The Heisman trophy voting should be close between a freshman and a linebacker.
Each week, the Athlon editors and others who closely follow college football vote on the most prestigious award in the sport. A 13-man conglomerate of college football gurus from Athlon Sports and other publications cast their votes for their top Heisman Trophy candidates. The votes will be tallied and the results will be posted as the Athlon Sports Heisman Watch List every week of the regular season.
Voting: Each first-place vote receives 10 points. A second-place vote receives nine points. So on and so forth with a 10th-place vote receiving one point. Here are Athlon's guest voters:
Barrett Sallee: Bleacher Report SEC Lead Writer (@BarrettSallee)
Jim Young: ACCSports.com (@ACCSports)
Blair Kerkhoff: Kansas City Star (@BlairKerkhoff)
Chris Level: RedRaiderSports.com (@ChrisLevel)
And the winner is...
1. Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame (six first-place votes, 121 points)
Stats: 103 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 7 INT, 1.5 sack, FR, 4 PBU
Te'o tied with Manziel for the most first-place votes and won a razor-thin Athlon Sports Heisman vote due to more second place votes (five to three). Judging by our own exercise, the second- and third-place votes may play as strong a role in the award than the first-place. Notre Dame is unbeaten and playing Alabama for the BCS title after playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and Te'o was arguably the most consistent performer through the season of the finalists. He has a golden reputation as a leader and in his off-field actions. On the field, he finished second in the nation in interceptions and put on marquee performances against Oklahoma and USC. His defense led the nation in fewest points allowed. Should the Irish defeat the Crimson Tide in Miami, Te'o could make the case he easily deserved the award.
2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (six first-place votes, 119 points)
Stats: 273-400, 3,419 yards, 24 TD, 8 INT, 184 att., 1,181 yards, 19 TD
The arguement for Johnny Manziel is his competition (the best in the nation) and the "wow" factor. He made plays few in the nation can make. His statistical production was record-setting and his signature performance against No. 1 Alabama will go down in college football history as one of the greats. Yet, his team lost two games — including a home game to LSU in which his three interceptions cost Texas A&M an SEC West championship and a shot at a national title.
3. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State (one first-place vote, 110 points)
Stats: 180-272, 2,490 yards, 15 TD, 7 INT, 194 att., 890 yards, 22 TD
Klein finished his stellar K-State career with a convincing win over Texas to clinch a Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl bid. He was a higher-rated passer than Manziel, both in and out of conference play. He rushed for more touchdowns (especially, in conference) and his team won more games. His heart and toughness is unmatched by anyone (except maybe Te'o) and his off-the-field character is second to none.
Comparing the two quarterbacks in conference play:
How the final voting turned out:
|1.||(2)||Manti Te'o||LB||Notre Dame||121/130||6||5||2||-||-||13/13|
|2.||(1)||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M||119/130||6||3||4||-||-||13/13|
|3.||(3)||Collin Klein||QB||Kansas St||110/130||1||5||6||1||-||13/13|
|4.||(4)||Braxton Miller||QB||Ohio St||89/130||-||-||1||9||3||13/13|
|9.||(10)||Jordan Lynch||QB||N. Illinois||23/130||-||-||-||-||3||7/13|
|10.||(8)||Tavon Austin||WR||W. Virginia||16/130||-||-||-||-||-||4/13|
|14.||(13)||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||S. Carolina||8/130||-||-||-||-||-||3/13|
|17t.||(14)||Giovani Bernard||RB||N. Caroliona||3/130||-||-||-||-||-||2/13|
|17t.||(17)||Damontre Moore||DE||Texas A&M||3/130||-||-||-||-||-||1/13|
Stats: 148-254, 2,039 yards, 15 TD, 6 INT, 227 att., 1,271 yards, 13 TD
Stats: 112 rec., 1,680 yards, 14 TD, 28 KR, 802 yards, TD, 106 yards rushing
Stats: 218-312, 2,511 yards, 30 TD, 6 INT, 98 att., 690 yards, 4 TD
Stats: 248 att., 1,624 yards, 21 TD, 19 rec., 232 yards, TD
Stats: 275 att., 1,757 yards, 20 TD, 33 rec., 288 yards, TD
Stats: 222-353, 2,962 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT, 271 att., 1,771 yards, 19 TD
10. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Stats: 110 rec., 1,259 yards, 12 TD, 61 att., 598 yards, 3 TD, 28 KR, 738 yards, TD, 15 PR, 165 yards, TD