The Texas A&M Aggies are playing their first season of SEC football. QB Johnny Manziel is playing his first season of collegiate football. This is not a team that is supposed to upset the top-ranked squad in the nation and have the nation talking about their signal-caller's Heisman candidacy.
However, after Johnny Football’s performance against No. 1 ranked Alabama—24-of-31 passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns, plus 18 rushes for 92 yards—that is exactly what is happening.
The Aggies are now 8-2 on the year and likely to take a big jump up in the BCS standings on Sunday night. While TAMU is currently ranked No. 15, they figure to skyrocket after an incredible upset win over the Crimson Tide. It’s largely due to their signal-caller’s prowess and a major reason why he should be considered for the Heisman.
Manziel, just 19 years old, has completed 227-of-336 passes this year, going for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He’s also a threat to take off, rushing 156 times for 1,014 yards and 15 scores.
While those numbers are spectacular, they aren’t at Kansas State QB Collin Klein’s level—145-of-208 for 2,020 yards and 12 touchdowns, plus 154 runs for 748 yards and 19 touchdowns, while leading an undefeated Wildcats team. However, voters need to realize that Manziel’s feats are much greater than anything K-State has accomplished.
The Crimson Tide were by far the best squad in the nation, looking to repeat as national champions and expertly coached by Nick Saban to start and finish every game that ‘Bama participated in.
Johnny Football threw a wrench in Saban’s plans, leading his team to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and helping them to a 29-24 victory over the toughest opponent possible.
But is that enough to start swaying some Heisman voters? It just may be.
Manziel was on the radar prior to the Alabama upset, being listed by Bovada.lv as a 20/1 long shot behind Klein (1/2.5), Kenjon Barner (3/1), A.J. McCarron (4.5/1) and Manti Te'o (8/1).
He should be right behind Klein as the second-favorite player now that his team has pulled off the impossible. The award is all about acknowledging the best collegiate player, and no one has been better than Klein and Manziel.
With two games left on the schedule, it’s going to be an exciting finish and a close Heisman race.