Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Johnny Manziel does not deserve the Heisman Trophy

Almost everyone and their brother considers Johnny Manziel the front runner to win the Heisman at this point, but not so fast. Despite Manziel's magical season at Texas A&M, I don't think Johnny Football is as deserving of the Heisman as everyone thinks. All I keep hearing about is how Manziel plays in the toughest conference in the FBS, but let's delve deeper into Manziel's statistics.

Johnny Football has 24 passing touchdowns and 19 rushing touchdowns in 2012. Of those 43 total touchdowns, 22 of them (51.2%) came against non-conference opponents. Texas A&M outscored their four non-conference opponents 224-102 (30.5 points per game) which suggests Manziel inflated his numbers as the Aggies destroyed their weaker opponents. Why is Johnny Football being praised for playing in a tough conference like the SEC when half of his touchdowns came against non-conference opponents?

In addition, Manziel is averaging 120.75 rush yards per game against non-conference opponents as opposed to 87.25 rush yards per game against Southeastern Conference opponents. Granted this makes complete sense considering SEC defenses are better, but it illustrates how Manziel was significantly more effective running the football against weaker opponents, and thus should not be getting as much credit for dicing up SEC defenses on the ground. 

Now let's discuss Manziel's in-conference play. Despite playing some of the nation's toughest opponents in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana State, Manziel posted a 1-2 record and scored only three total touchdowns in those three games. While these are arguably three of the best defenses in the FBS, Manziel put up only 18.7% of his total yards and 7.0% of his total touchdowns in the three biggest games on the schedule. (Manziel accumulated 11.8% of his total yards and 11.6% of his total touchdowns in the Arkansas game alone.)

I'd also like to point out that nine of Manziel's 21 SEC touchdowns came against two horrible defenses in Arkansas and Auburn. These two teams combined to give up 91 total touchdowns on defense during the season while posting an aggregate record of 7-17 (2-14 in-conference).

Additionally, nobody seems to be talking about how Manziel threw three interceptions and completed 51.8% of his passes in a home loss to Louisiana State that ultimately eliminated the Aggies from BCS Bowl contention. Johnny Football rushed for a season-low 27 yards and averaged 1.6 yards per carry, while accounting for zero touchdowns on October 20 in a crucial showdown against the Tigers.

I didn't write this article because I wanted to discredit Manziel or promote Collin Klein and Manti Te'o. I wrote this because I want to encourage the general public to dig deeper into the statistics and form an opinion for themselves instead of turning on ESPN and buying into everything they say. ESPN has essentially been touting Manziel as a lock to win the Heisman ever since Kansas State lost to Baylor, which is complete nonsense in my opinion. I've heard rumblings about the Heisman voters' reluctance to choose a Freshman, so don't be surprised if Te'o or Klein comes out ahead of Manziel in the Heisman voting.

24 comments:

  1. 90 yards rushing per game as a quarterback in the SEC is unimpressive? You're a fucking moron.

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  2. Never said Manziel rushing for 87.25 yards per game during SEC play was unimpressive. (That's been Manziel's most impressive statistical feat thus far in my opinion). All I did was point out how Manziel racked up 41% of his rushing yards in the four games A&M played against non-conference opponents.

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  3. He has so many passing yards an touchdowns with a 30+ point lead because he and the whole team destroyed their opponent so quickly that if Coach Sumlin would take him out with a 30 point lead then he would play 1 quarter and sit out the last 3....totally ridiculous. Also, if you add up all the time that he sat out of games because of such a large lead, it adds up to almost 2 complete games. Now THAT would have been padding statistics.....bottom line, you don't know what you are talking about.

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    1. Not true at all. If Sumlin would have sat Manziel whenever they got a 30 point lead, JF would have missed the second half of the Auburn and South Carolina State games. In terms of the other blowouts, those didn't occur til midway through the third quarter at the earliest and thus Manziel would have been yanked for maybe the fourth quarter and thus would not have played one quarter and sat out the other three.

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    2. Did you ever watch a Texas A&M game??? They were up 42-0 before halftime...

