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Johnny "Football" Manziel Wins the 2012 Heisman Trophy Award

It’s official, Johnny Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy Award, the first freshman in the history of the award to do so.  Quite an achievement for a 19 year old, especially when you consider the environment in which he was competing.

 

Manziel set records in the SEC all year.  We got our first glimpse on September 29th, when he set an all-time mark of 557 yards of total offense against Arkansas.  The Aggies put up 58 points that day, with Manziel accounting for 453 yards in the air and 3 TD’s, while running for 104 yards and TD.  He beat records set by Archie Manning (QB, Ole Miss) in 1969 and Rohan Davey (QB, LSU) in 2001.

 

Fast forward to the Alabama game in Tuscaloosa.  Did anybody see this coming?  In what some people are saying is the highlight of the college football season, Manziel and the Aggies rolled into Bryant-Denny stadium against the #1 team in the country and took care of business in a 29-24 win.  The Tide hadn’t given up more than 17 points in a game all season, much less the previous three years, but it was Manziel’s coming out party that took the stage.

 

He completed 15 of 16 attempts in the first half alone.  Here was a redshirt freshman, playing the #1 team and defending national champion – in their house - one of the toughest places in college football to lace ‘em up, and he dominated the Tide in the first half.   Overall, he completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards and 2 TD’s, with 92 rushing yards on 18 carries. 

 

This was Johnny Football’s Heisman moment, and it stuck, making him the 2012 recipient of the biggest award in college athletics. 

 

His records are ridiculous:

  • FBS Freshman record: 1,161 rushing yards by a QB
  • FBS Freshman record: 4,600 total yards of offense in a season
  • Most games with 300+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards (3)
  • First freshman in history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards
  • Most yards total offense, game (576, breaking Archie Manning’s 1969 record of 540 yards, and his own record of 557 set two weeks earlier)
  • Most yards total offense, season (4,600, breaking Cam Newton’s 2010 record in two fewer games)
  • Most yards total offense, game average (383.3, breaking Tim Couch’s 1998 record, of 377.4 yards)
  • Highest yards per play average (50 plays minimum), game (10.71, against Arkansas on September 29, 2012, breaking Steve Tanneyhill's record of 10.0 yards)
  • First SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in one season

 

Hats off to the kid.  I have a feeling Archie Griffin may have company in the next couple years...

The 2012 Heisman Race - Halfway Point

Can you believe we’re 8 weeks into the 2012 college football season?  Man, time flies.

 

The first half of the season produced some candidates with huge numbers, but alas, most have fallen off (Matt Barkley, Johnathan Franklin to name a few) and now, we have new leaders of the pack.

 

Geno Smith all but had it locked up after huge wins against Baylor and at Texas, but after getting blasted by Texas Tech and Kansas State, I don’t know how he wins it unless they win out and he goes bonkers with the stats.

 

Enter Collin Klein.  Has this kid had a season, or what?  We knew he could play based upon his performances last year, but he is playing at another level right now.  He posted 7 TD’s (4 passing and 3 rushing) in a blowout of West Virginia, snatching the spotlight from Geno Smith.

 

So with the race still up for grabs, other candidates are being thrown around: Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.  These three are long shots to actually win the Heisman, but they deserve to be in the discussion for the back half of the year.

 

We’ve still got five games to go. Klein is in the pole position, but don’t count Smith out yet. If the vote were held today, it would probably be, in order:

1. Collin Klein

2. Geno Smith

3. Manti Te’o

4. Braxton Miller

5. AJ McCarron

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