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Tyler Texas and the Heisman

Tyler Texas, noted as the “Rose Capital of the World” will soon have a new distinction; birthplace of two Heisman winners. 1977 Heisman winner Earl Campbell was born in Tyler on March 29, 1955 and would play at John Tyler High School and later at University of Texas. Future Heisman winner Johnny Manziel was also born in the city, 20 years ago yesterday, but moved to Kerrville Texas.

Tyler has a rich football tradition and has produced over 15 NFL athletes and nearly as many professional baseball players.

With a Manziel win on Saturday, the state of Texas will tie Pennsylvania for third on the list of home states of Heisman winners with seven.

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Total touchdowns and the Heisman

On Wednesday we posted about total offense and its correlation to Heisman winners. Continuing in that vein, here are the highest total touchdown seasons for Heisman winners, including their bowl games:

1. Tim Tebow, Florida, 2007 — 55

1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, 2008 — 55

3. Cameron Newton, Auburn, 2010 — 50

4. Robert Griffin III, Baylor, 2011 — 47

5. Andre Ware, Houston, 1989 — 46

6. Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, 1988 –44

7. Ty Detmer, BYU, 1990 –41

7. Jason White, Oklahoma, 2003 –41

9. Danny Wuerffel, Florida, 1996 — 39

10. Carson Palmer, USC, 2002 — 37

Eight of the 10 total touchdown leaders are also found on the total offense list posted on Wednesday (Wuerffel and Sanders were not). Not surprisingly, the last four Heisman-winning ‘Super Quarterbacks’ comprise the top four of the total touchdown list while 2009 winner Mark Ingram is not in the top 25. Barry Sanders is the only non-quarterback on the list.

Johnny Manziel’s pre-bowl game total of 43 scores would currently put him at seventh on the all time list of total touchdowns by Heisman winners but he could move into a tie for third with RG3 if he has a four touchdown game in the Cotton Bowl.

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The youngest Heisman winners

If and when Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman on Saturday, he will be the first freshman player to do so. He will not, however,  be the youngest player to win the prestigious award. That distinction belongs to Alabama’s Mark Ingram.

Manziel entered Texas A&M in the spring of 2011, and after this semester, will have the academic standing of a junior. In 2009, Ingram was a true sophomore and celebrates a late December birthday . When Ingram won the award in 2009, he was just 19 years, 356 days old. Manziel celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday (December 6) and by tomorrow he will be the second-youngest winner at 20 years two days old, just 11 days older than Ingram was when he won.

Manziel will become the ninth player to win the award as a 20 year old (Reggie Bush also won at 20).

Youngest Heisman winners

1. Mark Ingram — 19 years, 356 days

2. Johnny Manziel — 20 years, 2 days*

3. Rashaan Salaam — 20 years, 63 days

4. Archie Griffin — 20 years, 105 days

5. Tim Tebow — 20 years, 117 days

6. Barry Sanders — 20 years, 141 days

7. Herschel Walker — 20 years, 277 days

8. Vic Janowicz — 20 years, 283 days

9. Reggie Bush — 20 years, 284 days

10. Doc Blanchard — 20 years, 357 days

* – if he wins

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Off to NYC

We’re packing up and moving out to the Big Apple today, so the next time we see you it’ll be on East Coast time.

Be sure to check in on Heisman Central — the big icon on the right — as it’s going to be our one-stop-shop for all your Heisman ceremony needs. There’s going to be some fun stuff happening, that’s for sure.

If you really need a fix of HP in the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter @HeismanPundit or @HeismanPunditJr

I’ll leave you with HP Jr. and his Christmas wish list….

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Heisman Weekend Wrap Up

The tagline for is “Breaking down the politics of the most prestigious award in sports”.

With just one week to play before the regular season ends and four out of the five Heisman hopefuls done until the bowl season begins, the politics of this year’s race will stand front and center.

This year is truly unique in that the front runner is a freshman and close behind him is a defensive player from Notre Dame. Behind those two is a quarterback who led his team to an undefeated season but has been overshadowed by his school’s bowl ban and self imposed sanction, and a wide receiver from a school just finishing its bowl ban but having a down year.

The final candidate is a scrappy quarterback from a non-football factory who was having an undefeated cinderella season until a loss last week to Baylor.

