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Johnny Manziel Wins the 2012 Heisman Trophy; Becomes First Freshman to Win the Award

It wasn't the most surprising win in history when it happened, but it is surprising when you look at the preseason buzz. What does Johnny Football do for an encore?


It's hard to remember that there were a lot of people -- self included -- who were skeptical that Johnny Manziel would be the starting quarterback at Texas A&M before the season. And there were very few people who thought Texas A&M would land in the Top 10. Manziel proved both notions wrong, putting together one of the greatest single seasons in the history of college football in the process, and because of that became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.

Manziel is the fourth of the last six Heisman winners to come from the SEC, something that has combined with the national championship streak to amplify the idea that the conference is the best in the game right now. It's also worth noting that both the first freshman and the first sophomore to win the award (Tim Tebow) came from the SEC.

There wasn't much suspense in the unveiling of the award, given that Manziel was the favorite to win. He had 2,029 total points to 1,706 for Manti Te'o and 894 for Collin Klein. Andy Staples reported that Manziel won all but one of voting regions.

Johnny Football now faces the prospect of at least two more years in college football, and three if he chooses to or needs to return for his senior season. Only one player, Archie Griffin, has ever won the Heisman trophy twice. No player has won it more than twice.

Of course, it will be difficult for Manziel to win the award twice, and it's almost impossible to believe that he could win it more than twice. But nobody saw Manziel doing what he's done up to now, so who's going to bet against him?