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Dr. Saturday

Doc Five: Reasons Johnny Manziel will win a second Heisman – No. 5, voters won’t block him

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)


This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

REASONS JOHNNY MANZIEL WILL WIN A SECOND HEISMAN

NO. 5, VOTERS WON'T BLOCK HIM

Last week, we looked at the five most likely candidates to keep Johnny Manziel from winning a second Heisman Trophy.

The most obvious answer, however, is that nobody will keep Manziel from a second Heisman Trophy, except voters who might not want to let the Texas A&M quarterback into a super exclusive club of multiple Heisman winners (membership: one).

After all, there are voters in baseball who won't vote anyone into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot because ... well, who knows. But they don't want anyone to be the first unanimous selection. Hank Aaron wasn't even unanimous at 97.83 percent, which we can all agree is stupid. For years there was a resistance from Heisman voters to break longstanding traditions as well.

For 70 years there was no chance a sophomore could win, much less a freshman. There's a reason Herschel Walker had to wait until he was a junior, and it wasn't because he wasn't good enough. And a two-time winner to join Archie Griffin? No way. Ty Detmer, Jason White, Matt Leinart and Tim Tebow are the most recent players to have a shot at a second Heisman, put up comparable numbers to their Heisman season and come up just short. There was at least the perception that someone would have to go above and beyond to join Griffin (which is ironic because Griffin's second Heisman season wasn't all that impressive).

But voters have spent the past few years deviating from tradition, including with the Manziel vote last year.

Starting with Tebow in 2007, three straight sophomores won the award. Then Manziel broke through to (deservedly) be the first freshman to win, breaking through a major wall. Even Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o finishing second shows that, even though it's still hard to imagine a defensive player winning the Heisman, voters are more open minded.

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(USA Today Sports Images)

That's happening in many sports. The Cy Young isn't being held hostage to win-loss records anymore. NBA MVP voters probably realize that the "don't vote for Michael Jordan every year even though he deserves it" phase was a regrettable mistake. Heisman voters are seeing that if the best player in the nation is a freshman, they shouldn't avoid voting for him just because Herschel didn't win as a freshman.

The Heisman voters already made Manziel a historic Heisman winner once, and it seems they will be willing to do so again if he replicates his 2012 season.

Manziel winning a second Heisman Trophy would immediately vault him into the conversation as the greatest college football player ever, which we suspect is why voters have been careful in the past. After all, do you want to be telling your grandchildren about the great Jason White? But Manziel would be worth that honor if he can put up similar stats to last year. He's a multi-talented star who had big moments and dominated in what is without a doubt the toughest conference in college football. That he has the charisma of a superstar isn't the worst thing for his candidacy either.

Johnny Football seems like the type of player who would fit well in the prestigious two-Heisman club. Voters won't keep him from entering if he deserves it.

Previously on "Doc Five"
4. His offense and coaching
3. His teammates
2. Hype and attention
1. He’s really good

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