I had to go with the homertastic vote.
Of course, I don't think Manziel should win it for various reasons including those outlined by AndyVance here. Also, I was suprised to see Manti Te'o in third place on this poll at the moment. He may be the best player for ND, but that doesn't make him the best player in football especially when his stats don't back it up, other than interceptions. (On a side not about Te'o, did anyone notice that they showed a close-up of him at least once between EVERY SINGLE PLAY on Saturday? Sometimes twice!)
"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke
I'm with you on Manziel. And it's not because I'm afraid he'll take the distinguished "two time Heisman winner" label from Archie, but because when it mattered in other big games, excluding the Bama game, he didn't show up. He has great stats overall (I'll get to this in a moment), so don't get me wrong, but so does Klein and he loses one game (and it's not his fault that the defense couldn't stop Baylor) and he's immediately thrown to the back of the discussion but Manziel loses 2 games (games in which he was very pedestrian to just bad) and no one cares. It just seems that this is a bad year for Heisman voting as no one really stood out and he's left as the "best of a bad situation" type pick.
As noted in the loss after LSU on ESPN, until then, including the Florida defense, the average FBS ranking of the opponents' defenses was 68. And that doesn't include FCS opponent South Carolina St. Throw that in with opponents after that, such as Auburn (0 SEC wins...awful), Sam Houston St. (another FCS opponent, really?), and Missouri (2 SEC wins, which were against UK and Tenn who had a combined 1 SEC win between them and that was Tenn beating UK) and no wonder his stats look amazing. He faced 3 good defenses all year (2 of which shut him down) and the other 9 games were against 2 FCS schools and 7 bad to just downright awful defenses. So he basically has 1 good (you can even say great) game against a quality opponent and now he's considered the Heisman favorite? I just don't get it. I guess as long as you're the only SEC player to be considered, you're going to be favored.
Personally, and probably because I just don't think there is a great candidate, I think it should go to Marquise Lee. Unfortunately he's stuck with only being able to do so much as he can only get the ball when it's thrown to him and even with that, most of his production is tied to whether or not his QB is having a good day or not. But when you have a WR that accounts for nearly 150 total yards per game (149 to be exact - 140 receiving, 9 rushing), averages over 9 catches a game (had 7 games of 10 or more receptions), and 6 games over 150 yards or more receiving (8 of 100 or more), you have a pretty special player that is making the most of what he can when he touches the ball. Again, that's just my personal opinion, but based on the opponents and the better quality of them, I'd pick him.
Thanks for the link! Here are some further thoughts on reasons why Manziel isn't the greatest quarterback since Unitas, despite his jaw-dropping statline:
Outside of the Alabama game, he struggled in the second half of his season-opening loss against a ranked Florida team, needed every last second and a poor 4th down decision from Ole Miss to beat the now 3-5 SEC squad, was an unmitigated disaster against the Top 10 LSU Tigers, and earned his current fame via a strong performance in the narrow upset over the seemingly preordained National Champion Alabama.
Looking at the Aggies nine wins going into Saturday's game, they'd beaten teams with a combined record of 57-43 (.570), and - get this - an abysmal 14-22 record in the SEC. That's right, they've lost to two of the three league opponents who actually have winning schedules in the conference.
Of the nine opponents they'd beaten, only four are Bowl-eligible, and of those, only two are in the SEC (Louisiana Tech is a WAC school and Sam Houston is the pride of the Southland Conference).
Now, we could go through and do a similarly-depressing analysis of Ohio State's schedule (I did, and it's really ugly despite the fact that we're 3-0 versus ranked teams), so let's get that out of the way up front. My point isn't that OSU's schedule is better than A&M's, obviously, it's just that the Aggies are not the second coming - they've performed well against subpar squads, as they should, and struggled against top tier teams.
I think you have to give it to Manziel.. Te'o is a great player on a great defense, but I can't give him the Heisman. Doug Lesmerises (sp?) of the PD compared a Te'o Heisman to Troy Smith's Heisman, saying that the award is not necessarily based on stats. The difference for me is that Troy Smith is a quarterback, far more important than a LB.
I can't give it to Collin Klein. Great stats but got destroyed against a pretty weak Baylor team. Marqise Lee is on a 7-5 team. Kenjon Barner was fantastic, but a product of the system.
As for Braxton, I think his season was like Troy Smith's. The stats aren't eye-popping, but he led his team to an undefeated season and made plays when the team needed him. However, he had several rough games and Manziel was so dynamic.
In what has to be the most "meh" Heisman race in recorded history, I'm going to give my vote to Collin Klein. Had Manziel not wilted under the spotlights in his first two marquee games, he'd without a doubt be taking home the hardware. Klein's been the most consistently (and statistically) relevant "MVP" style player on his team; which is really what the award is all about.
If we're talking "most outstanding player in college football", I'm going with Lee--homeboy's been flat-out dominant all year. As it is, I hold a bit of weight in being an MVP, and the key cog in your team's success (which Lee isn't).
Also, keep in mind that--regardless of what the media's SEC hype machine will have you believe--the Big 12 is, without question, the best league from top to bottom in the country. Sure, the SEC is rife with top-tier teams, but it's also worth mentioning that most of those teams don't play each other, instead avoiding inevitable cannibalization by beating up weak basement dwellers.
