The 2012 Heisman Trophy Race has been an unbelievable, unprecedented, uncanny watch. This season's random, high-paced, twist and turn happenings created heroes and zeros by the week. Names like Barkley, Lattimore, Smith, Miller & Robinson all were once considered the best college football play in the land, but now there are just three men standing.
Lets take a look at the finalists:
Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football):
You must be a men among boys to be coined with that name. Though Manziel is just a Freshman at Texas A&M his decision-making is akin to a veteran. He has the arm of a pro, throwing for over 4,000 yards in 2012. Johnny Football led his club to a Cotton Bowl berth where they will face the Oklahoma Sooners. His mantle-piece for 2012: rolling the defending champ goliath, the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. However, A&M's losses to Florida and LSU may weaken the freshman's chances. That, and Heisman voters hate freshmen. In fact, it is almost a given he will not win based on that alone.
Collin Klein has certainly emerged as one of the top collegiate athletes in recent years. Throwing and running at will, Klein is a shoe in to start in the NFL. Leading Kansas State to the number one ranking in the country for the first time in school history is his mantle-piece. Ironically, that was the direct result of his fellow Heisman finalist's victory over Bama. Unfortunetly for Klein, just one week after taking over the top spot in the land, Kansas State choked hard at Baylor. A daunting 52-24 loss crushed the team's title hopes and likely Klein's Heisman chances as well. In that loss (to a team they should have beaten by 30), Klein threw a season-high three picks and completed just 54% of his passes. Looking frustrated and often confused, Klein aroused doubts in many voters' minds as the nation watched him flounder.
The last time a defensive player won a Heisman, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o was a six year-old kid growing up in Hawaii. The emotional, physical, and mental leader of the top ranked team and defense, Teo definitely belongs in this discussion. Although the Senior Linebacker's seven interceptions and 103 tackles are impressive, the stats may not be enough to sell the voter on Te'o. Te'o could have gone on to the green NFL pastures after last year, but he returned to South Bend for one final season. That's saying a great deal, considering the Irish's inability in recent years to be relevant in December. Not only did he return, he inspired a team, a campus, and perhaps a nation. After suffering the loss of both his girlfriend and his grandmother before the Michigan game, Te'o rallied his teammates to pursue perfection. Notre Dame took down elite program after elite program in 2012, all thanks to Teo and his defense, which allowed only two rushing and nine total touchdowns all year. It is no wonder the Irish will be playing for the BCS Championship on January 7th. It should also be to no ones surprise if the kid from Hawaii ends up with the ultimate mantle-piece, the Heisman Trophy.
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