Manti Te’o for Heisman
The Heisman Trophy is as much of a team award as it is an individual accomplishment. Since 1998, when the BCS system was put in place, only three Heisman winners have come from teams that did not play in BCS bowls (Robert Griffin III 2011, Tim Tebow 2007, Ricky Williams 1998.) Whether or not it’s fair, if the Heisman committee truly wants to give their award to a player who has been the most outstanding on a championship caliber team that’s their prerogative. But it is time for them to realize that while offense is exciting, defense wins championships. So if the Heisman voters are looking for the best player who brings his team to championship status defensive players should be given more consideration. It’s time to give one to the defense; LINEBACKER Manti Te’o deserves this award.
“Defense wins championships,” is not just a saying, it’s a fact. Take a look at the Total Yards Allowed/Game Leader and their final AP ranking vs. the Total Offensive Yards/Game Leader vs. their final AP Ranking.
|Total Yards Allowed/Game Leader||Final AP Ranking|
|2008 Ohio State||5|
|2007 Virginia Tech||19|
|2006 Virginia Tech||7|
|Total Offense Yards/Game Leader||Final AP Ranking|
|2010 Boise State||9|
|2009 Houston||Not Ranked|
|2008 Tulsa||Not Ranked|
|2007 Tulsa||Not Ranked|
|2006 Hawaii||Not Ranked|
Notre Dame’s defense is the reason why they are going to be in the National Championship Game, and Manti Te’o is the leader on the defense. Notre Dame’s is ranked 6th in the FBS in total defense, they are 48th in total offense. The biggest moments of Notre Dame’s season have come on defensive stands. And you want a “Heisman Moment”? How about Te’o totaling his most tackles in a game all season just days after the passing of both his girlfriend and grandmother? (editorial note: article was written before the Catfishing scandal was uncovered) How about Notre Dame’s goalline stand against Stanford?
It’s hard to quantify how valuable a defensive player is because there are far less stats on that side of the ball; but even the scarce amount of defensive stats don’t lie. Te’o has 7 INTs, unheard of for a linebacker, and a team-high 103 tackles (almost double the second place Zeke Motta with 61.)
More important than his stats is his leadership ability. He quarterbacks the defense, and makes all the players around him better. Without naming names, an analyst who works for a network that uses four lEtterS Per their Name said that HE is pRoBably responsible for Six To Roughly sEven wIns This year.
Manti Te’o is the only player in the Heisman race that came into the season a star. Which means he was the only one game planned against all off-season and season and still had a better year then anyone in the country.
It’s time for defense to get the recognition it deserves, give Manti Te’o a Heisman.