Hunting the Heisman: Ceremony This Saturday
Johnny Manziel is still my favorite to go home with the Heisman Trophy after breaking the SEC record with 4,600 total yards. As a freshman. With a team in a new conference.
The ceremony is this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET and will be aired by ESPN.
1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Passing: 273-of-400 (68.3 percent), 3,419 yards, 24 TDs, 8 INTs
Rushing: 184 carries, 1,181 yards (6.5 ypc), 19 TDs
Why: There’s no reason Johnny Football shouldn’t come away as a winner Saturday night. He’s been a game-changer for the Aggies since Day 1, and is one of the most explosive athletes in the nation. If he keeps this pace, we’ll be seeing his face in New York more than once.
2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Passing: 180-of-272 (66.2 percent), 2,490 yards, 15 TDs, 7 INTs
Rushing: 194 carries, 890 yards (4.6 ypc), 22 TDs
Why: Not to downplay Klein’s performance this season – because it’s been great – but if we really break things down, he’s been nowhere near Manziel’s level. His 2.1-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is much lower than Manziel’s (3-to-1). Klein posted a 136.5 passer rating on the road this year, while Manziel’s was 160.3. Also, Klein regressed down the stretch: In the months of November and December, he threw just three touchdowns to five interceptions, compared to Manziel’s eight TDs and two INTs.
3. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Tackles: 98 (49 solo, 5.5 TFL)
Interceptions: 7 (35 yards)
Why: Not having a conference championship game really hurts Te’o here, but he’s still a solid lock to have a seat in the ceremony. He’s probably not going to be the first defensive player to win the Heisman since Charles Woodson in 1997, but there’s no doubting what kind of impact he’s made on the field for the Irish this season.
Others to watch:
Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois; Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson; Marqise Lee, WR, USC; Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State; A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama; Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon; KaDeem Carey, RB, Arizona.