Because of Texas A&M’s early losses to Alabama and Auburn, Manziel fell out of the national conversation for the award, which he won last year. That’s hardly surprising, because factors that don’t include a candidate’s actual performance always seem to decide the winner. In Manziel’s case, he played great, but his team lost, so for some reason, we weren’t supposed to talk about how great he is.
But, lately, he has sneaked back into the picture – and he more than deserves it. Should any Heisman voters wish to vote for Johnny Football, he is a worthy choice.
At least a couple of straw polls agree. ESPN and Heisman Pundit’s polls have Manziel second in the race behind Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Last year, Manziel led the nation in total offense, while he is second this year to SMU’s Garrett Gilbert. Manziel ranked 16th nationally in passing efficiency last year but has moved up to third. He runs for fewer yards, averaging 61 a game this season after putting up about 108 a game in 2012.
But he is throwing for more yards, too, moving up from 19th in the country last year to sixth in 2013. And A&M needs every yard he is producing. Texas A&M ranks 103rd nationally in total defense. Only one team among the 28 worst defenses in the nation has a winning record – the Aggies at 8-2.
On Saturday, Manziel and A&M will visit LSU. It’s a chance on a big stage to regain more of the support he had last year. Another great performance in a win could move him ahead of Winston.
If he did that and finished out the year playing like he has, he’ll deserve the Heisman more than he did in 2012.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.