Manti Te'o has helped the Fighting Irish to a perfect 12-0 season, but will the linebacker get any Heisman love?
Despite his incredible season, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is unlikely to win the Heisman Trophy. Instead, most polls indicate that Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is the favorite.
As J.J. Stankevitz at CSNChicago points out, Te'o would have a better shot at the Heisman if it were designated for the best player on the best team, or for the most valuable player. But the award is given to the "best" player, which can be difficult to quantify, especially for a defender.
That's not to say Te'o's numbers are anything short of remarkable. This season, he has 103 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, 5 1/2 tackles for a loss, four quarterback hits, and two fumble recoveries. Those numbers are impressive, by any standards, but how can they be objectively compared to Manziel's numbers?
"Johnny Football" also has put up spectacular stats so far this year. The freshman quarterback has thrown for 3,419 yards with 24 touchdowns, adding 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Football statistics, in general, more easily account for the performance of a quarterback than a linebacker. For that reason, many suspect that Manziel is the Heisman favorite.