Manziel takes lead in latest HeismanPundit/ Heisman Straw Poll

The quest for the 2012 Heisman Trophy took another crazy turn last week and, if the latest edition of the HeismanPundit/ Heisman Straw Poll is correct, we’ve got a new leader in the race with just two weeks left to go.

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel jumped to the top of the pack after Kansas State and its quarterback, former Heisman front runner Collin Klein, got knocked off by Baylor this past Saturday, 52-24. Manziel picked up seven first-place votes and 26 total points from the weekly survey of 11 Heisman voters from around the country after he and his team defeated Sam Houston State.

“He beat the No. 1 team in the FBS and the No. 3 team in the FCS in consecutive weeks,” said one voter. “What’s next, the Cowboys?”

If Manziel hangs on, he’d be the first freshman to win the Heisman in the 78-year history of the award. All votes are due by Dec. 3.

In second place behind Manziel was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who collected two first-place votes and 17 total points. He’s trying to make history, too, as the best-ever finish by a pure defender was a runner-up showing from Pittsburgh’s Hugh Green in 1980.

Klein, who led the poll for the previous four weeks, dropped to third place with nine points. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller garnered a first-place vote and was fourth with seven points, while USC wide receiver Marqise Lee took fifth with five points, including the panel’s last first-place selection.

Now in its seventh season, the former Heisman Straw Poll has been reborn as the HeismanPundit/ Heisman Straw Poll. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the last five seasons, with the final 2011 poll correctly picking the top seven finishers. It is made up of 11 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis (just like a real Heisman ballot) with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week’s poll will be released on Tuesday throughout the season at and at Check out previous polls for this season here.

The HeismanPundit/ Heisman Straw Poll, 11-20-2012
Player, total points (first-place votes in parentheses)

1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M — 26 (7)

2. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame — 17 (2)

3. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State — 9

4. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State — 7 (1)

5. Marqise Lee, WR, USC — 5 (1)

6. (tie) Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon — 1

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson — 1

About the Voting Panel

The 11 members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando SentinelTom Dienhart of The Big Ten NetworkMichael Lev of the Orange County RegisterBruce Feldman and Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.comBryan Fischer of the Pac-12 NetworkDick Weiss of the New York Daily NewsLenn Robbins of the New York PostJenni Carlson of The Daily Oklahoman and Dave Hackenberg of the Toledo BladeChris Huston, Heisman analyst and publisher of, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.

Past 2012 Poll Leaders

Preseason, Matt Barkley
Sept. 4, Matt Barkley
Sept. 11, Matt Barkley
Sept. 18, Geno Smith
Sept. 25, Geno Smith
Oct. 2, Geno Smith
Oct. 9, Geno Smith
Oct. 16, Geno Smith
Oct. 23, Collin Klein
Oct. 30, Collin Klein
Nov. 6, Collin Klein
Nov. 13, Collin Klein

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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9 Responses to Manziel takes lead in latest HeismanPundit/ Heisman Straw Poll

  1. J Walker November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Why isn’t Manziel’s character being factored into this decision?!!? The award criteria speaks to integrity and he doesn’t rank high in that category. He has three years to move from misdemeanor to felony and remind the voters as to why no freshman has ever won.

    • falbrit November 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      and you are informed on his character how specifically? rumors from disgruntled longhorn supporters?
      stop attacking a kid you know nothing REALLY about….

  2. David A November 27, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    If I remember correctly, Cam Newton won the award and he stole a laptop.

  3. Glazzzmann November 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Jordan Lynch??? It’s a shame that the voters don’t make an effort to see all the top players, But I guess that if you play at a lesser known Div.1 school it doesn’t matter how good you are? Shame on the writers and voters for not doing their homework.

  4. Phillip N November 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Why no love for UGA’s Aaron Murray? Most efficient passer in the NCAA, 3rd in the country in yards per play, 1100+ yards since halftime of the Florida game, 14 TD – 0 INT over that same span. Not saying he should win it, but he is being unfairly forgotten despite having a better season than some of those on the list above.

    • Mattman November 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Because he looked awful against S. Carolina

  5. gbulat December 3, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    What about JORDAN LYNCH??? Record and unrealistic numbers, regardless of who he has played, that half these guys haven’t and couldn’t even do. This guy NEEDS to be considered and deserves far MORE respect that no one gives him.

  6. Epsportsblog December 3, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    No tavon Austin or Stedman bailey? The two best WR in the country..unreal bias


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