winner is envious of Johnny Football that means he is without a doubt this year’s only option to stand on the stage and hoist up the trophy.

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M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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