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
Heisman Trophy ballots have been cast, including mine.
I'm pretty sure I didn't pick the winner.
And I'm perfectly fine with that.
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On the day Heisman ballots were due, it became increasingly clear that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will win. He sits at the top of every reputable straw poll. He dominates the Heisman hype.
No reason to believe he won't win.
Doesn't mean he should.
The Heisman has become a flavor-of-the-month award. Actually, a month might be too long. It's more like the flavor of the moment.
The race for the most recognized trophy in sports has become a beauty contest.
Voters are tasked with selecting “the outstanding college football player.” The Downtown Athletic Club's executive director once told me that having that vague criteria was by design. The Heisman's awarding body wants the voters to decide what “the outstanding college football player” means to them.
To me, it's means individual excellence and team success.
The first part is self-explanatory. Look at the players who have the best stats, and you're likely looking at the guys who I'm considering for the Heisman.
But to me, the award is about more than stats. I consider not only what a player has done but also what his team has done and the role he's had.
Who is most valuable to their team? And by extension, who has most helped their team win?
Winning is vital on my Heisman ballot.
Because winning is vital in college football.
Under the current system, winning is paramount. You have to win to play for a national title. If you don't, you run the risk of not making that one-game, winner-take-all playoff.
College football is unlike any other sport because of that. Look at any other college sport or any professional league, and you'll see that winning is important but that teams don't have to win every game they play to make the playoff. Teams that lose a third of their games make the NCAA basketball tournament or the NFL playoffs all the time.
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