Johnny Manziel has become quite the internet sensation since his huge upset win against the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa last Saturday night. People all across the country have been increasingly interested in the Kerrville, Texas native who has revitalized a Texas A&M program used to being a doormat in recent years. As Manziel is about to wrap up a sensational freshman campaign and likely bowl game for the Aggies, its worth taking a look into how far "Johnny Football" has come.
Manziel is a Texas boy through and through, coming from the rolling hills of Kerr County, Texas which boasts a population just over 20,000. Sitting about an hour outside of San Antonio, Manziel led Kerrville Tivy to some memorable wins against other top-ranked teams around the state. Texas has long been known as a hotbed for future Division I blue chip recruits, but Manziel fell under some program's radar.
Umm, any questions?
For all the doubters, detractors and denial artisans out there who struggle to venture outside the norm, see beyond the status quo and admit that conventional wisdom isn’t always correct, this one had to be tough.
To think Alabama, ranked No. 1 in the country, playing before a raucous home crowd in Tuscaloosa, could lose to a two-loss Texas A&M squad and its freshman quarterback was preposterous. Possessing arguably the nation’s top defense, the Tide figured to roll over the Aggies and systematically submerge Johnny Manziel with the complexities of their schemes and the other-worldly skill level of their waves upon waves of athletes.
A&M stood no chance, and, surely, Manziel’s Heisman campaign would be snuffed out on its biggest stage yet … and things would get back to the way they should be: typical, common, almost scripted.
Only three hours and change after kicking off before a national-TV audience, a major rewrite was in order.
Really? Yeah, really … big time.
Alabama's conquest to repeat as national champions almost came to a halt last Saturday night at LSU, before escaping with an emotional 21-17 victory in the waning seconds of the game. Quarterback AJ McCarron was visibly overcome with emotions on the sideline as the clock expired, and it definitely was a huge win for Nick Saban and his football team. But Saban cautioned his team to not celebrate the win past Sunday, because Texas A&M and their prolific offense will be coming to Tuscaloosa.
Texas A&M surely has been an interesting team to follow this season. They have scored 30 or more points in seven out of the nine games they have played this year. The Aggies lost to conference rivals Florida and LSU by a combined eight points, and should figure to be a roadblock to Alabama's championship aspirations. First year coach Kevin Sumlin, who left his post in Houston after leading them to a blowout win over Penn State last year in a bowl win, has installed his fast-paced, no huddle offense to confuse defenses.
Florida State University’s football team is 9-1. It currently stands 10th in the BCS rankings and eighth in the AP poll.
The question begs to be asked: Would this be the case if Bobby Bowden were still in charge of the Seminoles?
Think about it. Just try to imagine FSU under Mr. Dadgummit’s direction checking in with that kind of record, this late in a season, and getting, well, that kind of lack of respect.
B-Squared had 14 straight years of 10 wins from 1987 through 2000. His teams never finished out of the top five in any poll. They were royalty, and treated as such before a single snap was fired back between the wickets of a center. Without fail, the ’Noles were in the national-title talks, if not the actual chase.
They were very good, often great … and never, ever were denied their just due.