It’s something that has only been done just once in the history of college football. This fall, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will be trying to join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only players in college football history to win back-to-back Heisman Trophies.
My prediction: he will.
Manziel is poised to repeat his Heisman performance and win the award for the second year in a row. Last season, he threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 1,410 and 21 touchdowns. In order to win the crown for a second year in a row, he’ll have to match those numbers. Well, he’ll at least have to come close.
Based off of the Aggies’ 2013 schedule, I’d say ol’ Johnny Football stands a pretty good chance of accomplishing that feat. There are really only two games where the Aggies could falter, and they’ve beaten one of those two teams before. They’ll play Alabama at home in Week 3 and then travel to Baton Rouge to play LSU in Week 13. There are a couple of other teams, Arkansas and Mississippi State, that could surprise them and give them a good run. Other than that, it is a pretty favorable schedule.
Heisman voters love those flashy, big-time, big-game performances. With the schedule that Texas A&M will play this fall, Manziel will have plenty of opportunities to put up big numbers. On top of those flashy performances, it is also important to have one marquee performance on the national stage.
This fall, that marquee game could come against LSU. Both teams could enter undefeated and there would be huge conference implications on the line. A strong performance could almost secure the Heisman even though there would be one game, maybe two if they make the SEC Championship Game, left on the schedule.
When you look at his competition, he’s really only got one player going against him: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is coming off a fantastic sophomore season where he was named AT&T All America Player of the Year and also received the Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end.
While Clowney may be one of the Heisman favorites, the fact that he is a defense player does not play into his favor. Whether it is right or not, defensive players are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to the Heisman votes. Rarely do you see a case like Manti Te’o, where a defensive player actually had a good run at the award last season.
So while you’re watching Texas A&M football this fall to keep tabs on Manziel, remember the two keys to winning the Heisman Trophy that I touched on earlier. In order for Manziel to win the crown, he has to put up big numbers often and have a marquee performance on the biggest of stages, likely against LSU.
If Johnny Football can take care of both those tasks, which I believe he will, then he will win the 2013 Heisman Trophy and join Griffin as the only two players to win the award two consecutive years.