Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/29/12

Since defeating Alabama on November 10th, Johnny Manziel has been at or near the top of every Heisman list. The last two weeks, he has crushed Sam Houston State and Missouri, all the while dazzling the country with his passing and running abilities. The one big knock on Johnny football is pretty obvious: he’s a freshman. He appears to be the best freshman since Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson was the runner up in 2004, but does he have enough to shake the stigma of a freshman never winning the Heisman trophy? In short, absolutely not. Contrary to popular belief, there are serious faults with Johnny Manziel’s Heisman candidacy.  Here are the five reasons that stand out:1. Quarterback A: 66% completion, 3745 yards, 27 TD’s, 9 INT’sQuarterback B: 68% completion, 3419 yards, 24 TD’s 8 INT’sYes, it’s that game again. For obsessive stat geeks like me, stumping people with one of these tricks is like Christmas. So take a few seconds to guess who you think each one is. If you said quarterback B was Johnny Football, you are correct. Quarterback A is Oklahoma’s Landry Jones. Pretty even, right? Manziel’s rushing numbers are the big difference as he has rushed for over 1100 yards and 19 TD’s to this season, whereas Jones’ rushing numbers are well below average. I’m not saying that Landry Jones should be in the Heisman trophy conversation. My argument is this: If you’re going to hand the Heisman trophy to a freshman QB, shouldn’t it be to someone who has clearly superior passing numbers? Especially superior over someone who isn’t even in the discussion? So the question that Heisman voters have to answer is, “Do his rushing numbers outweigh his lack of a clear advantage in the passing game?” I would submit that they do not.2. Aside from Alabama, Johnny Manziel struggled in big games this season. Texas A&M got to play Florida and LSU at home and they lost both games. Granted, Florida was Manziels first ever game at the collegiate level; I get that. But making the “freshman excuse” for Manziel would subsequently eliminate him from consideration for the award. Heisman voters will hold Manziel accountable for early season mistakes, a loss to Florida and a three interception performance against LSU included.3. Trivia: In the BCS era, who is only Heisman winner, excluding Robert Griffin III, to not play in a BCS bowl game? If you said Ricky Williams (1998), I’m impressed. Here is the bottom line: Texas A&M will not be playing in a BCS bowl game. Considering that they are behind Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and LSU in the SEC pecking order, it looks as if they might not even get a Cotton bowl bid. Historically, the Heisman voters like winners. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o will get the nod in this department after leading an undefeated Notre Dame team to a National Title appearance.4. Does anyone know who Johnny Football really is? Due to things that are completely out of Manziel’s control, his case for the Heisman is weakened. His main competitor, Manti Te’o, has a story that will make anyone with a heartbeat feel for him. This isn’t as much an indictment on Manziel as it is a feat for Te’o that he has been able to play this well considering the circumstances. The other part to this story of course relates back to Manziel's status as a freshman: Texas A&M does not allow its freshman to speak to the media. Though Manziel did just recently have his first press conference with the media, I doubt Heisman voters would be willing to vote for a player they do not know.5. All of the above. The case against Johnny Manziel is not a solid one. It is far below that of the case that Manti Te’o has built for himself, which will be the real reason for the loss if Johnny Football does not win the award. But in the end, he has too much to overcome. He has passing stats are well above average, though not Heisman-like. He lost two home games this season in which he recorded a total of one touchdown (rushing) and three interceptions. He will not lead the Aggies to a BCS bowl, potentially becoming just the third Heisman winner to not do so since 1998. And oh yeah, he’s a freshman. Next year, Johnny Football, next year.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

TCU extends Gary Patterson through 2024 season

Shohei Ohtani studies Bryce Harper to improve hitting

Chris Harris: Broncos need to get 'mind-control' over AFC West back

WATCH: Pat Narduzzi predicts Pitt upset win over Miami in halftime interview

Report: Florida moving on from Chip Kelly

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Derrick Rose away from team, considering NBA future

Report: Mississippi St. set to go ‘all in’ to keep Dan Mullen

Eli Manning: Losing so much 'can wear you out'

Chargers have 'real concerns' about Mike Williams's knee?

Jerry Jones reiterates support for Jason Garrett

Jay Bilas: NCAA offered committee spot to silence me

The 'Profound mound of rebound' quiz

15 key questions for NFL Week 12

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

Biggest sports turkeys of 2017

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Profound mound of rebound' quiz

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker