Only I’m not sure his senior Irish season is as strong as Travis Lewis’ freshman Sooner season, when Lewis made 144 tackles in 14 games (10.3 per game), including 111⁄2 for losses totaling 38 yards (Te’o’s made 51⁄2 for 34) and 31⁄2 sacks totaling 21 yards (Te’o has 11⁄2 for 8.5 yards). Lewis even had four interceptions.
Also, Lewis was in on 144 of OU’s 984 tackles in 2008, or 14.6 percent. Te’o has been in on 103 of 796, or 12.9 percent. Lewis’ Sooners even played for a national championship, just like Te’o’s Irish will against Alabama.
Where’s Lewis’ Heisman?
Actually, it was stolen away by another Sooner, Sam Bradford (who, by the way, averaged 340.5 yards of total offense that season, and whose total offense represented 62.1 percent of his team’s total offense; neither figure as high as Manziel this season, though Bradford’s efficiency, 180.84, remains pretty historic).
There are other ways to look at it.
Manziel’s a more efficient passer than Landry Jones (146.5) and he’s run for almost 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns. Or, Jones is throwing about 47 more yards per game than Manziel, but Manziel has run for almost 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns.
And he’s like something out of a time capsule, like Fran Tarkenton come back to life in College Station. And he’s only 19 years old (though that will change tomorrow, when he turns 20).
Still, Te’o is worthy and he tugs at your heart, and he is leading the resurgence of maybe the nation’s most historic program.
You could go either way.
I don’t think it’s close.
Clay HorningFollow me @email@example.com