Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein are this year’s Heisman finalists. The awarded will be handed out tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. in New York City, and the freshman Manziel is the favorite in what is expected to be a close race.
Sports Illustrated has 8 of the 928 total voters on staff, and earlier today those special 8 shared their ballots with brief explanations. 7 of the 8 writers chose Manziel, and 6 of 8 had a ballot that went Manziel, Te’o, Klein, in that order. Senior writer Thayer Evans, however, went in a different – and irrationally punitive – direction.
Thayer wasn’t the only one not to follow the traditional vote, however. Stewart Mandel had Manziel first, Te’o second and USC WR Marqise Lee third. And while some might disagree with that decision, ultimately it’s the first place vote, and the inclusion of the two favorites, Te’o and Manziel, that matters.
Back to Thayer Evans. His ballot is as follows:
1. Manti Te’o
2. Collin Klein
3. Jordan Lynch
You may or may not have noticed that Johnny Manziel is nowhere to be found. You know, the same Johnny Manziel that “broke Cam Newton’s SEC record for total offense with 4,600 yards in 12 games (it took Newton 14) while also becoming the first freshman to produce a 3,000-yard passing/1,000-yard rushing season. Manziel also accounted for 69.4 percent of the Aggies’ offense as a freshman” (via SI voter Zac Ellis). Or the fact that he upset No. 1 Alabama, on with road, with 24-31 passing for 253 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. And 92 rushing yards.
That Evans didn’t pick Manziel as the winner is understandable – Te’o is an equally deserving candidate, the best defender on one of the nation’s top defenses, his team is undefeated and in the national championship game. Not to mention his inspiring story, having gone through the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend in a 24-hour period earlier in the season. So we can’t fault him for choosing Te’o. We can fault him, however, for going against the grain for the sake of going against the grain, and completely leaving Manziel off of his ballot.
We won’t even get into a larger discussion of the statistical prowess of the other candidates he chose ahead of Manziel (Lynch and Klein) because we don’t even need to. Just one look at his brief explanation makes you want to throw the kitchen sink at his face.
“And yes, I realize I don’t have Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on my ballot. I don’t consider players with pending criminal charges, and Manziel still faces three counts relating to an early morning fight in June.”
The fight, as you may remember, was a minor drunken college brawl, at best. Manziel was arrested for disorderly conduct, showing the cops a fake ID, and “failure to identify.”
But you know what? JOHNNY MANZIEL IS A CRIMINAL. He committed THREE crimes. Not just one. THREE. He should be locked up for being a 20-year-old that likes to go out and drink alcohol. HE SHOULD BE LOCKED UP WITH THE PEDOPHILES. WHERE IS JERRY SANDUSKY IMPRISONED?!?! PUT HIM THERE.
“Manziel has been spectacular, but when he wins the Heisman on Saturday night, he should give it away — to coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, for being the best at their positions this season, for implementing Texas A&M’s high-powered scheme and for standing by Manziel.”
Exactly. Johnny Manziel didn’t actually play the games, and he wasn’t the best player at his position. He was merely the product of an offensive coordinator and head coach. Give them the Heisman. HOW DO YOU LIKE MY GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN NOW.
The third player on the ballot is NIU QB Jordan Lynch, ahead of Manziel.
“And complain all you want about Lynch, but he has Northern Illinois in a BCS bowl for the first time and leads the FBS in rushing. Both of those facts are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as Lynch leading the Huskies through wild and crazy MACtion undefeated this season.”
Nevermind that everyone thinks that NIU being in a BCS bowl game is a load of horseshit. But it’s the MAC. The MAC. The BIG SCARY MAC. Because going undefeated in the MAC is not even close to as impressive as Manziel leading the Aggies to a 6-2 record in the SEC.
One of your 2012 Heisman voters, people.