|Daily Blog •December 8, 2012|
While I have a Heisman vote and in the past have given you who I voted for in this blog, I will respect the Heisman Trophy Committee’s recent recommendation that voters do not share their votes in order to protect tonight’s ceremony and its results.
However, for the past couple of years, I have given you my projected order of what the Heisman Trophy Finalists will finish and I have gone a perfect nine for nine! Last year it was no shock that RGIII won the award but I also correctly predicted that Andrew Luck would finish #2, Trent Richardson #3, Montee Ball #4 and Tyrann Mathieu #5. In 2010, I also hit all four of the finalists in their correct order of finish.
First, here is my projected order of finish for this year’s Heisman Trophy.
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
- Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Collin Klein, Kansas St
Now here are some pros/cons to each of the finalist’s candidacy.
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
- Played in the premier conference of college football and set the SEC total offense record this year with 4,600 yards. The last two quarterbacks to break the SEC total offense record were Cam Newton in 2010 and Tim Tebow in 2007. Both won the Heisman in those respective years.
- Played one of his best games of the year on one of the biggest stages as with the whole country watching in November, he led the Aggies to an upset on the road at Alabama, which featured the #1 defense in the country.
- The Heisman traditionally goes to quarterbacks and being the top quarterback in the top conference playing against what many feel are the best defenses in college football does not hurt.
- No true or redshirt freshman has ever won the award and many Heisman voters will feel that Manziel will have future opportunities to win the award down the road.
- Had an off-field issue this past summer and most Heisman voters take overall character into consideration.
- Led his team to a 1-2 record against the three best teams he faced. In those games, Manziel performed well in the first half, but after those teams adjusted to the Aggies’ up-tempo style and Manziel’s scrambling ability, they clamped down on him in the second half and he had just a 2-3 ratio in those games against Florida, LSU and Alabama.
2. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- A lot of times the Heisman has gone to the best player on the best team and Te’o is that for the undefeated and #1 ranked Fighting Irish.
- His seven interceptions are the most by a linebacker at the FBS level in 12 years and he is tied for #1 in the nation with TO’s forced at (9). He also had 100+ tackles for the third straight season and his 103 tackles were 42 more than any other ND defender on one of the best D’s in the country.
- Playing for Notre Dame certainly helps your brand and his story this year of losing his girlfriend and grandmother on the same day has pulled at the hearts of many voters while he clearly has been the inspirational leader of an entire University.
- Pure defensive players do not win the Heisman as while Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson won the award in 1997, he also played on offense and special teams. Te’o is the first true defender that has a legitimate chance to win the award since Hugh Green all the way back in 1980.
- Te’o benefits from several other great Notre Dame defenders especially a defensive line that opens lanes for him.
- Some feel that Te’o is not even the best defender in college football this year as Jadeveon Clowney and Jarvis Jones could be more disruptive forces.
3. Collin Klein, Kansas St
- Klein has been “the” Kansas St offense for each of the past two years as he has combined for an amazing 1,064 rush and pass attempts while leading the Wildcats to a 21-4 overall record.
- No off-the-field issues and Heisman voters have to love his toughness. Also statistically he compares quite favorably to former Heisman winner Tim Tebow.
- On one of the biggest stages and when he seemed like a lock to take home the award, his #1 Kansas St team fell to an unranked Baylor team 52-24. In that game, Klein had his worst game of the season with three interceptions against one of the worst defenses in the country at that point.
- In November, when Heisman voters are watching your every move, Klein’s production each of the last two years has fallen off down the stretch (mainly due to all of his early season touches).