Archives for posts with tag: Manti Te’o

Heisman Trophy

Since the day Manti Te’o shocked the recruiting world picking Notre Dame over USC and BYU, becoming the first Defensive Player of the Year to sign with the Irish in forever, he’s held a special place with Irish fans. Te’o has lived up to his reputation in four years in South Bend,  and easily could have been a first round pick along with teammate Michael Floyd and nobody would have blamed him.

Middle-linebackers don’t usually come back for the glamour of a senior season’s to be on the cover of magazines and to be talked about as Heisman favorites on the game day shows. The Hawaiian knew if all the pieces fell into place there was a chance he could be invited to the Heisman ceremony like Ndamukong Suh or Tyrann Mathieu but likely would come home empty-handed as defensive players really need to go above and beyond to take home the Heisman.

While everything was falling into place on the football field, with Heisman frontrunners literally throwing away their chances week after week (Barkley, Geno Smith, Colin Klein, McCarron), once the media got wind that both Te’o grandmother and girlfriend past away in a 24 hour period, it melted the hearts of everyone that heard his story, leaving a soft place for Te’o, even for those who grew up hating all-things Notre Dame.

One of the benefits of playing at Notre Dame, since they’re not bound to a conference, the played in the East Coast (Miami, Boston, Pittsburgh, North Carolina) the Mid-West (Oklahoma, Indiana, Michigan) and on the West Coast (Los-Angeles, Palo Alto, Utah) so everywhere the Irish and Te’o went, his story was told all over the place. With all eyes on Te’o, he lead the Irish defense to an undefeated record and the number one scoring defense in the nation.

While the Notre Dame struggled from their own quarterback issues, the Irish only played one offense in the top 20 (Oklahoma #12) then you’d have to go all the way down to USC at #31 and Miami #39 before it drops off drastically with BYU (58), Stanford (59), Purdue (62), Pitt (65), Michigan (83), Michigan St. (92), Navy (95) and Wake Forrest (119). Not really the murders row of college football. They basically played against one fringe NFL QB in all season in Landry Jones. Which is kind of getting lost in all hoopla of ND being back on top.

This is also not Manti’s best statical season, last season Te’o had 128 tackles to 103 in ’12, 13.5 tackles for loss to 5.5 in ’12, and 5 sacks to 1.5 this season. Of course, he did have the seven interceptions with went a long in pulling out wins versus Michigan and BYU.

It’s clear that this years award is Manti’s to win by the sheer redundancy of the other two candidates. Kansas St. Colin Klein and Texas A&M’s John Manziel are mirror images of each other, the only difference being age. Klein sealed his Heisman fate when then no.1 Kansas St. lost to Baylor and Manziel while exciting, is a freshman and getting voters from the South to vote for a freshman to win the Heisman is like voting for Obama.

Not having USC wide receiver Marqise Lee at the ceremony is an outrage. The kind of year he had deserves recognition, but I guess the Notre Dame fans who voted for Te’o probably left the Trojan wide-out off their ballot as a little screw you to ‘SC fans. Lee had 112 catches, 1680 yards, and 14 touchdown catches this year, 802 yard on kick returns with 1 TD, 106 rushing yards and two tackles on defense. By my horrible math, that’s 2588 total yards, which jumps off the page a little more than Te’os 1.5 sacks.

  • The Hornets landed on the Pelicans to rebrand the franchise. Was “The Roadkill” taken? What color scheme goes with a Pelican? Dirt and Oil spill? Do they really want to associate a basketball team with something that’s known to fall out of the sky and dies? Maybe they should have dropped the nickname thing and just gone as New Orleans.
  • Must be nice to be a professional baseball player these days. Shane Victorino and Dan Haren coming off what could best be described as average seasons get paid 13 million a year. If I have a child, I’m praying for a left-handed knuckle-baller.
  • I just saw The Dark Knight Rises for the first time yesterday, that movie is so unrealistic, Hines Ward returning a kickoff for a TD, ya right! Especially when you have Gotham City Mike Wallace on the bench. What does Gotham City Mike Wallace run a 40 in? my guess like 3.99 seconds and casting picks Ward.

“That’s my Mayor!”

With plenty of action going on in the NBA tonight with 14 games, highlighted by the Los Angeles Clippers vs the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here’s a couple of thoughts on the latest going on in the Sports world.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers bring back Plaxico Burress: When Plax was let walk after his first five years in the ‘burgh, it seemed the controversial Buress had burned every bridge on his way out-of-town. I guess time does heal all wounds.
  • Chelsea Football Club has fired its manager Roberto Di Matteo, just months after winning the UEFA Champions League title. Di Matteo was hired permanently after taking over for another short-lived boss in Andre Villa-Boas. Di Matteo over the summer lost striker Didier Drogba, had team captain embodied in a country-wide controversy, failed to land Drogba’s replacement in Brazilian Hulk, while dealing with a bunch of aging stars in Lampard, Cole, and Terry. The change will be Chelsea’s owners Roman Abramovich’s ninth manager since buying the squad in 2003
  • If you’re wondering why the price of your Under Armour went up in stores, look no further then the $50 million dollar exit fee the University just paid to leave the Atlantic Coastal Conference to join the BIG 10 (now with 14 teams including Maryland and Rutgers). It’s an odd move for a University that has a ton of local rivalries in the state of Virginia and North Carolina’s, also adding a ton of extra travel time and expenses. While bizarre has been the norm since coach Randy Edsall arrived, horrible uniforms, scaring off recruits and players on his own team, know paying for the right to get beat down by Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio State every year. Who pays 50 mil for that.
  • Jays hire John Gibbons: I thought the first rule of fight club is DON’T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB.
  • For the first time in a very long time the 2012 Heisman race is as wide open as the competition has ever been. Arguments could be made for Texas A&M QB Johnny “Football” Manziel (166 yards short of Cam Newton’s SEC record for total offense in a season) Two linebackers that lead two of the top defenses in the country in Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Georgia’s Javris Jones and the ultimate stat-filler in USC’s WR Marqise Lee. Lee in 11 games has 107 receptions for 1605 yards and 14 TDs with three games to play. A signature moment in this weekends ND-USC game could push one of Te’o or Lee to the top of the list of hopefuls.