A Stats-Based Case For A Second Johnny Heisman

I thought the bye week would be a good opportunity to provide a long list of statistics and comparisons on Johnny Manziel's behalf to show just how deserving he is of a second Heisman.

A lot of numbers have been thrown around, even on this site, and some of what I post will overlap, but I will also show you some more comparisons to other players and some more specific situational stats to build this case. Three categories. We'll do Johnny compared to himself last year, then Johnny compared to everyone else this year, then Johnny compared to a couple all-time greats.

Johnny Compared To Johnny

First, the stat that inspired this post. I went on a bit of a Twitter run this morning posting some of these, so feel free to check me out on Twitter (@mattywatty01) if you want to see my awkward attempts at shortening these to 140 characters.

In both 2012 and 2013, Johnny's Aggies have suffered two losses. In 2012, you could make a case that Johnny didn't play very well in either loss. Statistically, they were his worst days. He averaged just 268 yards per game and 4.47 yards per play in those games. Compare that with his wins last year, where he averaged 416 yards per game and 8.9 yards per play. Great numbers, no doubt.

This year, in our wins, his yards per play is marginally UP from last year (9.1) and his yards per game is a little down (358), due to sitting out more this year than last. But in our losses, he has literally doubled his production. His yards per game jumped to 532 and his yards per play has been 9.8. LET THAT SINK IN. You can't hold the losses against him if you are being reasonable.

What about during just conference play? Well, in 2012, Johnny's 373 yards per game and 7.25 yards per play was good enough to win the Heisman. This year he's struggling (SARCASM INDICATORS ON!) at 444 yards per game and 8.94 yards per play. Last year Johnny had a stellar 8.06 yards per play for the entire season. This year he's upped it to 9.23

Last year, for the whole season Johnny's passer rating was a good-but-not-great 156. This year? A great-but-not-historic 187.

But how does he do when the competition gets tough, you ask? Well last year against ranked opponents, his passer rating was 123. This year he's struggled again (SARCASM INDICATORS ON!) with a rating of 201 in the toughest games. His yards per play against ranked teams is up from 6.35 to 9.76. His total offense per game against ranked opponents (our two losses) is 532 yards per game (which is 133 yards per game ahead of #2 in the nation this year).

How about yards per pass? 8.5 yards per attempt last year, 10.5 this year. 8.1 vs SEC opponents last year, 10.3 this year. 6.5 vs ranked opponents last year, 11.9 this year.

Rushing attempts and averages are a little bit down this year compared to last, but even so, he's averaging a respectable 5.6 yards per carry with 8 touchdowns.

How about total touchdowns? Last year through 10 games, he had 35 TD's accounted for. This year? 39. Our team as a whole (a good indicator of QB play) averaged 44.5 points per game last year. This year? 49.2.

The fact is, there is no getting around the fact that Johnny Manziel has significantly increased his production and efficiency this year. In some cases, significantly. Keep in mind that last year, when he won the Heisman, his season was considered one of the best seasons of all time. In all honesty, this season has been, through ten games, the best season by any individual in the history of the sport. That's what the numbers say. It's what the eyes say too.

Johnny Compared To His Competition

This part has been beaten to the ground, but just for fun, first, look at this link. Now, let me just compare 5 stats for each quarterback who is being mentioned in competition with Johnny.


  • Total yards per game: 392
  • Total yards per play: 9.23
  • Total touchdowns: 39
  • Passer rating: 187
  • Team record: 8-2
  • Total offense vs. ranked opponents: 532/game
  • TD's per game vs. ranked opponents: 5

Jameis Winston:

  • Total yards per game: 313
  • Total yards per play: 9.62
  • Total touchdowns: 29
  • Passer rating: 192
  • Team record: 9-0
  • Total offense vs. ranked opponents: 399/game
  • TD's per game vs. ranked opponents: 3.3

Marcus Mariota:

  • Total yards per game: 336
  • Total yards per play: 9.43
  • Total touchdowns: 31
  • Passer rating: 173
  • Team record: 8-1
  • Total offense vs. ranked opponents: 241/game
  • TD's per game vs. ranked opponents: 3.5

A.J. McCarron:

  • Total yards per game: 224 (not a typo)
  • Total yards per play: 8.24
  • Total touchdowns: 19 (not a typo)
  • Passer rating: 169
  • Team record: 9-0
  • Total offense vs. ranked opponents: 256/game
  • TD's per game vs. ranked opponents: 2.3

Bryce Petty:

  • Total yards per game: 347
  • Total yards per play: 11.3
  • Total touchdowns: 29
  • Passer rating: 211
  • Team record: 8-0
  • Total offense vs. ranked opponents: 249/game
  • TD's per game vs. ranked opponents: 5

So what does all that tell us? Well, first of all, that one of those candidates is not like the other. Let's throw out McCarron, even if some people will still include him due to stupid reasons and whatnot. The other four, well, I can admit that they all have something nice they can point to, some feather in their cap. But do any of them actually outdo Johnny? No. Johnny leads them all in total offense, he leads them all in pass completion percentage (not listed), he leads them all in touchdowns, and he's done it in the toughest conference in America, with his biggest game coming against what is unquestionably the best defense in America.

It's been said before, but consider that outside of the A&M game, in their other eight games Alabama is allowing 238 yards per game, 4.2 yards per play, and 6.6 points per game. In those eight games, Alabama has allowed five offensive touchdowns.

Against that defense, Texas A&M, led by Johnny Manziel, scored 42 points, gained 628 yards, 8.85 yards per play and six touchdowns. Even in defeat, that very well may have been the greatest offensive performance in the history of college football. Don't believe me? Find me a game- any game in history- that compares when looking at the defense that a team faced. I'd love to see if anything even comes close. I doubt it. has a couple efficiency ratings that they do that combine a lot of fancy stats and take out irrelevant ones and in their FEI ratings, Texas A&M has the #1 offense in the country. In their S&P ratings, A&M is #4.

Johnny Compared To History

Let's see then how Johnny compares to Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and Vince Young, just for fun.

Johnny's stats this year through 10 games:

3313 pass yards

73% completions

611 rush yards

39 total touchdowns

9.23 yards per play

393 yards per game total offense

Tim Tebow's Heisman year (2007):

3286 pass yards

67% completions

895 rush yards

55 total touchdowns

7.47 yards per play

322 yards per game

Cam Newton's Heisman year 2010:

2854 pass yards

66% completions

1473 rush yards

50 total touchdowns

7.95 yards per play

309 yards per game

Vince Young's not-Heisman year (2005):

3036 pass yards

65% completions

1050 rush yards

38 total touchdowns

8.51 yards per play

314 yards per game

So there you have it. Do with that info what you will. I think the case is pretty clear. Johnny Manziel, assuming he doesn't collapse in the last two games, deserves a second straight Heisman and is, certainly in my opinion, the best of all time.

FanPosts are user-submitted, and are not always representative of GBH editorial/staff or any of our opinions. Please don't post spam or self-promotion, because that's not very good bull. Thanks!