Irish Sports Daily on Te’o, Manziel and the Heismandments

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good ol’ back ‘n forth with someone from another website.

Sean Stires of Irish Sports Daily put up an excellent post yesterday comparing Manti Te’o and Johnny Manziel in the context of The 10 Heismandments and I thought it’d be worthwhile to respond in kind.

In essence, Sean argues that Te’o has the advantage in six Heismandment categories, while Manziel leads in two and two others are a push.

I’m going to have to disagree on his overall analysis and here’s why:

— Let’s first start by hearkening back a little bit to Sunday school. I believe it was at the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus was asked which of the 10 commandments given to Moses were the most important to follow. Jesus basically distilled the commandments down to two, with the first two original commandments being the central basis for his overall point (I apologize if this theology is shoddy, but I’m only trying to make an analogy). My point is that the early Heismandments are somewhat more important than the later Heismandments. While I’ve never stressed that explicitly, I believe it is implicit in the ordering of the rules.

— That all said, I can’t stress enough the centrality of the first Heismandment, which states that the winner must be a quarterback, a running back or a multi-purpose athlete. This is a HUGE obstacle to Te’o winning the Heisman as it serves to undermine him with regards to some of the other Heismandments.

— Obviously, Manziel is at a disadvantage with Heismandment No. 2 (the class rule), but as we’ve seen in recent years, this appears to be the weakest of the bunch and is on tap to be amended (it has already been amended once, after Tim Tebow won in 2007). Whatever advantage Te’o gains from this Heismandment, he more than gives away with his huge weakness with regards to the first.

— I disagree with giving Te’o the advantage with Heismandment No. 3. This is obviously a judgement call, but these days almost every game is on television and Manziel has fared quite well. But this ignores a more important factor, which hearkens back to the first Heismandment: As a defensive player, Te’o is not the focus of the television camera the way Manziel (or any quarterback) is on EVERY offensive play. Te’o can make a tackle at the bottom of a pile and the announcer might well be talking about something else. Manziel completes a pass and it is highlighted, with his stats instantly refreshed for all to see. The point being, offensive and defensive production are not equal in voters’ eyes, especially when they can’t observe both equally on the TV screen.

— I agree that Te’o had better name recognition (Heismandment No. 4) than Manziel heading into the season. But this was ground that was quickly made up as soon as the ‘Johnny Football’ nickname came into being. This is an edge for Te’o, but as a practical matter, it’s not much of a help to his campaign.

— Manziel gets the nod on Heismandment No. 5 by virtue of the fact that Manziel’s record-breaking numbers (4,600 yards of total offense, 43 touchdowns) are far ahead of any other credible competitor in the race, including Te’o’s. The fact that Te’o plays defense weakens his status as the top player on a traditional power (in the end, it all really comes back to the first Heismandment).

— Even though Texas A&M has a system (Heismandment No. 6), Manziel is not perceived as its obvious byproduct. Kevin Sumlin didn’t even offer Manziel out of high school because he didn’t consider him a good fit. On the contrary, Manziel’s production is very different than previous Sumlin quarterbacks — none of them were dual threats to the extent that he has been so far. In this context, he appears to be transcending the system. Whatever the case, this does not apply to either candidate.

— I agree that Manziel’s has the advantage with Heismandment No. 8 and that Heismandment’s No. 7 and No. 9 are pushes.

— With Heismandment No. 10 I give the edge to Te’o. But this Heismandment is really only a factor if a player is generally perceived as NOT likeable. Since neither candidate is really perceived that way, the benefit from Te’o’s advantage is slight, if a factor at all.

In the end, I have the count as such: Manziel – 3, Te’o – 3, Push — 4. But Manziel has the advantage in three of the first five Heismandments, which tend to be the most important.

Manziel’s advantages are that he is a quarterback on a good team with incredible single-season offensive numbers that are well ahead of his competitors and he has proven his case in big games on television. His main disadvantages are that he is a freshman who was an unknown quantity heading into the season.

