NORMAN — I voted for Johnny Football. Not because he’s a freshman, though I like that, too. Not because he’ll make a great NFL quarterback one day, because I have no idea and find the possibility irrelevant.
I voted for him because I’m pretty sure he’s meant more to his team than anybody else has meant to their team. And, in the rare case another has meant as much — Collin Klein, hello! — I’m pretty sure Manziel had the bigger season.
It’s not perfect and it’s not even the measure I use every season. Or the only measure I use every season. The Heisman is part MVP, part Player of the Year, occasionally a team award as much as an individual award (and still, anybody who says, “Well, it’s really a team award,” has no idea what they’re talking about or is trying to anoint an average quarterback on an unbeaten team).
In the end, it is whatever you make of it. Or, whatever almost 900 voters make of it.
It is part of the oddity and charm of the Heisman, that the most prestigious end-of-season individual award in all of college sports, is strangely awarded by a huge electorate rather than a smallish panel of experts.
Almost 900 votes is enough to encompass every agenda, yet too many for any one to dominate. In the end, good decisions tend to get made (except for Eric Crouch, Gino Torretta, Andre Ware and Paul Hornung, whose 1956 Notre Dame team went 2-8; oh, all right, good decisions are frequently made).
So I’m throwing my lot in with Manziel. And here’s the fun part. I’m going defend it:
Here are Manziel’s season numbers: 273 of 400 (68.2 percent) passing, 3,419 yards, eight interceptions, 24 touchdowns, 155.85 efficiency; as well as 184 carries for 1,181 yards (6.4 average) and 19 touchdowns.