Expectations will be high for Manziel's encore
BY RALPH D. RUSSO Associated Press
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 4:47 AM
NEW YORK - Heisman Trophy history suggests it will never get better for Johnny Manziel than it did this season. In the 78-year history of the Heisman, only one player has won more than one: Ohio State's Archie Griffin in 1974 and '75.
Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback, could be as good or better, but not be able to put up those same video-game numbers.
It's a common tale in Heisman history.
BYU's Ty Detmer won the award as a junior in 1990, but finished a distant third behind Desmond Howard in 1991.
"The hard part's winning it again because the expectation level goes up," Detmer said earlier this week. "I felt like my senior year I was a much better player than my junior year. Smarter, less turnovers. But the expectations were different."
Expectations will be sky high next season. The move to the SEC, hiring coach Kevin Sumlin and the second Heisman in the program - and first since John David Crow in 1957 - have Aggies' hopes soaring.
But even if another Heisman is not in Manziel's future, there's still plenty left for him and Texas A&M to achieve before he's done.
"First and foremost, there's the Cotton Bowl," Manziel said. The No. 10-ranked Aggies play No. 12 Oklahoma in Dallas on Jan. 4.
"From there, I have to be the guy who starts the motor for a run at the national title. That's our goal."
That goal doesn't seem farfetched at all after the Aggies' first season in the SEC. Manziel was joined on stage at his post-ceremony news conference by Sumlin and A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, the former quarterback at Texas Tech.
Manziel turned 20 this week. Kingsbury is 33. Sumlin is 48. It's not hard to look at them and see the future of the SEC. Especially after the Aggies went 10-2 and left no doubt that their fast-paced, spread offense would not sputter in the SEC.
Texas A&M averaged 552 yards and 44 points. Manziel smashed Cam Newton's total offense record with 4,600 yards passing and rushing.
"People didn't really think that we were going to have much success in the SEC," Manziel said. "They said these smashmouth, hard-nose defenses and this gimmick offense ... won't work.
" Our offense with coach Sumlin and what coach Kingsbury did, I love it. It's definitely something that can work."
Football is a game of adjustments. Defenses will search for ways to rein in Manziel. But maybe he can buck the trends again and A&M won't have to wait so long to add a third Heisman Trophy.
Original Print Headline: Manziel gives himself a tough act to follow
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel kisses the Heisman Trophy after becoming the first freshman to win the college football award on Saturday. HENNY RAY ABRAMS / Associated Press