Has a redshirt freshman ever won the nation’s most prestigious award?
Has a redshirt freshman ever played the way Johnny Football has for his Texas A&M Aggies?
With Saturday’s 47-28 win over Sam Houston State, the Aggies stayed hot as a team in moving to 9-2 on the season.
After finishing with six losses a season ago, after beating the nation’s No. 1 team a week ago, and after watching the nation’s latest No. 1 team fall just a few hours ago, Manziel’s Heisman credentials should jump off the page without taking a look at a single statistic.
Then, of course, we take a look at the statistics, and the redshirt freshman’s candidacy (not to mention Heisman lead) no longer comes into question.
[Related >> Manziel pulls off the miracle at Alabama]
Manziel passed for 267 yards and three scores with an interception. He also rushed for an even 100 yards on a mere 16 carries for an average of 6.3 yards per attempt. Johnny Football tacked on two rushing touchdowns for five on the day.
ESPN, for one, loves looking at the stats as well:
Manziel broke the NCAA freshman quarterback rushing record of 1,029 set by Missouri’s Brad Smith in 2002, and the freshman record for total offense of 3,827 set in 2000 by Jared Lorenzen on A&M’s first drive. He also became the fifth player and first freshman in FBS history to pass for at least 3,000 yards with at least 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
In terms of expectations, Manziel has led his team to heights previously unimagined as A&M entered its first season in the nation’s toughest conference.
Collin Klein, the heart and soul of the Kansas State Wildcats, blew his team’s chance at a perfect season after entering the year with expectations of leading the way towards exactly that.
The same goes for Oregon’s dynamic duo of running backs Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas, who could hardly muster much of anything in the Ducks’ loss to Stanford.
Johnny Football has done everything from putting up the big numbers to leading his team to the biggest wins on the nation’s biggest stages.
It is time to buck tradition now that much of Manziel’s competition has bucked the pressures of trying to maintain an undefeated season.
It is time to give Manziel his due in the Heisman conversation.
Latest from around Gamedayr >> Check out the projected BCS top five following a chaotic weekend of college football