by definition, the award is supposed to go to the most outstanding player in college football. voters' perspectives on what that exactly is vary each year, but by that definition if you had to submit a vote for this year's heisman winner, who would it be?
Here’s a quick and easy way to end most arguments: Do the math. And that happens to be the view of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin when it comes to the Heisman Trophy campaign of redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel:
“Compare his numbers to anyone who’s played the game — they speak for themselves.”
Okay, let’s check him against the last five Heisman winners.
|2007||Tim Tebow||Florida||QB (13 games)||4,181 yards||55|
|2008||Sam Bradford||Oklahoma||QB (14 games)||4,767 yards||55|
|2009||Mark Ingram||Alabama||RB (14 games)||1,992 yards||20|
|2010||Cam Newton||Auburn||QB (14 games)||4,327 yards||51|
|2011||Robert Griffin III||Baylor||QB (13 games)||4,992 yards||47|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||QB (11 games)||4,161 yards||38|
Now let’s compare Manziel to this season’s top five total offense leaders.
|1||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||QB (11 games)||4,161 yards||38|
|2||Jordan Lynch||N. Illinois||QB (11 games)||4,086 yards||38|
|3||Rakeem Cato||Marshall||QB (11 games)||3,913 yards||33|
|4||Colby Cameron||Louisiana Tech||QB (11 games)||3,861 yards||31|
|5||Nick Florence||Baylor||QB (10 games)||3,838 yards||34|
|6||Tajh Boyd||Clemson||QB (11 games)||3,833 yards||41|
For the record, this writer doesn’t care much for the Heisman Trophy because there is no official criteria used to determine the winner. One year voters will base their decision on stats — and that would certainly aid Manziel this season — while another year they’ll vote for the best player on the best team. Only one defensive player has ever won the award (Michigan’s Charles Woodson) but his all-purpose numbers were trumped by another defensive back just a couple of years later (Georgia’s Champ Bailey) and that player didn’t even sniff the Heisman. So in our book, it’s the most over-hyped award in a sport filled with over-hyped awards.
But if you go by the numbers, Sumlin’s right. If the Heisman is going to go to the guy with the best stats this year, the winner should be Manziel.