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Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I don't take my predictions too seriously, and so shouldn't you.  (FOR THE RECORD, JOHNNY TOUCHDOWN RATHER EASILY WON THE HEISMAN.)  My 31December2011 posting predicted  Obama's victory in November, foie gras being banned in California in July and the Higgs (to the left) Boson being confirmed in August.  Well, the scientists beat me by a month.  So I have been right on some longshots.  

But last week, Johnny Touchdown, also known as Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, was heavily favored to win the Heisman Trophy for being the best college football player.  Manti Teo, Notre Dame, born and raised in Hawaii, was projected to come in second.  This week, there now seems to be a surge of support for Manti Teo.  If the voting deadline were this Friday,  no doubt Teo would prevail.  Unfortunately, voting ended on Monday, December 3.  A straw pole that day showed Manziel a 27:18 victor over Teo.

Johnny Touchdown is only a freshman.  No freshman has ever won the Heisman.  Manti Teo is a middle linebacker.   Likewise, no pure defensive player has won.  In the BCS ratings, Texas A&M came in 9th with two losses.  Notre Dame, #1 and the only undefeated team.  Johnny had his Heisman moment, and played wonderfully in beating then  #1 Alabama.  The best that Manti can show is that he was the heart and soul of the current best college team in the Nation.  He might have gained some emotional points when just before their game against Michigan State in September, Manti's beloved grandmother and girlfriend (from leukemia) passed away within 24 hours of each other.  He played in East Lansing, with Michigan State rated #10 and on a 15-game home winning streak.  Notre Dame was not even rated when the season started.  Teo had twelve tackles and the defense only allowed three points.  He remarked: 

  It was hard.  But I had my family around me.  At the end of the day, families are forever.

Let me compare Johnny Manziel with Marcus Mariota, another freshman quarterback (who was brought in to Oregon only when Manziel changed his mind about coming to Eugene), from Hawaii.  Mariota had a 165.4  quarterback rating, while that for Manziel was 155.9.  Oregon lost only once and Mariota sometimes did not even play much in the second half on several games because they way too far ahead at that point.

In the State of Hawaii, from being the second most despised school in the world, next to BYU, Notre Dame is now probably the most popular team.  There are two others from Hawaii on that squad.  Incidentally, there are 8 players from Hawaii on the roster of Oregon, this year ending at #4.  The University of Hawaii won only three games.  What if these 11 players were with us?

Finally, let me end with character.  Teo is beloved on the South Bend Campus, as he is in Hawaii.  Anyway, it's a toss-up between Teo and Obama at Punahou School, and, perhaps too, the entire State.  Manziel this summer was arrested and jailed after he was involved in a fight and produced a fake Louisiana driver's license.  In subsequent search, he also had a fake Texas license.  Hawaii Coach Norm Chow suspended his best player, Alex Dunnachie (he is the one most destined to play in the NFL), for four games, even though he was the only punter on the team.  Dunnachie was cited for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.  Johnny Touchdown started from game one  This says something else also about A&M and moral priorities.

Teo has already won the Nagursky (best defensive player), Butkus (best linebacker) and Lombardi (best lineman or linebacker) awards.  Tomorrow he will be sitting with Manzeil to see who wins the Maxwell (collegiate player of the year--trophy to the left). award.  This will be the indicator of who will win the Heisman on Saturday.  Teo then, on the same day, will probably win the Bednarik (outstanding defensive player) trophy, while Manzeil the O'Brien (best quarterback) award.  Sure sounds like a lot of similar trophies.

Notwithstanding, it is not a matter of what I think.  The voters have cast their ballots.  Collin Klein, Kansas State's QB, the third player to be invited to New York, had a terrific final game against Texas, and he probably stole some votes from Manziel over that weekend. More than anything else, though, is that I suspect a sufficient number of voters will say,  Johnny T has three more years to show something, and wouldn't it be terrific if he leads A&M to the BCS Championship game next year.  Finally, there is that mystique of Notre Dame.  They have been sadly mediocre for a long while, and, finally, there is that magical year led by a respected warrior and leader.

I added the following after Manti Teo today won the Bednarik, Camp (Player of the Year) and Maxwell awards, beating Johnny Touchdown in the latter two:

To watch the Heisman;

Where: Best Buy Theater in Times Square, New York City
When: Saturday, December 8Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
The sunset tonight was in my top ten ever.  Deb and Dan Bent were joining me for a drink and here is what we experienced:

The death toll for Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) is approaching 300.  Bopha, still of hurricane strength at 75 MPH, appears now to be weakening, and should only bring a lot moisture to Vietnam or Hainan:


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