Many would love to attach a curse to the Heisman Trophy. The media love, thrown into the spotlight; all that attention must get to a player just enough to deter their preparation for his team’s bowl game.
It certainly has been that way with the University of Oklahoma. Billy Sims is the only Heisman winner from OU to win his bowl game the season he was bestowed the award. However, a new trend has started.
Heisman winners are actually taking care of business in their bowl game.
From 2006 to 2008, Troy Smith, Tim Tebow, and former OU quarterback Sam Bradford lost their respective bowl games the season they were awarded the highest individual achievement in college football. The next three years, the Heisman Trophy winners seemed to “handle the spotlight” a little better.
Mark Ingram and Cam Newton respectively led their teams to victories in the 2009 and 2010 BCS National Championship. And last season, Robert Griffin III carried the Baylor Bears to an Alamo Bowl victory.
Johnny Manziel now has the responsibility of keeping that streak going against the Oklahoma Sooners.
He has been nothing short of spectacular this season, but Oklahoma has some history on their side. The Sooners are 2-1 in bowl games against just-named Heisman winners.
They were previously unbeaten against Heisman winners, but their loss in the 2005 Orange Bowl to Matt Leinhart and Southern Cal gave them their first loss against a Heisman winner. Though, the NCAA does not recognize that game as ever happening.
Regardless, the Sooners will get a chance to knock Manziel off his pedestal in Arlington. From being spotted court side and in the locker room at NBA games to appearing on Letterman with Megan Fox, OU has a great opportunity to spoil a dream season for Texas A&M Aggie Football.
They get a chance to be an underdog for once.
Texas A&M, like every team the Sooners play, will give Bob Stoops’ squad their best shot, but this is a statement game for Oklahoma. Losses to Kansas State and Notre Dame put a damper on an otherwise very successful season.
Oklahoma’s 2012 performance was quite commendable considering the team’s situation. For the Sooners, who had no depth on both the offensive line, a mediocre run defense, an inexperienced wide receiving corps, and a treacherous three game stretch to end the season, the Sooners overachieved in a big way.
Though, it seems like some fans can not move on from Landry Jones’ horrid game against the Kansas State Wildcats. And some are still grinding their teeth over the Notre Dame loss.
However, a win over Texas A&M would serve as some redemption. Landry Jones should not need approval from anyone, but he can win over some fans if he can stop Johnny Manziel from continuing the success of the past three Heisman winners.
Will be it tough? There is no doubt. The Aggies torched some of the best defenses on a weekly basis and their firepower on offense carried over to their new home in the Southeastern Conference. Oklahoma needs a lights out performance.
However, this is a hot Sooners team coming off three exhilarating victories over West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and TCU. They received a much needed break, and with one week until the 2013 Cotton Bowl, hopefully, they have one more in them and can take care of “Johnny Football” in the heart of the Lone Star State.