Monday, December 3, 2012

Why Manti Te'o Deserves the Heisman Over Johnny Manziel and Collin Klien

While the primary concern for Notre Dame is winning the National Championship on January 7, there is still hope that Manti Te'o wins the Heisman on Saturday. There is no doubt the impact he has had on the team this season. He has proven to be a threat against both the run and the pass as he has 103 tackles and 7 interceptions. But aside from those amazing stats, his greatest asset to this team is his leadership. Looking at how dominant this defense was, there is no doubt who the leader of it was.

The defense really had to carry the load the first few weeks of the season while the offense was finding itself under the direction of red shirt freshman Everett Golson. Te'o was more than just a great player for the Irish. He was in every way, "The Man."

Te'o does have two primary competitors in this contest. The first one is red shirt freshman quarterback from Texas A + M, Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football.

There is no doubt that Johnny Football put up amazing stats both in the air on on the ground. He completed 273 of 400 passes for 3419 yards with 24 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions. He ran for 1181 yards and 19 touchdowns. Those numbers are just scary and as a freshman he led his team to the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma their first year in the SEC. With stats like these, how can we vote for anybody but him?

My argument would be that most of his success has come against weak competition. To his credit, he was a solid 24 of 31 for 253 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama and he added 92 on the ground. However, against Florida and LSU he had a combined total of 449 yards passing with no touchdowns and three interceptions. On the ground, he had just 87 yards and only 1 touchdown in those two games.

Now here is where a good chunk of his success came from. Although it is the Aggies first year in the SEC, they wasted no time in adopting a common SEC practice in scheduling a pathetically weak non-conference schedule featuring two FCS teams and two teams from non-BCS confernces (SMU, South Carolina State, Louisiana Tech, and Sam Houston State). In those four games, he threw for 1130 yards and 13 touchdowns and he rushed for 483 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Another good chunk of his success came against three of the worst SEC teams in Auburn, Arkansas, and Missouri. In those games, he threw for 1085 yards and 8 touchdowns and ran for 261 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Therefore, it is safe to say that he dominated against inferior competition but was very mediocre against the tough competition. Te'o on the other hand, was great against everybody.

The other part that really makes me scratch my head on Johnny Football is that so much of how a quarterback is judged, right or wrong, is determined by how far he takes his team. Taking your team to the Cotton Bowl as a freshman is impressive. However, Golson has his team in the BCS Championship. Not only that but Kevin Hogan at Stanford has his team in the Rose Bowl and Marcus Mariota of Oregon has his team in the Fiesta Bowl. Even Brett Hundley of UCLA took his team to a conference championship.  Right there are four other freshmen quarterbacks who took their teams farther than Mr. Football. That alone should make voters think twice before giving him the Heisman.

The third candidate is senior quarterback from Kansas State Collin Klein.

Klein is another duel threat quarterback. He threw for 2490 yards with 15 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions. On the ground, he gained 890 yards with 22 touchdowns. While those are also impressive numbers, they are not as good as Manziel's. So how can this guy really even be considered? To his credit, he did lead his team to the Big 12 Championship and a birth in the Fiesta Bowl. However, with numbers that aren't as good as Manziel's it will be hard to justify him winning and since I already dissected his numbers and explained why Te'o deserves it more, the choice should be easy.

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