Te’o’s advantages are that he is a senior player on a traditional power competing for the national title, he’s a known quantity and he’s likeable. His main disadvantage is that he plays defense and therefore the value to his team is more difficult to quantify than that of an offensive player.

This doesn’t point to a landslide win by Manziel by any means, but it points to a solid win. No one has ever bucked the first Heismandment to this point, I’m afraid. If anyone can do it, maybe it’s Te’o, but I’m afraid it’s going to live to see another day.

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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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44 Responses to Irish Sports Daily on Te’o, Manziel and the Heismandments

  1. William Batson November 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    The first Heismandment is complete garbage and you know it. Read the description of the Heisman trophy and tell me why a defensive player can’t win? It’s writers like you that have helped ruin this award.

    • Heismanpundit November 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      I think you misunderstand the purpose of the Heismandments. They are not prescriptive, but rather descriptive.

      When I write that a defender can’t win the Heisman, I am merely describing the current outlook and behaviors of the Heisman electorate based on a historical and contemporary reading of their actions.

      It’d be the same as if I wrote that someone whose only political experience was in the House of Representatives couldn’t get elected President. There would be a lot of data and reasoning to support that.

      • William Batson November 28, 2012 at 2:47 am #

        I know that you are just going off of history, but it’s things like that that keep people in the mindset that defensive players can’t win, when in fact they should be able to. You could help lead a cause to either change the Heisman to make it what it should be, but instead you want to be a follower.

        One of two things needs to happen with the Heisman:

        1. They come out and say it is an offensive reward only, or..

        2. They make it two trophies, one offensive, one defensive.

        If everyone would come together and push for one of these changes, I bet we could in fact change it, but not enough people, who have the ability to reach out to many, want to voice their opinions.

    • Jered W. November 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      If you debunk the first Heismandment, I’ll raise you the second Heismandment. The description of the Heisman trophy says nothing of “the class rule”.

      Think of it this way. In 1970 we had the unfortunate, tragic accident of Marshall University which opened up the availability for Freshman to play “Varsity” football for all colleges in 1972. This opened up a whole new era in college football and basketball. The overall competitive landscape of college football changed forever, infact because this rule was changed in 1972 the great Archie Griffin of Ohio State was able to play as a freshman who gained 867 yards and scored 3 tds his first year. A couple years later he wins the Heisman back-to-back, well deserved.

      Flashforward to the present, it is 2012, 40 years after Freshman are allowed to play “Varsity” football. What better way to celebrate such an important historical decision than to award it to the Most Outstanding, 2 time Capital One Player of the Week, numerous SEC Player of the Week, Freshman of the Year, probably Davy O’Brien award winner, SEC record holder in Johnny Manziel?

      Now please don’t get me wrong William, et al of the Te’o contingent. I believe he is a fantastic leader on a very good football team. If the greats of Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Warren Sapp etc. could not win the Heisman, this is not the year to award it to a defender. Te’o is good but he’s not an all time great (stats do matter, 7 ints impressive but look at the rest). I do believe that the Heisman should be awarded to a defender one day, this is just not the day.

      It’s great that this will be a historic award granted to two great players. I just believe it is the year to award an outstanding Freshman after 40 years of seeing outstanding Freshman.

      • William Batson November 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

        I’m not saying a freshman shouldn’t win at all, the reward should be open to everyone.

        As for Te’o and his other stats, it’s hard to gain tackles when your opponents are going 3 and out. Te’o is responsible for stopping 143 plays this season, and Irish opponents have ran 757 plays. This means Te’o has personally stopped 18.82% of opposing team’s plays. That’s pretty darn impressive to me.

  2. Shane Dean November 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    You can quantify 7 INT’s. That’s more than Woodson. The Heisman is a joke anymore and so is this site.

    • Heismanpundit November 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      Harder to quantify the importance of those 7 interceptions than it is to quantify 4600 yards and 43 touchdowns. Sorry.

