The 2013 season did not end the way that Johnny Manziel hoped it would. The quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies was the defending Heisman Trophy winner, and was the clear favorite to win the award again in 2013.
Manziel and the Aggies also appeared to be in a position to contend in the Southeastern Conference. In 2012, A&M won, on the road, against the eventual national champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Aggies went 11-2, and the two losses were by a combined eight points. A&M closed the 2012 campaign by thumping the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.
The stage appeared to be set for the Aggies, and Manziel, in 2013. A&M appeared to have its offensive weapons in place, with wide receiver Mike Evans and running back Ben Malena returning to bolster Manziel and his unique abilities.
However, a couple of things happened in 2013. First, the A&M defense did not help the cause in big games. In Texas A&M’s four losses, the Aggies gave up 156 points (39 points per game).
Then, near the end of the season, Manziel started to show the wear and tear on his body. After leading his team to at least 41 points per game through the first 10 contests, A&M was only able to manage 31 points in its last two games, losses to the LSU Tigers (34-10) and to the Missouri Tigers (28-21).
Manziel was in the mix for the Heisman until those last two games. After struggling against LSU and Missouri, it became apparent that he would not repeat.
There is still one more chance for Manziel to leave his mark on the A&M program before he (likely) takes his talents to the NFL. The Aggies will face the Duke Blue Devils on December 31 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Manziel and his offensive teammates should be healthy and ready to go for that one. And Aggie fans will get one more chance to appreciate all that Manziel has done for the program.
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.