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:
One Gotta Go: Pac-12 players go full-on millennial on how they get to class (Uber...really?)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Von Miller gifts every AFC West player custom bottle of wine

Bucs C Joe Hawley claims Seahawks player spit in his face

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: A.J. Green jogging, no timeline for return from injury

Vikings’ Robison tees off on NFL officiating after missed call

Former NFL doc hints Gronk's injury could threaten career

Report: Odom battling addiction, hanging with ‘same old crew’

Joe McKnight shot and killed in apparent road rage incident in Louisiana

Brett Brown plans to play Ben Simmons at point guard

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Belichick addresses Gronk's injury, future this season

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

12/1: Philadelphia 76ers are all wet

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

College Football Playoff rankings: Calm before the storm

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