    • Pinko Punko November 27, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

      Woodson entirely shut down one half of the field, one INT at least was an insane 1 handed grab, in addition to having exciting contributions on offense. Teo is a good player. I wouldn’t call several of his INTs as product of amazing coverage or talent. His other defensive stats do not stand out in any way whatsoever.

  3. MH November 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    Teo isn’t even the best linebacker in the country. Other than INT, his other stats are not registered or otherwise far from extraordinary. He has a nice story and he’s on an undefeated team. That’s why he’s getting so much press. If ESPN and a few others weren’t slobbering all over his story so much, Teo wouldn’t even be registering on the Heisman watch lists.

    • Mike November 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      This hearkens back to the main issue… which is that defensive impact is hard to quantify. If a CB locks down Calvin Johnson all day so bad they don’t throw at him once, his stat line probably reads a bunch of zeros but he has a HUGE impact on the game.

      This is why a defensive player will never win… because on defense you can’t pad stats the way you can on offense.

  4. Mike November 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Here’s what I don’t understand… why is everyone so in love with stats but so devoid from context? Manziel’s entire campaign is basically reliant on the upset over ‘Bama in which he played great + out of context stats from running up the score on some very, very bad defenses with very high volume of offense.

    Overall against ranked competition his record was 1-2 with passing stats of 234 YPG with 2 TDs and 3 INTs…. that’s absolutely horrid. Not even close to “good” much less Heisman worthy. But because the losses came when no one was watching ‘Johnny Football’ closely it seems that no one cares. Is timing of losses really that important?

    • Jeremy November 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Do you just make up numbers? Manziel faced 5 ranked teams and went 3-2. Florida (L), La Tech (W), LSU (L), Miss St (W), Alabama (W). Across those 5 games, he had 282 ypg passing, 5 pass TD, 4 int (3 against LSU), 98 ypg rushing, and 6 rushing TDs. 3 of those teams are ranked in the top 6 of all defenses in the country.

      For your accusation about running up the score leading to his stats, Manziel only played a complete game 4 times all year – Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, and Alabama. In every single other game, he came out in the 3rd quarter (and usually after the 1st series of that quarter). If he’d played every minute, he’d have shattered the NCAA total yardage mark and not just the SEC mark.

      • HeI5Manti December 2, 2012 at 10:29 am #

        YAWWWWN! 3 ranked teams. 1-2. Haven’t seen La. Tech or MSU in the Top 25 for a while now.

        Also, check your stats on how much production Manziel had when A&M was already up four scores.

        Lastly, not a system QB? Is Manziel even Sumlin’s most prolific QB?!?

    • Jon November 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      If you would look objectively at the stats, vs. cherry-picking…you’d see that A&M played 5 ranked teams during the year. Manziel avg’d 282 yds passing & 98 yds rushing against them for a total yardage avging 379.4. Their avg ranking when they played A&M was 13.8/final ranking avg 17.4. Looking at ND…they played 4 ranked teams avg ranking 13.8 when they faced off and final rank avg of 22.3. The ranked teams seem fairly comparable overall, but you cherry picked the teams final rankings for stats of which Manziel avg’d 294 yds per game (you conveniently left out his rushing stats), 1 rush TD, 2 pass TDs, and yes, 3 Ints against LSU, (0 against FL, 0 against AL). However these 3 teams avg final rankings are 4.3 and are all ranked in the top 10 Defensively (FL 5, LSU 9, AL 1) and with a combined record of 32-4. ND’s opponents ended up with 3 also being in the top 25 polls. Avg ranking of 12.7, a combined record of 27-8. But their Offensive rankings avg 49 rushing, 62 passing, and 57 Overall with only 1 team breaking the top ten Offensively (MI 79, Stan 82, OK 9th). So the ranked teams ND have played were not offensive powerhouses that Te’o shut down…they were below avg offensive teams. And how did Te’o do against mediocre ranked offenses? He avg’d 4 tackles, 6 Ass’t tackles, 1 TFL, 1/3 of a sack, 0 Forced Fumbles, and yes 1 Int. While I will agree this is good, it isn’t great…it isn’t Heisman effort. Both Manziel and Te’o led their teams to a 4 game improvement over last year’s teams. Te’o’s effort comes with him moving up a year in experience. Manziel’s comes from him replacing a 1st round draft pick QB in a new offense in unarguably the toughest defensive conference. As for the FCS games padding his stats overall, there was a great article yesterday that showed that because he was pulled early in several of the blowout games, they actually dropped his averages. Manziel blew the rookie record for most yards in a season by around 1000 yds. He beat the SEC records for yardage of two of the recent Heisman trophy winners (Tebow and Newton) while playing 10 less quarters. And he is only 1 of 5 to ever go over the 3000/1000 mark…the only freshman. He deserves the Heisman this year. Don’t say he can get it next year…he may suffer some career ending injury in the next game…will the Heisman voters go back and demand a do-over??? No. The argument that Te’o deserves the Heisman for being the best man on the best team is ludicris or they would award it after the National Championship game. Te’o has been an instrumental part of ND’s winning season and if they can pull off 1 more win…let him hoist the crystal trophy and name him MVP, but his performance while good, doesn’t even match that of previous Heisman defensive players who made the final cut, but didn’t win.

