Saturday’s big game against Missouri solidified Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy credentials, but if the Texas A&M quarterback does become the first freshman ever to win the award, he can look to the Aggies’ 29-24 victory over Alabama as the day that the cement started to harden.
Manziel completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns against an Alabama defense that has been talked about as one of the best ever in college football. He also carried 18 times for 192 yards as he vaulted past several other contenders for the Heisman.
So it’s hardly surprising that Manziel is now the favorite to win it. In numbers just released by sportsbook.ag, Manziel is a prohibitive 1/5 to take home the award as college football's best player. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo is a distant second at 3/1, and we all know how Heisman voters view defensive players. So, Manziel should be accepting handshakes and receiving backslaps at the Downtown Athletic Club on Dec. 10.
Texas A&M is done for the regular season, and with Manziel at the controls has had a solid year in the SEC. The Aggies finished at 6-2 in the league (one-score losses to Florida and LSU – no shame there) after Saturday’s 59-29 victory over Missouri in which Manziel was 32 for 44 for 372 yards and three TDs – a leave-them-wanting-more performance for Heisman voters.
Collin Klein (9/2 odds) had his foot to the floor until he came out flat in Kansas State’s puzzling loss to Baylor a few weeks ago. Three interceptions in that game (doubling his season total) took the shine off his apple.
Braxton Miller has terrific numbers: 2,039 yards passing, 1,271 rushing, and 28 total touchdowns (15 passing). But with Ohio State serving out the Tressel sanctions, Miller is barely on the horizon at 25/1. Likewise USC’s extraordinary kick returner, Marqise Lee (25/1). It would be fun, though, to see Lee accompanied on stage by USC coach Lane Kiffin.