Why Johnny Manziel's Rise Crushes Manti Te'o's Heisman Hopes

Ian BergCorrespondent INovember 12, 2012

November 10, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA;  Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) passing under pressure from the Alabama Crimson Tide defense during second quarter of their football game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE
John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

The Heisman Trophy race has been a cloudy picture all season long with a number of top talents finding their names tossed in the hat for consideration for the country’s top college football award. 

Manti Te’o has been a hot name on the circuit all year, but a recent shift in attention is occurring thanks to Johnny Manziel. 

The freshman quarterback from Texas A&M has earned the nickname “Johnny Football” for his fluid play on Saturdays. The game comes easily to Manziel—or so it seems—as he shreds opposing defenses on a regular basis. 

Manziel has rocketed into the Heisman discussion after he helped Texas A&M upset the undefeated and No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. Sports analysts couldn’t say “Johnny Football” enough in the past few weeks, and now the country has caught the fever. 

Now that Manziel has reached the height of popularity, he has taken the Heisman dark-horse label from Manti Te’o. A freshman has never won the award, and only one defender has ever won the Heisman Trophy.

Both of these players finding their way into the discussion is impressive, but Te’o is falling away fast. While he has had an impressive year helping guide Notre Dame to an undefeated season, Johnny Manziel has worked magic in his first season in College Station. 

Through Week 11, Manziel has thrown 18 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He has 2,780 yards through the air and is completing 67.6 percent of his passes. 

Even more impressive are his rushing numbers. Manziel has had five games with over 100 yards on the ground, and two more with over 90. He has carried the ball 156 times for 1,014 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Against Alabama, Manziel became an elite member of the 2,000/1,000 club. Only one other SEC quarterback has ever achieved that honor—Cam Newton in 2010. Manziel became only the tenth quarterback all time to accomplish the feat. 

Texas A&M and “Johnny Football” only have two games remaining in the regular season. Sam Houston State and Missouri will attempt to knock off the Aggies, but this team appears destined to finish with 10-wins and a major bowl appearance. 

Without Manziel, this Aggies football team wouldn't be making the run that it is currently on. He is the key to this team’s success, and is quickly becoming the best football player in the country. 

Because of the resurgence in College Station, Johnny Manziel will likely snag a free ride to New York as he should finish as one of the five finalists for the Heisman. 

Manziel is already in Heisman form, and his family is in the process of trademarking the nickname, “Johnny Football” according to a Yahoo! Sports report. If this rapid rise continues for the Aggies and Manziel, he will crush the Heisman hopes of Manti Te’o and finish December in New York.