Last season, Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. The Texas A&M Aggies‘ signal caller put up spectacular numbers and had several signature highlight plays which helped him easily win the award over Manti Te’o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Collin Klein of the Kansas State Wildcats.
Manziel was seen as the odds-on favorite to win a second Heisman this season, but that is apparently not going to happen. Despite his invitation to New York, it appears that Manziel is a longshot and could finish far back in the final vote count.
There were three big factors that led to “Johnny Football” not being able to defend his Heisman Trophy. First of all, Texas A&M was not as good, as a team, as they were last season. In 2012, the Aggies went 11-2, including an upset of the eventual national champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Manziel got to be on a big stage against some big-time opponents, and he excelled under those circumstances.
Secondly, Manziel’s numbers, especially in the rushing department, were lacking this season. As a freshman, Manziel rushed for 1,410 yards with 21 rushing touchdowns. In 2013, Manziel tried to do more with his arm, rushing for just 675 yards and eight scores.
Finally, although Manziel’s passing numbers were better this season, his miscues also rose. In 2012, Manziel passed for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns, with nine interceptions. This season, Manziel has passed for 3,372 yards with 33 touchdowns, but he has 13 interceptions.
All of these factors, combined with the emergence of Florida State Seminoles‘ quarterback Jameis Winston, led to Manziel falling short of a second straight Heisman. But Manziel should not hang his head, because Archie Griffin of the Ohio State Buckeyes, is the only player to ever repeat as the Heisman winner.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.