Looking solely at the numbers, freshman Johhny Manziel has the best of the bunch. He ended his season with 3,419 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, a 155.85 passer rating and a 68.3 completion percentage to go along with 1181 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns and over 98 rushing yards a game. In terms of quarterbacks neither Braxton Miller nor Collin Klein come close on paper.

Miller threw for 2,039 yards 15 touchdowns, a 148.48 passer rating and a 58.3 completion percentage while rushing for 1,271 yards, 13 touchdowns and 106 rushing yards a game.

Klein has one game to go, on Saturday against Texas, but has so far put up 2,311 pass yards, 14 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 155.17 and a completion percentage of 66.7. He’s also rushed for 792 yards, 20 touchdowns and averages 72 yards per game on the ground.

For wide receiver Marqise Lee, his numbers are spectacular, 1,680 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns, 140 yards a game and 15 yards per catch but his team finished the regular season at 7-5, far below its preseason expectations.

Then there is Manti Te’o. As a linebacker Te’o’s numbers are hard to quantify. He has 103 total tackles, 52 of which were solo, seven interceptions and a forced fumble.

Based on numbers Manziel should walk away with the Heisman pretty easily (and he might) but when you add in the politics the race looks a little tighter.

First off, we’ll have to see if voters are willing to give a freshman the Heisman. A freshman who beat the no. 1 team in the country, but also suffered two conference losses.

If voters decide that Manziel will have plenty more opportunities to win the Heisman his alternative would be just as historic. Te’o would become the first solely defensive player to win the Heisman. Te’o has the Irish nation going in his favor and playing for a national title certainly won’t hurt either.

Miller remains in the Heisman talks but mainly in the conversation of who will make it to New York City. Miller won’t win the Heisman; not because of the sanctions but because he wasn’t the most outstanding player this year. Although he won every game this year, his production dipped significantly for a stretch in the middle of the season (partially due to injury).

Lee also will not win the Heisman. His numbers are very impressive especially because he is lining up with future NFL first rounder Robert Woods, and two future NFL tight ends. He won’t win because he’s not the best player in the nation, he’s not even this year’s most impressive wide receiver. Both Stedman Bailey of West Virginia and Terrance Williams had better statistical seasons, their teams just could’t find ways to win games when it mattered.

That leaves Klein. Optimus Klein was a front runner for five weeks in the middle of the season but a loss to Baylor last week sent him to second or third in most polls. Klein will have to have the game of his lifetime to bridge the gap that Manziel has created. Anything short of amazing on Saturday against Texas will all but ensure Klein will not win the Heisman.

Quick Hits

Bjoern Werner and Jadaveon Clowney both have 13 sacks on the season, more than six teams recorded all season and more than Boston College and Texas State combined.

–La Tech allowed over 526 yards per game for a total of 6,313 yards. By comparison Alabama allowed on 233 yards per game for a total of 2,804 yards.

–Just two kickers have been perfect on field goal attempts with a minimum of 10 attempts this season, San Jose State’s Austin Lopez is 15/15 while Tulane’s Cairo Santos is 21/21. Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley is 10/10.

–Fresno State is the only school in the nation to have two plays from scrimmage go for longer than 90 yards.


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Heisman Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving is aways a mix of a hangover/food coma that sometimes makes me forget all the things I said I was thankful for yesterday. This thanksgiving I was able to add a mild concussion and incredible soreness to the post Thanksgiving blues thanks to an overly competitive Turkey Bowl with my old college buddies.

In order to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving from fleeting so quickly I’m going to tell you what I’m thankful for in the 2012 Heisman race.

–I’m thankful the Heisman preseason front runners graciously stepped aside to allow the dark horses (and invisible horses) to emerge and make this one of the most intriguing races in years.

–I’m thankful that for four months a year HP and I get to argue about college football and who we think is going to win the most prestigious individual award in sports.

–I’m thankful for Geno Smith, even if his season is a tale of two halves. Smith’s start to the season was absolutely thrilling and the Baylor-West Virginia game is still my favorite game of the year. Smith may be the best example that you don’t win the Heisman in September but damn was he fun to watch.

–I’m thankful for Manti Te’o and the Notre Dame defense. Te’o may be the household name but the whole defense has been the reason for the Irish success. Nothing embodies College football better than late season BCS chaos and Notre Dame. Put them together and college football fans should have enough fodder to argue about until next August.

–I’m thankful for Braxton Miller and his ability to win games by putting the Buckeyes on his back. Miller may be playing for 2013 but it’s sad to see his 2012 season overlooked and overshadowed by self imposed sanctions.

