Still Johnny Football
by Matt Bright
Many people say that Johnny Manziel has lost his touch as a Heisman contender in the NCAA. Although his statistical dominance is not like it was last season, he should still be considered the favorite for college football’s top honor.
Although he is third in touchdown passes in the FBS, the teams which his fellow contenders have played against are mostly very bad defensively and offensively.
Manziel’s numbers of last year earning him a Heisman were twenty nine touchdown passes with nine interceptions. This year Manziel has done nothing but makes his previous numbers look mediocre at best. So far he has a stunning thirty one touchdown passes, with eleven interceptions. Although his interception numbers have gone up, the toughness of the Texas A&M schedule this year has skyrocketed. Last year the only ranked teams that A&M played were #12 Oklahoma, #3 LSU, #5 Florida, #1 Alabama and #12 Ole Miss. This year the Aggies have went up against #1 Alabama, #15 Arkansas, #17 Ole Miss, #4 Auburn, #8 Mississippi State #5 LSU and the unranked but very talented Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Johnny Manziel’s off field actions have landed him a lot of criticism in the social media world and even the sports shows all around the world. But that can’t reflect him as an athlete. He is a one man show whenever he steps foot on a football field.
In his first game since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman, Manziel set a Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards and accounted for four TDs as the Aggies capped their first SEC season with a 41-13 win over 12th-ranked Oklahoma.
Manziel’s performance against Alabama was the single greatest performance ever allowed by any Alabama team. Ever. Alabama gave up 42 points to Manziel. The Tide had given up just 53 points combined to the other eight teams it played. Despite Manziel’s excellent performance in that game the Aggies fell short, 49-42. Many say that Manziel’s performance should overshadow the unfortunate loss. 464 yards passing with 5 touchdowns against the Crimson Tide was completely unheard of at that point.
But leave it to Johnny, the only true freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Nick Saban’s lockdown defense has never been tested like that before.
James Winston holds the majority of first-place votes from 27 Heisman voters who work for Gannett properties. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel remained in second and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota stayed third. (According to usatoday.com). James Winston is supposedly the favorite for Heisman 2013. But those stats of Manziel and Winston differ fairly well.
Winston having undoubtedly a stellar year at quarterback, still can’t match Manziel’s Heisman worthy numbers. Winston so far has 2,938 yards passing, 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Although Manziel is up this year in interceptions, he already has five more touchdown passes. He is on track to increase that stat to upwards of thirty eight touchdowns which is absolutely outstanding. His ADJ-QBR (adjusted quarterback rating) has gone down slightly, but that doesn’t take away from his amazing ability at the quarterback position. But his passer rating has skyrocketed 31.6% since last season.
There is no doubt that James Winston deserves much recognition for his outstanding play this year. But his numbers just don’t match Manziel’s. Despite Florida States undefeated season there is not one single thing that James Winston has done that Johnny hasn’t. Manziels numbers are the best they’ve been since becoming an NCAA quarterback and there is no one who can stop him.
He is Johnny Football.