There’s a lot of talk about who should win the Heisman Trophy this year. It’s a hot topic of conversation every year, but this year the debate seems a little more controversial than usual. This is because of the top two candidates set to win “” Texas A&M’s (redshirted) first year quarterback Johnny Manziel (often nicknamed “Johnny Football”) and Notre Dame’s senior linebacker Manti Te’o. Both players will set records if they win, Manziel being the first first year and Te’o being the first linebacker to ever win the award.
In my opinion, Te’o should win the prestigious and sought after award. Here are some issues to consider for how the Heisman should be chosen and why it should be Te’o over Manziel.
Te’o has been good all season. Notre Dame is undefeated, which means his powerhouse defense has had 12 solid games this year. The defense has held opponents to 26 points or fewer in games. Te’o himself has recorded seven interceptions and 101 tackles so far on the season alone, whereas Manziel has not consistently been good for the whole season. He has posted big numbers throughout the season, but the LSU and Florida game was a bit of a fail for him. Poor defensive showings on the opponent’s part also played a big role in the yardage he was able to gain during the season’s games.
A freshman should not win the Heisman trophy. In my opinion the trophy is all about what the athlete has done in his intercollegiate career, not just what one can do in a single season. If Manziel is as good as people say he is then he will consistently be great for three more years and then he can win the trophy.
Anyone can have a good season, but can they have four good seasons? Te’o recorded his third over 100-tackle season at Notre Dame this year.
3. Offensive vs. Defensive
The award is almost always given to a quarterback, running back or wide receiver. It’s time for other positions to get some recognition. Football is not dependent on one player, as in any team sport, nor is football dependent on the offensive alone. Therefore, why should offensive players get all the credit? Defensive players have as much of an impact in a game as offensive players. For once, let’s give some equal credit.
4. Best Team
Notre Dame is ranked number one in the BCS. A&M is ranked number nine. A whole other column could be written about the status of Notre Dame as number one but that’s not the issue at hand here. The Heisman winner should represent the best player who helped lead his team to be the best team in college football.
5. A&M is annoying
This reason is obviously biased, but I will not be able to stand the amount of bragging that will go on if Manziel wins. Just because A&M beat Alabama doesn’t make them any better. They are still ranked number nine. People bragged about that for a good while, and I can’t even imagine the annoyance the Heisman trophy will cause. I do not want to hear “woop woop” for the next 50 years.
Now that I’ve made my claim for Te’o, I do need to be fair to Manziel. He has had an incredible year. Even though he isn’t even a real freshman, for his first year offically play, he has done a great job. He has more total yards than Cam Newton and Tim Tebow did when they won the Heisman. 3,419 yards in one season is ridiculous. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be the number one draft pick in three years if he keeps this up.
Regardless of people’s personal opinions, no one can disagree that Manziel or Te’o are incredible football players. It’s going to be a tough decision no matter what with such high quality players this year. May the best player win.
Lydia Duncombe is the Sports editor of the Trinitonian. She is a junior communication major from Friendswood, Texas.