Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel led #9 Texas A&M to a resounding 41-13 Cotton Bowl victory over #11 Oklahoma tonight, a fitting end to one of the greatest seasons in college football history.
At the start of this season, Manziel was a relatively unknown out of Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas who won the starting quarterback job out of came on a hunch by first-year coach Kevin Sumlin. He ended it as a Heisman Trophy winner en route to the best freshman season in college football history.
Under Manziel’s leadership, he led a Texas A&M Aggies team that was projected to finish 7-5 by CollegeFootballPoll.com to a 10-2 regular season record and the dominating victory in tonight’s Cotton Bowl.
Manziel proved himself to be one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in college football as he recorded 3,706 passing yards and 26 touchdowns on the season in addition to 1,410 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
In addition to these statistics throughout the season, Manziel threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and ran for an FBS bowl game record 229 yards and another two touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl.
All of this begs the question: Is Johnny Manziel a better college football player than former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow?
Despite Tebow’s shortcomings in the NFL, Tebow is widely considered one of the best players in recent college football history as he won two national championships at Florida and won the Heisman in 2007.
Both were major difference makers to their respective teams as Manziel was 11-2 in his first season and Tebow posted a 34-6 record as a starter during his four year tenure as a Florida Gator.
Just including Tebow’s 2007 Heisman season into account, Tebow had slightly better passing stats than Manziel as he had roughly 3,300 yards and 32 touchdowns. However, Manziel takes the edge in rushing over Tebow as the former Gator had only 895 yards and 23 touchdowns compared to an astounding 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns for “Johnny Football.”
Even more impressive for Manziel is that he got his 21 touchdowns despite not being a top redzone option for the Aggies and his elusiveness was a major part in those scores.
In addition, Manziel has a higher football IQ than Tebow when it comes to the passing game in my opinion, as Manziel was impressive in going through his progressions and making smart throws during the season, rather than making risky throws which Tebow did repeatedly during his career.
As for the debate, Manziel the slight edge over Tebow due to the fact that he accomplished all that he did this season with a team that was expected to frankly be dominated during their first season in the SEC. Manziel had one of the greatest seasons in college football history against the toughest competition NCAA football has to offer with not nearly as many weapons that Tebow had at his disposal.
Manziel carried the Texas A&M Aggies to one of the best seasons in school history almost singlehandly, which is why I give the edge to him over Tim Tebow as far as who is the better college football player.