Remember when all the “experts” were predicting that Johnny Manziel would struggle in his sophomore year? There was no way he would be able to live up to the success he had in his freshman year. After winning the Heisman, he wouldn’t have the motivation to continue to get better. Most importantly, the myriad of off-the-field distractions would surely lead to poor performances on the football field.
Well, you can throw all that out the window. Johnny Football is back and just as good as ever.
He currently has the fourth-best Adjusted Total Quarterback Rating in the nation (89.7 out of a possible 100). Most people have him third in this year’s Heisman race, behind Florida State University’s “Famous” Jameis Winston and the University of Oregon’s Marcus “Super” Mariota. But Johnny Football isn’t just having a good year. He’s staking his claim as arguably the best college quarterback of the past 10 years.
Over the past nine years (as far back as ESPN has tracked the QBR statistic), only 7 players have finished a year with a QBR over 90. This includes Manziel’s stellar freshman year, which had a QBR of 90.5. No one has ever done this twice. Andrew Luck owns the record for the best season (94.5 QBR in 2010), but his second best season had a QBR of only 83.6.
Tim Tebow, probably regarded by many as the best college quarterback in the past 10 years, has never reached the 90-QBR mark. His best year led to just an 86 QBR in 2007. Robert Griffin III’s amazing 2011 season led to a QBR of just 83.2. Pat White came the closest to reaching this mark twice, with seasons of 90.9 QBR and 88.3 QBR. Manziel is currently only .3 away from reaching this mark for the second straight year and from becoming the first to do so. This would give him a better two-year stretch that anyone over the past 10 years.
This is all-time great quarterback play we are seeing. This is better than Luck and Tebow. And this is exactly why Johnny Football should not even be thinking about the NFL. He has the chance to accomplish things that no one ever has in the history of college football.
Over the summer, Manziel tweeted, “I can’t wait to leave College Station.” Why? I just don’t get it. He’s the king of the world at Texas A&M University. He is literally living the dream. He’s probably already getting paid. Why would he want to leave?
Manziel is like the guy from your high school who just doesn’t get it. He’s peaked. His life will never be better than it is right now. He’s probably going to get drafted by some failing NFL franchise, be put in way too early, fall flat on his face and disappear into the obscurity of college stars that couldn’t make it in the pros. I just can’t see him succeeding to any great extent in the NFL. My advice to him is simple: Stay in college until the NCAA is dragging you kicking and screaming off the field because your eligibility is over.
Manziel has been seen hanging out in the company of Drake and LeBron James. He recently said that he wants to party with Charlie Sheen, Rob Gronkowski and Tiger Woods. If that’s the kind of life he wants, it’s only going to last as long as he stays in college. He’s only a superstar while he’s winning Heisman Trophies. Remember when Matt Leinart used to be seen out partying in Los Angeles back when he was relevant? Yeah, you don’t see that anymore. It would just be embarrassing.
If Johnny Football wants to live that lifestyle, then he has no chance of making it in the NFL. The wildest thing Peyton Manning ever does is order Papa John’s in his Buick Verano. The wildest thing Tom Brady ever does is go to a Halloween party with his supermodel wife dressed as the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy. (I mean, seriously, how awesome and sexy was that?) If Manziel wants to succeed in the NFL, he’s got to stop living the party lifestyle.
But if that’s not an option, then don’t ever leave school. He’s in just his second year, and could keep getting even better. He could easily end up with multiple Heisman trophies. If his team can get over the Alabama hump (something he’s already shown he’s capable of), he will win an SEC and National Championship. When all is said and done, he could end up being not only the greatest college quarterback ever, but the greatest athlete in the history of college sports. He was made to play in the college game, and he should milk every last second he can get out of it.