I may not have an actual Heisman vote, but I can still give my opinion, right? College football’s most prestigious award is up for grabs yet again, and three players will take the stage in Times Square hoping their name will be called as the winner of the 2012 award.
It’s an odd group, no doubt. You’ve got the freshman, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. You have a linebacker, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. And the senior quarterback who has seemingly lost his lead, Kansas State’s Collin Klein.
They all had amazing seasons, but only one can join an elite club of college football legends. The winner will be announced Saturday night, but here is how my ballot would look, if I had one.
My Winner: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Why He Will Win: Manziel has put on a show all season long in College Station. He has made the Aggies a respectable team, and has one of hopefully many to come defining moments. He knocked off the Alabama Crimson Tide, and while Bama still found a way in to the title game, it was a colossal win for A&M’s program. Johnny Football has done some incredible things, but he has undoubtedly been the most outstanding. We see plenty of proficient pocket passers and elusive running backs win the award, but Manziel is a combo of the two. He makes big throws and he is so elusive in the pocket. Manziel is the complete package, and it is fitting he wears the same number of the last SEC quarterback to win the Heisman.
Why He Won’t Win: Manziel is a freshman, and who knows if that will be a factor in the minds of the older voters. Adrian Peterson was robbed of a Heisman, because he was a freshman. However, Manziel probably has a better chance than any other freshman ever did. Trust me, there is no doubt he is deserving and has been outstanding for Aggieland, but I’m not sure if college football is ready to award its first freshman a Heisman trophy.
Second Place: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Why He Will Win: He is on the only remaining undefeated team and will play for a national championship. He has been a force for a Notre Dame defense that has dominated all season long. Te’o, also, has several memorable moments. Whether it be his ability to get in the backfield or force a takeaway, Te’o is undoubtedly the best defensive player in the country. He has been the heart and soul of the Irish defense, and it is hard to overlook a player who is playing for it all in early January.
Why He Won’t Win: Te’o’s position could hold him back. Defensive players are not your typical Heisman winners, and it is difficult to compare the value of defensive stats to offensive. Like Manziel, Te’o is very deserving, but because he plays on the other side of the ball, Te’o may not get the love Manziel or Klein gets.
Third Place: Collin Klein, Kansas State
Why He Will Win: Klein may have not put up the most gaudy numbers, but much like Manziel, he took the Wildcats to another level. K-State did not get a lot of national attention before the season, but Klein really helped propel this Kansas State team to one of the nation’s best. Now, his team is in the Fiesta Bowl, and if it wasn’t for an upset loss to Baylor, it could be Klein and Te’o in the national championship. Regardless, he is an outstanding quarterback, and resembles much of what Tim Tebow did at Florida.
Why He Won’t Win: Klein’s the type of player we have seen before, which is why I mentioned Tebow. What Manziel and Te’o have done are something we don’t see every season, though, Klein could have a lot better case if K-State could’ve beat Baylor. Then again, his numbers just are not as great as Manziel’s stats, and voters who can’t watch every game put some weight in to those numbers.