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    3. True your right. I missed the Mizzou game which was last Saturday, so that instance occurred three times not two. My mistake. But it's not like I didn't include the Mizzou game in the data I calculated located in the original article. (I encourage you to run the numbers and check if you don't believe me.)

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    4. Also, it still doesn't change the fact that Sumlin wouldn't have pulled Manziel in the first quarter of every game, contrary to the claim made by the original commenter.

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  4. Did you also take into account how many QUARTERS Johnny Manziel sat out this season compared to Klein? A majority of those touchdowns came in the first half, and scoring as much as you can in the first half is not running up the score, it's just damn good offense. He would play ONE series in all of the games they were up by more than 30 points at half and then sit the rest of the game. If Coach Sumlin wanted to run up the score he would have left Johnny in for the whole game, and subsequently he would probably have 60 touchdowns, but he didn't. I think you are just looking for reasons to discredit a good season by "dig[ging] deeper into the statistics" so they fit your purposes. Anyone can do that.

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  5. I did not calculate how many quarters each candidate sat out, but I encourage you to figure that out and present some data to support your argument instead of throwing out generalizations without substance. Additionally, I'm not trying to compare/contrast Klein and Manziel. I used the chart to illustrate Manziel putting up a portion of his stats with a 30+ point lead and Klein happened to be on the other side because I found the diagram on a Kansas State reporters' Twitter account. Like I said in the final paragraph, I'm not trying to make a case for Te'o or Klein, I simply wanted to point out that Johnny Football's stats look better on the surface than when you dissect them. Also, the only games A&M led by 30+ points at halftime were against Auburn and South Carolina, so when you say, "He would play ONE series in all of the games they were up by more than 30 points at half," please realize they only led by 30+ points at halftime twice this year.

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    1. 42-0 against MIZZOU, before halftime. 42-7 @ half
      Thats a 30+ point lead my friend

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    2. Like I said before in the previous comment, it doesn't change the fact that Sumlin wouldn't have pulled Manziel out after the first quarter of every game. They had a 30+ point lead at halftime three times this season, not twelve.

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  6. I guess you would support a rule change that requires teams to sit their first string after they build a lead? While we are at it, I guess we should just throw out all stats against non-conference opponents? Anything else?

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    1. Yeah, how about we discount everything a player does b/c he's a freshman?

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  7. I would have to disagree. I'm not throwing out stats against non-conference opponents. I'm simply pointing out that Manziel scored at least half of his TD's against non-conference opponents. Some of those non-conference opponents included FCS schools like Sam Houston State and South Carolina State. All I keep hearing about is how Manziel deserves to win the Heisman because of his stellar performances during SEC play, so I delved a little deeper and took a peak for myself. I'm pointing things out that the average fan wouldn't be able to notice while looking at Johnny Football's overall offensive statistics on the surface.

    As far as a first string rule change goes, I would definitely not be supportive of anything like that. All I'm saying is there's a major difference between Manziel scoring a TD in a tight game against LSU and Manziel scoring a TD while up 44-10 against Arkansas, yet on the surface, each accomplishment looks the same. That is the point I tried to make.

    Now if you want to go dig into Collin Klein's stats and talk about some of his performances during garbage time or against weak opponents and create an argument that Manziel is still the more impressive quarterback I encourage you to do so and I will respect and consider that, but I didn't write this piece to discredit Manziel and tout Klein. I wrote the article to encourage the average sports fan to form their own opinion instead of buying into all of the stuff they hear from mainstream media outlets like ESPN.

    Garret- When did I ever say we should "discount everything a player does because he's a freshman?" The only thing I mentioned about Manziel being a Freshman was that there have been rumors regarding some Heisman Trophy voters' reluctance to vote for a Freshman, that's all. Not really rocket science or anything.

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  8. Gavin, you're talking to a bunch of Aggies. I went to HS with JFF....he won't be as impressive next year. Guaranteed. Our football record was hardly recognizable that year to say the least. He's a Doug Flutie...impressive in college, but an NFL flunkie for sure. I completely concur with your analysis. Let's put it this way, if Klein had the talent of A&M's defense and O-line (Thanks to Sumlin, not JFF), the Aggies would be chanting "Optimus Klein". Unfortunately, Klein wasn't/isn't in the right place at the right time...Johnny is. JFF should get "Clutch Player of the Year" and Klein should receive the Heisman.

