Collin Klein, Kansas State Senior Quarterback
Stats: 37 total TDs (15 passing) 7 Interceptions. Team Record is 10 – 2 and Big 12 Champions.
Collin Klein plays in Manhattan, Kansas, which is about as glamorous as a seedy massage parlor in Manhattan, New York. I mean, Manhattan, KS is even boring for a college town. Klein’s style fits the town he plays in. It’s rugged, rough, and not flashy. Klein is atypical. He’s a married college student that doubles as the big man on campus. He’s giving the groupies on Kansas State’s campus absolutely no hope. Klein’s style leaves a lot to the imagination.
He doesn’t have blazing speed. His throwing motion is uglier than Megan Fox’s thumbs, and he wears those damn awkward mid-high white socks. Klein is all substance and no style, but, when you look at his numbers, the job gets done. Kansas State is in a BCS bowl game and, without him, they’d be playing in the Plastic Spoon bowl.
If Klein was a rapper he’d be Kendrick Lamar. K-Dot isn’t flash and dash. He’s not talking about the usual money and drugs. He’s not Slick Rick’d down in gold chains (like 2Chaiz). By today’s rapper standards, Lamar is very different. And he's mainstream, but not pop. An artsist's artist that can still move units. As of December 2, 2012 his debut album, Good kid, M.a.a.d city, has sold 457,000 copies.
Manti Te’o – Notre Dame Senior Linebacker
Stats: 101 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 7 interceptions. Team Record: 12-0, No.1 BCS
Manti Te’o is your prototypical middle linebacker. Tough, smart, and plays with a wreckless abandon that would rival Old Dirty Bastard and DMX on their worst days. Te’o has always been dope on the field. He was 5-star recruit and the No. 2 linebacker in the nation when he left high school. He surprised everyone when he signed with Notre Dame over USC.
The problem with Manti is that he plays defense, and has been playing defense for a lackluster team, so he’s gone under the radar. Not sure what happened to Notre Dame in 2012, but Manti is reaping the benefits. Look what happens when you’re the star on the No. 1 team in the country — you become a Heisman finalist.
If Manti was a rapper he’d be 2Chainz. Hear me out. Look at 2Chainz’s career. He was more than respectable as Tity Boi with Playaz Circle and had a hit record. Even after the group flew under the radar, his Cocaine Cowboys mixtapes had the streets buzzing. Then last year, Mr. Hairweavekiller’s, T.R.U. Religion mixtape was playing in every car, club, and iPod in the country. Do we even need to talk about 2012? He was this year's breakout star...and look at what team he’s playing for now—G.O.O.D. Music, which is Kanye's boutique imprint on Def Jam.
Notre Dame is the most tradition rich team in college football and Def Jam is the most tradition rich label in Hip-Hop. Manti Te’o and 2Chainz are running things for both traditions right now.
Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M Redshirt Freshman Quarterback
Stats: 43 touchdowns (24 passing) 8 interceptions. Team Record: 10 – 2, #9 BCS.
No one knew who the hell Johnny Manziel was coming into this season. Texas A&M was leaving the Big 12 to play with the big boys of college football in the SEC. A&M was doomed from the start, right? Naw, cuz. Manziel is The Aan and he’s only a freshman. He beat No. 1 ranked Alabama in Alabama. Who does that?
Manziel is everything Klein isn’t. He’s got the style and the substance. He wears the No. 2 like Deion Sanders and that’s all that matters. He’s all improv on the field and is more entertaining than Kevin Hart.
If Manziel was a rapper, he’d be Big Sean. Manziel is a redshirt freshman so we can’t technically say he’s wet behind the ears. Yes, it’s his first year starting, but he spent all year last season playing against a very good defense in practice everyday as the scout team quarterback. Big Sean, for reasons unknown to me, is still considered a “new” rapper, but he’s not. He had a great year in 2011 and that momentum carried itself into 2012. Sean killed damn near every track he touched this year, but we can’t solely judge a rapper on features. Right now, the facts are this — Sean had one dope album and that’s it. We have to be realistic; Manziel did lose to Florida and LSU earlier this season. His win over Bama was a huge hit, hell his entire season has been one, but can he do it again? Denard Robinson showed flashes of brilliance in his second year, but has fallen off faster than T-Pain. Big Sean’s debut album, Finally Famous can turn a nursing home up, but can he do it again? Manziel and Sean are both young 20 somethings that have the nation by the nuts. Young, wild and ready — but will they be consistent?
Klein had the Heisman in his hands if he didn’t bomb that game against Baylor. Manti has been balling his tail off, but he just doesn’t have a signature Heisman moment that you need to win. If I had to pick a winner this weekend, judging by the hypebeasts, Johnny Manziel will be the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
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