      • Mike November 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        No, Texas A&M did not play 5 ranked teams. Neither Louisiana Tech nor Mississippi State is ranked right now.

        That’s like giving Notre Dame credit for beating a top 10 team in Michigan State even though they finished the year 6-6. Or Louisiana Monroe a top 10 win for beating “#8” Arkansas. Come on.

        You say cherry pick while claiming stats against “ranked” opponents nowhere in the top 25.

      • Mike November 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

        And defensive stats actually go up by playing better offenses… because bad offenses get off the field sooner = less plays = less stats. That should be pretty obvious. A good offense that runs 80 plays gives you 33% more stats than a bad offense that runs 60 plays…

  5. JaVelle November 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Manti’s Heisman moment was the death of his girlfriend and playing Ina game after. It was very sad and emotional. The Heisman isn’t about who has the best story. It’s about the most outstanding player. Look at all the people who have watched Johnny on YouTube and tell me Manti is more outstanding… He has a big heart but not even the top linebacker this year. Ranked around #50 in tackles.

  6. victor November 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Hard for Teo to add tackle stats and lead the country……when most teams go 3 and out. PUNT!!

  7. KDub November 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Marcus Mariota (35 TDs) sat for probably 16 quarters because of blowouts or otherwise would have had similar stats. Also, it seems to keep slipping into oblivion that Manziel’s biggest games (top 3 opponents — in Florida, LSU and Alabama) resulted in 2 passing TDs, 3 ints and 1 rushing TD. Oh, and most importantly, 2 LOSSES. I get that the guy beat Alabama, but what else did he do against quality competition? And another thing… Sam Houston, South Carolina State? C’mon.

    • James November 28, 2012 at 8:03 am #

      You do realize that Manziel has sat out more quarters this year than Mariota?

    • Jvd November 28, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      Arkansas State? Tennessee Tech? At least SHSU was #3 in the FCS

  8. a November 28, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Lots of myths out there about Johnny Manziel, both good and bad. However, this idea that he was shut down by LSU and Florida is absurd.

    The following stats are a couple of weeks old, but the lesson still holds true.

    Let’s start with Florida, Manziel’s first ever start. Despite a slow finish, he outgained the average QB against Florida by 50 yards, and accounted for more yards than all but two opposing QBs. Very good stats, but do these make the case for the Heisman? Certainly not.

    Now, let’s look at LSU. Johnny gained more yards against LSU than any other QB all year. He outgained the average QB by 140 yards. The INTs hurt, to be sure, but they were not the difference in the game.

