h1

Why Johnny Manziel Doesn’t Deserve the Heisman

December 8, 2012

Bring to me my soapbox. First, I’d like to pay tribute to the players who received no recognition for their outstanding seasons.

Jordan Lynch (JR), Northern Illinois

Lynch led the NCAA in rushing with over 1,700 yards, tied with Kenjon Barner for highest YPC at 6.5 (minimum 200 carries), and was in the top ten in rushing touchdowns. Unquestionably, Lynch is the best runner back in the NCAA. At least, he would be if he was a running back. He is a quarterback and came 38 yards short of passing for 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns while intercepted only 5 times. Unfortunately, he gets no notoriety because of a weaker schedule.

Kenjon Barner (SR), Oregon
Barner is in the top seven in the NCAA in rush yards, rushing touchdowns, and YPC, and he did it with only the 16th most rushes. As far as rush efficiency goes, Barner is its definition.
Ka’Deem Carey (SO), Arizona
Mark Ingram had 1,992 yards from scrimmage when he won the Heisman Trophy in 2009. Carey has 2,045 yards from scrimmage and no recognition.

Terrance Williams (SR), Baylor
1,700 receiving yards in just under 95 receptions for 12 touchdowns and 0 love from Heisman voters.

Statistics

Everyone is quick to compare Manziel to the likes of Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow. I’d like to throw Vince Young into the mix. For brevity’s sake, I will forgo giving you every player’s stats, but will instead give you the players’ stats if they had the number of touches Johnny Manziel had, first passing stats, then rushing, then total yards and touchdowns.

 

Year

Player

Attempts

Completions

Comp%

Yards

TDs

INTs

QBR

2005

Young

400

260

65.2

3,723

32

12

163.9

2007

Tebow

400

267

66.9

3,757

37

7

172.5

2010

Newton

400

264

66.1

4,079

43

10

182.0

2011

Griffin III

400

290

72.4

4,278

37

6

189.5

2012

Manziel

400

273

68.3

3,419

24

8

155.9

Year

Player

Attempts

Yards

YPC

TDs

2005

Young

184

1,251

6.8

12

2007

Tebow

184

791

4.3

22

2010

Newton

184

1,030

5,6

21

2011

Griffin III

184

717

3.9

11

2012

Manziel

184

1,181

6.4

21

Year

Player

Touches

Yards

TDs

2005

Young

584

4,974

44

2007

Tebow

584

4,548

59

2010

Newton

584

5,109

64

2011

Griffin III

584

4,995

48

2012

Manziel

584

4,600

43

With the exception of maybe Tim Tebow (personally, I think he was overrated even in college because many of his rushing touchdowns came on the goal line), Manziel does not reach the level of domination the rest of these quarterbacks did.

If one presents the argument that “Manziel is the first SEC player with 4,600 total yards in a season, Vince Young was the first player to have over 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 rushing in NCAA history and he did not win the Heisman.

Whether or not Manziel’s stats were better than the rest of the field, refer to the players listed at the beginning of this article. It is impossible to compare just the offensive skill players in terms of who was best over the course of the season. Whether or not his stats were better than everyone else’s is a matter of opinion, but let’s not tell everyone Manziel is better than RGIII, Newton, Tebow, and Young because that is clearly not the case.

Leadership

This is my opinion, but I believe the MVP of any sport is not only the player who puts up a fantastic amount of points, but also betters the players around him. Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning are two players who exemplify what an MVP should be.
Texas A&M didn’t have a 1,000 yard rusher besides Manziel. Christine Michael’s stats were down because he lost carries to Ben Malena, who was only slightly better. Neither one had more 130 touches while Manziel carries the ball 184 times. Clearly, he did not benefit his running backs.

Wide receiver is a harder to judge because any stat you gauge will have other factors besides just the quarterback. Manziel’s top two receivers, freshman Mike Evans and senior Ryan Swope, caught 45.4% of the quarterback’s completions, leaving 54.6% for the other 14 players who caught passes from Manziel. Comparatively, Baylor’s top two receivers caught 52.9% of Nick Florence’s completions, West Virginia’s top two caught 61.7% of Geno Smith’s completions, and Florida’s top two receivers caught 53%. As far as spreading the ball out, Manziel did a considerably better job than some other top quarterbacks and should probably be given the benefit of the doubt. Manziel and Evans are going to be a scary combination in the SEC for the next two to three years.

I have yet to hear a word about Manziel’s leadership for Texas A&M.  A google search of “Manziel Leadership” will provide you with a plethora of results concerning Manti Te’o and his leadership ability for the Notre Dame defense. No one is talking about Manziel’s leadership because it isn’t there. Every time I watched an A&M game, Manziel was either running around on the field or sitting on the sideline by himself with a towel over his head. He is not the leader of his team that should be expected from a Heisman winner. The other two Heisman finalists are clearly the leaders of their teams; no one would question this. No one is even talking about Manziel’s leadership, let alone trying to refute it. No one thinks Manziel is the leader of Texas A&M and that should be take into account.

Integrity

“The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award.” -Heisman Trust Mission Statement

Johnny Manziel was arrested for helping his friend in a fight, as Aggies would have us believe. ESPN reported that Manziel was the one exchanging blows when police arrived and that when they asked him for his identification, he gave them a fake license. When they recognized it as a fake license, they took his wallet and found another fake ID. This screams of immaturity and lack of character. It would be different if this was a past mistake that he learned from and caused a reform, but this happened not 7 months ago. Worse still, he did not (to my knowledge) issue an apology until a few weeks ago when he began getting all his Heisman accolades. When he proves he learned from this mistake and goes through a season with honor and integrity, by all means he deserves the Heisman. He earned it. But this year, he violated arguably the most important part of the Heisman Trust Mission Statement and, therefore, does not deserve the Heisman Trophy.

The over-adoration of his stats, his absence of integrity and, especially, the lack of leadership are why I don’t believe he deserves the Heisman Trophy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: