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Johnny Manziel has become the Heisman's 'Flavor of the Month'

Do not be surprised the Texas A&M quarterback is named winner of the most recognized trophy in sports
by Jenni Carlson Published: December 3, 2012
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photo - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates after a review proves an Aggie touchdown during the first half of their first SEC meeting against and Alabama in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. No. 15 Texas A&M defeated No. 1 Alabama 29-24.  (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.) ORG XMIT: ALDEC101
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates after a review proves an Aggie touchdown during the first half of their first SEC meeting against and Alabama in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. No. 15 Texas A&M defeated No. 1 Alabama 29-24. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.) ORG XMIT: ALDEC101

College football teams that lose a third of their games go to the New Orleans Bowl.

Even when college football goes to a four-team playoff in 2014, winning will still be held at a higher premium than any other sport.

Hence the reason I weigh winning heavily when evaluating Heisman candidates. A player's team doesn't have to be undefeated, but if it has lost, how did he play?

That's why I didn't put Manziel at the top of my Heisman ballot.

Johnny Football and the Aggies lost two games this season, and his play was a big reason why. In a three-point loss to Florida, he threw for only 173 yards and no touchdowns and ran for 60 yards and one touchdown. In a five-point loss to LSU, he threw for 267 yards but had three interceptions. On the ground, he managed only 27 yards and scored no touchdowns.

In both games, the Texas A&M defense played well enough for the Aggies to win.

Manziel did not.

But because Texas A&M went to Alabama and won, Manziel has become the Heisman front-runner.

What is this, a middle school student council election?

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o received my vote for Heisman, followed by Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein second and Manziel third. I voted Te'o and Klein over Manziel because of what they and their teams did over the course of the entire season, not just one or two games.

Manziel is a fantastic player, and come Saturday evening, he will probably be the Heisman Trophy winner.

That doesn't mean I have to give him my vote.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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