    The strength of your competition matters. The stats that Johnny Manziel has compiled have been against many of the very best defenses in the country. He has worked his wonders against 3 of the top 9 defenses in the nation in Total Defense and 3 of the top 11 in Scoring Defense. He, alone, accounts for more total yardage against defenses than most entire teams. He accounted for 345 yards against Alabama on his own, which is more than any TEAM that Alabama has faced except for LSU.

    So, you see, he doesn’t pad stats. He outperforms his peers, even against the same opponents. He had the ball for only one drive against each of his FCS opponents, and sat out the 4th against four other teams, including three SEC teams. Despite his time holding a clipboard, he has shattered the SEC yardage record, which was set in 14 games, in only 12 games.

    Te’o is a gifted defender. His INTs are very impressive, even amazing, and he is undoubtedly the soul of that Irish team. However, his numbers overall are pedestrian. He ranks 58th in total tackles. He doesn’t even show up on the NCAA stat sheet in solo tackles, tackles for loss, or sacks. He has defended fewer passes than Ohio St. LB, Ryan Shazier.

    The real dagger in Te’o’s campaign from a statistical standpoint goes with the opposite of what Manziel has done. He has only played 1 Top 10 Total Offense (OU). He has only played against 3 Top 40 Total Offenses (OU, USC, Miami); those three teams hold similar ranks as Scoring Offenses.

    Not only has Manziel put up more impressive statistics than Te’o, he has done it against better competition, in the brightest spotlight, and in the premiere athletic conference in the country.

    The only way to justify Te’o over Manziel is by believeing that 1) Manziel is a freshman and therefore is not deservings, or 2) the trophy should go to the most inspirational/emotional player. Those are very valid opinions, and many people certainly agree.

    Te’o is awesome, and teams will be drooling over him come the Draft. He’s a lock for tons of postseason honors. However, is he the most outstanding player in college football? No. That would be Johnny Manziel.

  9. donjuan November 28, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    The biggest problem is that Te’o is a mormon. It is amazing that the catholics at ND fell in love with this mormon. But….as we learned in the recent presidential race, voters will not vote for a mormon, in anything. I myself am a mormon and an aggie, so if Manziel loses, at least it will be to Te’o. Ty Detmer was on BYU but I don’t think he was a mormon at the time, he converted later. Anyways, should be interesting, voters won’t vote for a freshman or a mormon, so looks like Klein might be taking it home!

  10. Phil November 28, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    All good points, I’m an Aggie, but I see great qualities in both players, and am thrilled that Manziel is in the discussion. This site is fun to read because it gives us an idea of what the outcome will be, but is not a forum to change the votes–there are plenty of other voices out there lobbying for favorite players in other forums. The reason we like pundits is they help us understand the future, they are certainly not perfect, otherwise they would be multi-billionaire prophets, but we can get a feel for the pulse of what they are hearing as they talk to the actual voters. HP isn’t telling the voters how to vote, but merely telling us how he thinks they will vote.

    I disagree that being a mormon had anything to do with the Pres election or now with the Heisman. Playing the persecution card doesn’t really help the voting, just degrades the player or the Heisman or both.

    I personally will be happy if Teo wins, but happier if Manziel does. If he doesn’t win this year, he will have 2-3 more attempts, but still the impact he has had on Aggieland cannot be quantified.

  11. Cheryl Bean November 28, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    When one considers just a year ago Manziel was a high school quarterback in TX – and now is posed to win the Heisman – it is mind boggling. I hope the best player wins and not the one who has sentimental votes. Hopefully the days of awarding the trophy to the same player twice long gone. That was a true Heisman snafu and a reflection on the so called mind set of the voters.

    • Jvd November 28, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Actually….a year ago he was at A&M.

    • Jeremy November 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      He redshirted last year and was actually an early-enrollee, so he’s been at A&M for almost 2 full years now. This whole “freshman” thing is total BS. The kid turns 20 in a week and is almost a junior academically.

  12. Larry November 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I’m curious to know how many of Te’o’s accomplishments have come in the second half of each game….the time when Johnny was, in several games, on the sideline because of the lead A&M had over their opponent.