Collin Klein (everything for his team, and putting up great dual-threat numbers, to boot)
Marquise Lee (best pure athlete in college football; also has the benefit of an NFL-calibre QB throwing his way)
Johnny Manziel (gaudy stats marred by underwhelming on the national stage 2 out of 3 times)
Marcus Mariota (basically Braxton Miller with better passing stats and less running ability--consistency gives him the nod over Miller)
Braxton Miller (far too inconsistent passing the ball to bring home the hardware; in most years, he's not a finalist)
"Meh" is definitely the way to describe this race. The Heisman is Klein's to lose Saturday. Manziel made as good a closing argument as one could possibly make, but the Wildcat has the last word. If he does what he does and the rest of his team plays, too, he can still take the heavy hardware home next month.
Klein has another chance to wow voters at home against Texas this Saturday. If he comes up with a huge game he could get right back to the top. I think he can sway voters his way with a strong finish as a one loss team with one bad game compared to Manziels two.
Good points @Lou and @Hodge. I'm a little down on Klein, but you're probably right. He was once a clear leader and perhaps I was wrong to jump off so quickly.
With the great seniors on that list it is impossible to vote brax
If Klein has a great game vs. Texas I would give it to him, otherwise I'd say Manziel. If Te'o wins it, they may as well get rid of the award because it will be a farce and henceforth mean nothing.
There must be 122 ND fans on the site (that's how many votes Te'o has received as of the time I'm posting this). Maybe 121 and Eddie George.
I voted for Te'o and here's why. Not only is he an elite level talent, but he basically carried his team to the only other undefeated season. Plus this guy plays through everything and nobody on the list is running away with the award. You can say his stats don't light up the sheet but he is the best player in CFB in my opinion. So 120 plus me and Eddie George
I thought Lee was the most impressive player I saw all season, but even for a WR, the 5 losses are something of an issue for me.
So I picked Barner, along with 20 or so others. It takes more than an annoying nickname and a "story" to get my (nonexistent) Heisman vote.
The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.
Don't discount the sentimental vote that Te'o will receive for the personal issues he had to deal with. I can see this as a feel good selection this year.
May you R.I.P. Otsego, but know this. Gaylord Rocks!
Not saying he deserves it, but I think Manziel put himself in the front-runner's seat at Alabama and cemented his place with big numbers in subsequent games.
Hodge, I hear ya on his earlier performances, but casual sports fans (and Heisman voters) have short memories.
Italics are for emphasis.
After watching the TA&M-'Bama game I have to go with Manziel. Never have I seen a QB under pressure thread so many perfect passes in my life.
"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)
He's been a lock for me since the Alabama game
Manziel easily. That dude is the best QB in college football and probably best player in general. Never been so amazed by a freshman like I have watching him play. The stats are there, the big win is there on national tv, and his team is pretty darn good as well.
I have to go with the homeristic xBrax360. I just can't stomach voting for a frosh who didn't do well in other marquee games. My most realistic vote would go for Collin Klein, as he's been the most consistent and spectacular of the Heisman racers. Otherwise, it's quite a "meh" season.
I think Te'o wins it. They won't give it to a Freshman with two losses. I think if Klein has a big game against Texas its all his. Te'o would win IMO if Klein faulters. The whole leading the #1 team arguement will get him votes. Plus more hype going into the Natty.
Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.
Manziel didn't "wilt" 2/3 times he played good teams. He played the arguably #3 team in the country in UF in his FIRST ever start and only lost by 3. They hung with an arguably top #5 team in LSU until the last half of the 4th quarter. This guy is playing with a Big XII team that went .500 in the Big XII last year. He's the only different major player from last year's A&M to this year's. He took a .500 Big XII team and led them to an 8-2 record in the ("mighty") SEC. Whatever you think about SEC bias overall I dont think anyone can say the Big XII> SEC.
I love Brax and all but down the stretch our (massively improved?!) Defense (gasp) and Hyde won us those games and he kind of faded. No shame in that.
Manziel is a folk hero; I'm sorry. Anyone who watched that Bama game knows
I voted for Braxton but if he doesn't win it then im hoping Manti gets it. Just think, woodson would not be the only defensive player to win the Heisman. Tsun fans would probably cry a bit and nothing makes me smile more then tsun fans crying.
Point, good sir
Also think: ND would then have 8 Heismans to Ohio State's 7. OSU would have more Heismans than any other program, once it hypothetically wins one before ND does.
How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!
I think they give it to Johnny Football, but I voted for Optimus Klein.
"...but then again 'Michigan' and 'huge mistake' are synonymous so that shouldn't have been much of a surprise to anybody." - Mark Titus
i voted for johnny football... bcuz well he deserves it compared to everyone else imo... esp after you see how many total yds cam and tebow put up to win it..
btw imo tebow shoulda won it 2 times as well
mark may wins douchebag of the year... again
Since I know Braxton won't win it this year I think Te'o should win it. If Manziel and his team were undefeated I would vote for him, but he has two losses and Te'o has helped lead his team to a national championship.
"Do not pray for an easy life. Rather, pray for the the strength to endure a difficult one" - Bruce Lee
Honestly Barner is the most electric player in my book but since none of these guys really get me excited I chose Brax....