Johnny Football vs Manti Te’o

Nov 29, 2012 by

Let the great debate begin! Should the Heisman Trophy be awarded to Texas A&M’s star studded QB, Johnny Manziel, or to the heart and soul of Notre Dame’s defense, Manti Te’o? Personally, I’m not really into individual awards, especially in the game of football, so much of your success is derived from the other 10 players on the field battling through their own sweat and blood. Football is arguably the most team orientated sport outside of golf… But, America and the Press love to give out individual awards so we might as well discuss.

Johnny Manziel

First off, this freshman has been given a nickname from the sport he plays.  It is safe to say for “Johnny Football” to be created, he must have turned a few heads this Fall. Johnny Football has put up some impressive stats, mimicking Cam Newton and Tim Tebow’s Heisman campaigns. He has thrown for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns (8 INTs) while rushing for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns. Those are impressive numbers on their own, but he’s done this while playing against SEC defenses, those big defensive lines that shut down Oregon every time they play. As a freshman, he is the best offensive player in the best conference in America. His Heisman moment came down in Tuscaloosa when he torched Alabama’s sensational defense passing, going 24 for 31 with 253 yards and 2 touchdowns as well as 18 rushes for 92 yards.  To go down to Alabama, dominate the game vs. a Nick Saban coached defense and lead your team to an electrifying victory over the #1 ranked team in the nation will bolt you towards the top of the Heisman list in a heartbeat.

A critic might say that Johnny Football’s stats are inflated because he took advantage of the cupcakes on their schedule.  If that’s your belief, I would ask – When was the last time a Heisman trophy winner did not take advantage of its lesser opponents? When excellent players go against the cupcakes of the world they are going to statistically dominate – so case closed there.

In my eyes, the only chink in Johnny’s armor would be his performance in Texas A&M’s two losses, one was his first ever college football game and both came against great defenses, Florida and LSU. In these two games, he completed 52 of 86 passes for 449 yards with 0 touchdowns and 3 INTs while rushing 34 times for only 87 yards and one touchdown. Those performances are the only possible flaws preventing Mr. Football from holding up the Heisman Trophy in New York City. Being a freshman should not hold back any possible votes and it would be an absolute crime if some voters looked at that in a negative manner.

Manti Te’o

Manti Te’o has an awesome resume built up this year. I am thinking a few NFL GM’s are going to take a peak or two….. First off, he is the best defensive player on the best defensive team in the nation. His team is 12 – 0, as in zero losses ladies and gentlemen. He has excelled during his senior season, amongst all the pressure that comes when you play for Notre Dame and serve as a captain.  He has been a model of consistent excellence. Manti has totaled 100+ tackles, 7 interceptions, 4 passes deflected, 5.5 tackles for a loss along with a couple of sacks. He ranks tied for second in all of college football with his 7 interceptions. The next closest linebackers come in a T-19th with only 4 interceptions (folks, the guy’s a middle linebacker for crying out loud and he was one interception short of leading the entire nation).

On the morning three days before Notre Dame was set to take on Michigan State, he found out he lost his grandmother.  Later that afternoon, while at his locker, Te’o received news of his girlfriend’s passing. Against Michigan State he recorded 12 tackles along with 2 passes defended while the team held the Spartans to a whopping 3 points.  The next week he recorded 8 tackles and 2 interceptions vs. Michigan with their defense holding the Wolverines to 6 points. Or how about down at Oklahoma when he had 11 tackles, a sack and an interception… Oklahoma, you know the one with the high octane offense?  They scored only 13 points on their own home field.  Mr. Te’o finished his remarkable regular season with another interception at USC this past Saturday leading the Irish to a perfect 12 – 0 regular season.  Even if you don’t like Notre Dame, you do not have any reason to dislike what this young man has accomplished this season.

To say defensive players are behind the 8 ball when it comes to Heisman voting is an understatement. Only one predominately defensive player, the Packer’s own Charles Woodson, has won the Heisman Trophy. That means an offensive player has won the award quite a few times….good thing I majored in Finance during college to figure that out! Mr. Te’o, you are going to have to pull off some dirty trick shot to take home the Heisman Trophy. A quarterback gets to touch the football every play while a middle linebacker is not guaranteed anything but maybe an offensive lineman looking to pancake him each and every play. With that being said, no freshman has ever held up the Heisman Trophy, although Johnny Football is a redshirt freshman if that counts for anything. Personally, I am thinking the freshman QB with his magnificent performance at Alabama will win it this year…oh, but in the time I wrote that I have changed my mind back to Te’o.  Alright, so I am torn who I actually think will win, although, I am pulling for #5 to become the second defensive player to win the coveted award.  Vegas odds are showing Johnny Football being the clear cut favorite.


Zero losses, a model of consistency, impressive stats and the nation’s best leader driving his team to the National Championship Game…what else does a defensive player need to do to win the Heisman Trophy? Bringing it all back together, football is the absolute team sport and I know Manti Te’o would rather take second place come December 8th to Johnny Football in exchange for a National Championship come January 7th, 2013. Besides, a second place Heisman finish may just add a little more fuel to Manti’s fire!

Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to read this Heisman toss-up!


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