    Has Te’o been pulled and a back-up allowed to play in any of ND’s games, or has he played the whole game?

    Can you compare a player who played 12 complete games (which I imagine Te’o did) to a player who played a full game in less than half of his games?

    Just food for thought.

    • KDub November 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Now this is a valid argument, but also exposes what I think most people (myself included) are having trouble with when it comes to Te’o… How do you objectively compare Offensive stats/value versus Defensive stats/value?

      Without Te’o I am fairly comfortable saying the Irish lose 2 or 3 games (I’m assuming he had a huge hand in the goal line stand versus Stanford, had big plays against Oklahoma and also Pitt).

      On the flip side, the Aggies lost 2 WITH Manziel. And as an offensive player/QB I’d argue that Manziel is more directly responsible for the outcome of games (wins/losses) than someone like Te’o is (relatively speaking, of course).

      And then you’ve got Marquise Lee. That kid is the most electrifying player in college football, period. Most valuable? Obviously not, considering even with a 5th year in Barkley throwing to him they still couldn’t will themselves to more than 7 victories. But elecectrifying nonetheless.

      What does all this mean? Frick, I don’t know…I wouldn’t want to be voting. I honestly don’t think there is really a rational argument for any of these guys over the other. Nor is there a good argument AGAINST (Klein/Lee a little bit).

  13. John November 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Hey Sean,

    I think the solution to this is to create a new award – the “Heismanatarian Award.”

    This criteria do not include any evaluation of on field performance or statistical comparisons.

    (1) You have to be on the #1 Team (Notice a team, but not individual evaluation)

    (2) Then the coach, fans, and players of the #1 Team evaluate who they think is their Team’s MVP

    (3)You get extra points if you have a great off field story (i.e. Family adversity, you cure cancer, create a longer lasting light bulb … whatever)

    Problem solved!

    Te’o is a shoe in for the new HEISMANATARIAN.

    I will come up with my Heismanatarian Commandments later, stay tuned.

    • HeI5Manti December 2, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      I’d also like to create an award called the Heiscupcakeman Award. The criteria are that you have to be on a team that has no shot at the national title or a BCS bowl. You do have to win at least one notable game, but you can lose to every other ranked team you play. In fact, it would probably demonstrate how good you are against cupcakes if you can’t lead your team to victory in these games.

      You must play on offense and be the only player on that unit that any college football fan has ever heard of. While not required, you should probably show disregard for the law, maybe with a street scuffle or a jacket full of fake IDs. Most important though, is that you rack up stats against FCS, non-AQ, and bowl ineligible teams.

      I know Klein might give him a run for his money, but I really think Manziel has this one wrapped up!

  14. Steve-o November 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I really enjoyed this article but I’m not sure that Notre Dame is a traditional power anymore? They haven’t had much success the last 20 years or so. I actually think the “aura” of Notre Dame is gone much like Nebraska. They are having an outstanding year but do current high school athletes really desire to play at Notre Dame?

  15. Tom November 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I think A&M was pegged as playing the #1 hardest schedule this year.

    Johnny Manziel has faced the current No. 1, 5, and 9 ranked defenses, and still ranks 2nd nationally in total offense with 383.3 yards per game.


    First freshman, and only 5th player ever, in FBS history to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season.
    First player in FBS to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game three times in his career.
    FBS freshman record-holder for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,114).
    FBS freshman leader for total yards in a season (4,600).
    Second freshman in FBS history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards.


    With 4,600 yards, Manziel holds the conference record for total yards in a season, breaking Cam Newton’s 2010 record in 2 fewer games.
    Most Total Yards in Game (576) – Broke his previous record of 557 set two weeks earlier.
    First quarterback in SEC history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.


    Holds the school record for total yards in a season with 4,600.
    Manziel has logged nine straight games with 300 or more total yards.
    Manziel holds the school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,114.
    Manziel is the third A&M quarterback to surpass 3,000 passing yards in a season.
    Manziel tied an 85-year-old record, rushing for 19 rushing touchdowns this season.
    Manziel has generated five or more TDs in six games in 2012, including the last two.

