1amsports Heisman Finalists | November 30, 2012
The College football season coming to an end with Conference titles and bowl games being decided. The race to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy is hotting up and the finalist will be announced soon. Its been a back and fourth race throughout the season, with Montee Ball and Matt Barkley coming into the season as the two hot favourites to be in New York, then from weeks 5-8 we had Geno Smith as the favourite for the Trophy but after a heavy defeat to KSU his name was taken out the discussion with Colin Klein taking over as the favourite but again that all changed when KSU suffered a loss to Baylor, since then it has been up in the air as to who will win the award.
As we know in College football things aren’t exactly normal and all can dramatically change from week to week as highlighted by the BCS rankings this season. Here I give my top 5 candidates for the award and announce my winner!
1. Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
The Redshirted Freshman has been superb for A&M in their debut season in the SEC finishing with a 10-2 record. After defeating Missouri on Saturday, Manziel broke Cam Newtons single season total yardage at QB. Everyone talks about a signature game that voters look for, well Manziel probably had the biggest one of the season against Alabama winning on the road with an impressive performance that left the Crimson tide on the edge to defend their BCS title. Manziel has thrown for 3419 yard, 24/8 TD:INT, rushing for 1181 yards including 16 TDs for A&M, As a freshman that is pretty impressive especially going against the likes of Alabama, LSU and Florida this season.
2. Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)
The only candidate from the defensive side of the ball, Te’o has had one impressive season for the fighting Irish, helping Notre Dame to become the no.1 defence in the country as well as leading them to the National Championship game. He returned for his senior season, having dropped 15-20 pounds and Te’o has had 100 tackles for the 3rd straight season, coming up with 7 INTs.
3. Colin Klein (Kansas State)
Not many people had Klein in the discussion for the Heisman before the season started, never mind Kansas St involved in National Title game talk. The fact they were in the discussion is partly due to Klein’s performance throughout the season, including victories over ranked teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma St and at the time West Virginia and Texas Tech. After a shocking loss to Baylor on the road putting up only 24 points against one of the worst defences in the BIG12, Klein name has fallen down the pecking order. He has thrown for 2306 including 14 TD, 6 Int, rushing for 787 yards including 20 TDs.
4. Kenjon Barner
The workhorse of the Oregon Offence, De’Anthony and Mariota may get the headlines but Barner plays a pivotal role in the offence. Barner was not involved as much in the offence last year with LaMicheal James taking most of the snaps but when he left for the NFL Barner took over the starting job at RB, and he has not disappointed. Rushing for over 1500 yards, 21 TDs with 232 receiving yards 1 TD. Barner was outstanding against USC with what was then a record in the PAC12 325 yard, 5 TDs.
Miller may not get a lot of love because of Ohio State’s post season bans, so on the National level they haven’t been talked about much but Miller quietly has had a superb season for the Buckeyes leading the team to go undefeated with a 12-0 record. Urban Meyer over the years has transformed programs as well as QBs, helping Alex Smith and Tim Tebow develop into good CFB QBs with Smith transforming it into the NFL. Meyer has done the same with Miller with the read option offence, throwing it for 2039 yards,15 TDs, rushing it for 1271 yards and 13 TDs.
If I was a voter I would give my vote to Manti Te’o, who has been superb throughout the season coming back for his senior year and playing better which is much harder to do with it being your final season in the college ranks. However, my gut feeling is that Manziel will win as a freshman with his explosive plays throughout the season including that big win over Alabama with no one having given them a chance to win that game.