We have all heard plenty of talk about all of these players this year. Collin, the good christian boy who Bill Snyder built into a candidate. Manti Te'o, the linebacker, and team leader, from Hawaii who has revitalized the Fighting Irish. Last, but not least, Johnny "Football" Manziel from the great state of Texas.
Te'o and Manziel have gotten the most press. If either of them were to win the award, it will make history. Defensive players rarely win the contest, which makes Te'o noteworthy. When you toss in that the Heisman winners list does not include a single linebacker, well that would be an revolutionary event on the college football landscape. Johnny Football, well he's a freshman. Freshman, which is another classification which does not have a single winner.
That's great for those guys, but their is a flipside to that. Neither of those classifications have won for a reason. Upper-classmen quarterbacks have, historically, had a better track record. Since 1980, 17 Quarterbacks have won the award.
So, let's just pretend that all 3 of the players have a fair chance.
We'll look at Te'o first.
He is the undisputed leader of an unbeaten Fighting Irish team. This is a team that has been carried through a season full of tight games by their vaunted defense. He has an astounding 7 Int's, which is incredible at linebacker. He calls the defense and he is the one that the system is built around. When you add in the documented class act that Te'o has proven himself to be, he would be a wonderful addition to the history of the Heisman trophy.
Now we have the joy of a direct comparison
Here are the numbers for the 2 QB's.
Player 2 has better stats, both overall and against the top 50, with one exception. Quarterback 1 was much more effective against the top teams on the ground. Oh, and the whole Wins category.
So, the question we have to answer for ourselves, as do the voters, is how much do Wins count when we are trying to identify the best player in the country.
That doesn't only count for the QB's, that's the measure that the Manti Te'o's camp would like us to judge him by as well. So, is it stats, or is it wins? If it's wins, which player was a better leader?
I love college football
Oh, and Klein is QB1, Manziel is QB2.