–I’m very thankful for Kain Colter and Venric Mark, my two favorite players on my adopted favorite team (to watch) this season. Colter and Mark made meeting up with HP and our group of buddies at 8:45 am every Saturday morning to watch the early games worth it. I’d also like to thank the staff at the bar we frequent for putting up with us and blasting the Northwestern sound at 9am.

–I’m thankful for Collin Klein, my dark horse to win the Heisman. While he still needs help to pull off the feat, he has been exciting to watch and follow. A true do-everything kind of guy, Klein reminds me what I love about college football; hard nosed, gritty football where the best player determines the outcome of the game.

–I’m thankful for Marqise Lee, Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. Sure only one of them is having a Heisman caliber season and they have lost four games this season including three of their last four but they’ve kept me on the edge of my seat all season with the possibility of explosive plays and 80 yard touchdown passes and catches.

–I’m thankful to have a beautiful fiancé who puts up with me from August to January. Not only does she watch the games with me all day on Saturdays, she genuinely enjoys listening to me, HP and all the guys talk non-stop football for 8 hours… At least I think she does.

–Finally, I’m thankful for Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football. It’s not every year you get to see a freshman take a legitimate shot at the Heisman. Rules are meant to be broken but Heismandments are supposed to stand the test of time. Johnny Football is poised to break one Heismandment and put himself in position to break another next year.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend of college football and time with family.

 The HeismanPundit team in NYC for the 2011 Heisman

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Heisman Weekend Wrap Up

What a week can do.

Last Monday we were debating how close the margin was between Johnny Manziel and Heisman front runner Collin Klein. This week we are doing the same thing, only the roles have reversed.

For the last month on HeismanPundit the line has been “barring a late season collapse” for Collin Klein. The collapse has happened and freshman Johnny Football has been the surprise benefactor. Manziel definitely deserves the current distinction as Heisman frontrunner but his quest to make history comes clear out of the blue for most pundits.

As we all know, a freshman has never won the Heisman. Manziel’s bid to become the first has fallen into place due in equal parts to his exemplary performance as well as the poor performances by the Heisman contenders ahead of him. This was Heisman race was not Manziel’s to lose for the first 11 weeks of the season. Up until this week Manziel did not control his own destiny. Until now.

The Heisman hype is now on the shoulders of the redshirt freshman with just four quarters in the regular season remaining. Manziel and Texas A&M will face a rudderless Missouri team this weekend to finish out the regular season. Manziel is sure to put up a strong performance.

Interestingly enough the Heisman race could be set this upcoming Saturday if Manziel shoots the lights out right from the get go. Klein, who is off this week, faces Texas on December 1st while Kenjon Barner could play in the Pac 12 championship game if Stanford loses to UCLA. Long shot Aaron Murray of Georgia has a rivalry game against Georgia Tech and the SEC championship game to prove that he at least deserves an invite. Outside of those three, Manziel, Manti Te’o and Braxton Miller will have finished their regular seasons (and Miller’s season period).

So with two weeks left, who is going to make the trip to New York City? For starters HP and I. We’ll be in town the whole week covering the lead up to the Heisman and we’ll be appearing in print, on radio, and on TV all over the place so be sure to look out for us. As far as the finalists go I think it will be a four man race with Manziel, Klein, Te’o and Miller making the trip.

On Friday, Ill be writing about the possibility of one more Saturday shake-up and if Klein has one more chance to win the Heisman.

Quick Hits

–If Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman he will have the opportunity to break a second Heismandment, that there will never be another two time Heisman winner.

–We know that only two undefeated teams remain, Ohio State and Notre Dame. More surprising is that only one team remains defeated, Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles went 12-2 last year, won their conference championship against an undefeated Houston team and beat Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl. They need to beat Memphis next week to stave of a defeated season.


Matt Barkley leads the nation in touchdowns with 36; this speaks to his Heisman acumen. He has also thrown 15 interceptions good for second most in the nation and his team is just 7-4. This does not speak to his Heisman acumen.

–The Pac 12 has a quarterback protection problem. California, Colorado and UCLA are the top three sack allowing schools. Washington and Washington State are tied for eighth.

–Maryland is leaving the ACC for the Big 10. This excites exactly no one.

Colby Cameron of La Tech threw two interceptions last week breaking his season long interceptionless streak.

–This (is just flat embarrassing) 


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