Johnny Football or Optimus Klein?

By: Josh Myatt Email
By: Josh Myatt Email

Most arguments would be stale by now. Most arguments would become redundant and boring and have everyone wishing for it all to be over. Surely, there are some who still feel that way but the rest of the nation has gone into the limbo over a simple yet so complex question, “Johnny Manziel or Collin Klein?”

The paradox between the two is how they are so different and similar at the same time. Similar in how they epitomize the image of a college football superstar. Different in every facet of how they play the game.

Klein represents a Tim Tebow 2.0. His throwing motion makes any quarterback coach cringe but yet every throw is right on the money. And if you are opposing defender going one on one with Optimus Klein, you might as well pretend to trip so you don’t have to receive his punishment. In the second resurrection Bill Snyder has brought to Kansas State football, Collin Klein is his primary ingredient. Now due to the work of the redshirt senior, Kansas State returns to a place they’ve been only once before in its history—a couple of wins away from a national championship berth.

Manziel plays the game like a 10-year-old plays NCAA Football for Xbox 360. He enrages every defense with his ability to extend plays for a ludicrous amount of time. When he throws, it looks like his entire body leaps into the throw like a jump pass in NFL Blitz on N64. In the Alabama game, CBS even did a segment on Manziel by using video game music! Through the kid with more names than P Diddy, Johnny Football—as a redshirt freshman—has brought Texas A&M into a spotlight it has never been in before.

Barring a collapse by either candidate, it looks like the Heisman Trophy will go to one of these two superstars. And whoever wins will represent the current state of mind of Heisman voters. For quite some time, the award usually went to the best player on the best team, but recently the Heisman Trophy has leaned more towards the true definition the accolade really represents—the most outstanding player in all of college football. The change began in 2007. With Tim Tebow no less.

That season, the unanimous favorite was Darren McFadden, a finalist from the year before. McFadden ended up having his best year at Arkansas with over 1800 yards rushing and 17 total touchdowns. But Tim Tebow outdid McFadden by having a season that had never been done before by becoming the first quarterback in FBS history to have over 20 passing and 20 rushing touchdowns in a single season. He set a new SEC record with 55 total touchdowns. Despite having three losses, without Tebow the Gators’ season would have gone down the drain. Heisman voters recognized it and made history by making Tebow the first underclassmen ever to win the Heisman Trophy.

Since 2007, three underclassmen have won the award. Add on to that Robert Griffin III who also was on a three-loss team at Baylor who ended up in the Alamo Bowl. If the tendency really looks to be changing and the most outstanding player in college football will win the award then it should go to Johnny Manziel. No player in college football has been more exciting than Johnny Football and there are things the freshman has done that no other player has been able to achieve. Literally. No one in FBS history has passed for 300 yards and rushed for 100 yards three times in his career. Johnny Manziel’s done it three times this season. He’s 220 passing yards away from becoming the first freshman—and the third player every—to eclipse 3000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing. But despite the bucking trend in recent voting, a constant remains. Quarterbacks on National Championship contenders are always looked at highly.

In 2008, Sam Bradford was the second sophomore ever to win the Heisman. Oklahoma also played in the national championship that season. When Tebow won the award, LSU won the BCS Title through a vaunted defense led my defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (and we all know about LSU’s offense). Last year, though RG3 had Andrew Luck as his competition, AJ McCarron and Jordan Jefferson were leading their squads in the national championship game. No player gains more favor with the award than a quarterback on an undefeated, national championship contending team. And Collin Klein falls perfectly into that category.

I am a believer of the eye test so I’ll ask you the question: Collin Klein or Johnny Manziel?

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