    Teo is no doubt a great player, but he’s not the BEST player this year – Manziel deserves the Heisman, hands-down.

    Despite all of Manziel’s accolades above, I believe this play shows WHY he is the college player playing with the most HEART and determination to win the game – A&M supposedly fumbles on the goal line, the opponent scoops it up and starts running towards the opposite goal. Manziel outruns him, strips the ball, another defender picks it up and Manziel tackles him!

    Net result: Forced Fumbles: Manziel 1, Teo 0

    • KStatNat November 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      Heh. Since we’re pulling out random stats.

      Arrests this summer:

      Manziel – 1
      Klein – 0
      Teo – 0

      I wonder if one of his three fake IDs actually listed his name as “Johnny Football”?

      And though I’m mostly kidding, the Heisman does mention integrity (amongst other things) as a critical factor in its mission statement. So there’s that…

      • Tom November 29, 2012 at 7:34 am #

        The kid made a mistake and has faced up to it, but I guess it means nothing to you people that he has done what was required of him to pay penance for his mistake. THAT Sir, is the definition of integrity – facing your mistakes and correcting them. Yeah, he got arrested and Teo lost his girlfriend and family member – makes for good stories but neither have ANYTHING to do with the Heisman – it’s about the BEST player in football, and that is clearly Johnny Football.

        • HeI5Manti December 2, 2012 at 10:39 am #

          What did he do to pay penance? Jail time? Suspension? None of those? Oh, I guess a pre-scripted apology will do.

          The Te’o girlfriend story is completely irrelevant to a discussion of integrity. Integrity is what you do when you think no one’s watching.

          • HeI5Manti December 2, 2012 at 10:56 am #

            Oh, but yes, Integrity does have to do with the Heisman.

            “The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence WITH INTEGRITY.”

            The Heisman Trust goes on to note that “Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.” Heck, there’s even textual support in there for not giving it to a freshman.

      • John November 29, 2012 at 7:45 am #

        Heisman hopefuls that got torched by Baylor:

        Klein – 1
        Manziel – 0
        Te’o – 0
        Lee – 0
        Miller – 0

        I watched that game. Waco High could have beat K-State. Baylor has one of the worst defenses in the country.

        On field performance in this single season will decide the Heisman.

        When you’re only tactic left is to attack the other candidates, you are desperate, and have already lost the argument.

        • HeI5Manti December 2, 2012 at 10:42 am #

          Team losses by Heisman hopeful:
          Klein – 1
          Manziel – 2
          Te’o – 0
          Miller – 5

          For Te’o to stoutly anchor a defense that carried the 49th ranked (49!!!) offense to the NCG, how can that be anything short of outstanding?

    • HeI5Manti December 2, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      Try 27th as far as SOS. Also, how did Manziel and A&M do in those games against ranked opponents? Oh, 1-2?

  16. justheb November 29, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    As long as Kline doesn’t get back into the mix by having a stellar weekend and take away votes from Te’o, I think this race is much closer than most people think.

    When given the choice between a freshman QB and senior LB as the two options, I truly believe that the previous Heisman winners and older non-SEC/Texas writers are going to heavily vote for Te’o, so Manziel doesn’t get one under his belt w/ three more shots at winning more.

  17. tigercpa November 29, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Taj Boyd ought to get an invite to NYC:

    Pass Efficiency
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 168.58
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 155.85
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 155.17

    Completion Percentage
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 68.3
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 66.7
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 66.6

    Touchdown Passes
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 34
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 24
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 14

    Pass Yards/Game
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 295.8
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 284.9
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 210.1

    Yards/Pass Attempt
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 9.42
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 9.00
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 8.54

    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 14.1
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 13.4
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 12.5

    Touchdown Responsibility
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 43
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 43
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 34

    Total Offense/Game
    •Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 383.3
    •Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 336.8
    •Collin Klein, Kansas State, 282.1