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  9. Thanks man greatly appreciated. I couldn't agree more. Glad to get some real info from someone with ties to Johnny Football as well.

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  10. I totally agree with the analysis. Look at all the cupcakes that ATM played this year: SMU, S Carolina State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn, Sam Houston State, and Missouri. More than half of his impressive wins came against teams who's combined record is 29-32. So he beat up on cupcakes and did poorly to average against the rest of the SEC teams. Yeah not buying into this one.

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  11. Did you watch every single Aggie game? Are YOU basing YOUR comments purely on statistics and/or numbers games? Because it seems like it. Let me ask you this, is there another player out there who continually made you go "Holy shit! I can't believe he just did that?!"? Because, that is the reaction one would hope the Heisman winner would elicit. Yes, I'm an Aggie, but from the eye-ball test alone, no one even comes close to Manziel....except perhaps Marquis Lee, but he, if anybody, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I also call bullcrap on the fact that it was his line that enabled him to do what he did (at least ALL of the astounding moments he had). Most of his rushing yards came on scrambles....SCRAMBLES!!!! This means the play broke down (or Johnny just decided to do his own thing). He did the same thing to ALL teams, regardless of quality.

    When his O-line did give him the time to make throws, he didn't just make the throw, he, many times, threw with absolute perfection, hitting receivers in stride, deep, at a full sprint (see Alabama game for 2 such throws in a row).

    So, don't spout this crap about him not deserving the Heisman because of the opponents he faced. Just base your decision on what you see on the field. Does Klein pass the eye-ball test? God no!

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  12. Before you dismiss us because we are Aggies and supporting our player, maybe you should divulge what team you support on a regular basis. It sounds like your a Big 12 guy and maybe a Kstate guy. If this was a real argument for why Johnny doesn't deserve the Heisman, then you should have also done the same research on your guy Klein and presented it instead of throwing out a bunch of stats and telling us he is undeserving but then not showing comparable stats for the guy you are in the tank for.
    Bottom line is that the guys that get to vote earned that because of some position they have where the powers that be felt they had the information to make the best choice. If that is Johnny, then great. If it is not, then great. But he does deserve to be there because THEY said so. I could ask them if they know who you are but I doubt they would know.
    And a few comments about your facts. First, the Florida game was Johnny's first EVER College football game against a team and a quarterback who not only got to play their 1st game of the season as a warm up before we met, but also had a lot of experienced players returning. Also, if you really kept up with the team like you act as if you did, you would also know that the team and Johnny have progressed immensely every week, playing some of their best football by the time we met Alabama. And Johnny did have a big game on a big stage on national television against the #1 team in the country, and oh yea, they won. Alabama would be the #1 team in the country still had they not ran into Johnny Manziel and the Aggies. And some of the plays he made, throwing the ball sidearm scrambling to his left while under duress. Amazing. Not a lot of other quarterbacks could make that throw let alone spot a guy down field that late in a play while they are running away from defenders.
    I don't think you really watch a lot of the games and you just really want to hate on Johnny cause your guy isn't the front runner. I don't think your blog is going to sway a lot of Hiesman opinions.

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  13. By the way, your just lucky to have Manziel's name in your article so it gets you hits on search engines. If not for that, most of us wouldn't know who you are either

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  14. I'm not a Kansas St. fan. Definitely not a Big 12 guy. And definitely not "in the tank" for anyone. I have no Notre Dame affiliation, no Texas A&M affiliation and no Kansas State affiliation. Read the last paragraph again because you obviously don't get it.

    All I did was point out how Manziel's numbers look more impressive on the surface than they actually are. I suggest you go dig up some information to discount my argument instead of assuming I'm from Kansas and throwing out generalizations without substance.

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  15. sick of the $ec biasDecember 5, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    good article. sadly espn dictates everything about college football and most of the fans (sheep)take it as gospel.

    between the sec bias, espn, and my team constantly sucking, I am fucking done with college football.

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