The long awaited rematch is finally upon us. Tomorrow Alabama gets its chance at avenging their only loss of the season last year to Texas A&M and the reigning Heisman trophy winner, Johnny “football” Manziel. Last season A&M won 29-24, jumping out to an early 20-0 lead after the first quarter. Last season the barely known Manziel led all rushers with 92 yards, and he threw for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. This performance propelled Johnny Football to the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy last season. But that was last season, this year is much different.
This year Manziel is the most polarizing figure in college sports…college sports history that is. Manziel won the Heisman trophy as a freshman, but became even more famous with his off season antics. He was first photographed partying after his bowl game, but who can blame him; he just finished a season where he won the Heisman trophy as a freshman. But it didn’t stop there, he over slept at the Manning passing academy missing the days practices. His roommate, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, had no trouble waking up for practices that week. His off season didn’t end there; he was then accused of signing autographs for money. This ultimately could not be proven and he was only suspended the first half of Texas A&M’s season opener. In that first half, we found out how talented Manziel really is. A&M struggled mightily without him in to a poor Rice team. The second half Manziel came in and took control of the game. But he wouldn’t do it quietly, making “show me the money” signs after big plays and talking trash to opposing players, as if people needed another reason to hate the poor kid. Manziel has been heavily criticized after rubbing his joke of a suspension into everyone’s face by making his “show me the money” signs this season. But what exactly is wrong with being cocky? With some athletes it gives them that edge they need to perform. Nobody looks down at Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant for their trash talking and cocky antics on the court. So why is it so bad for Johnny Football; he is the best college player in the game, and if you don’t believe me just check his trophy case. But what’s wrong is he hasn’t done anything yet. He hasn’t won anything yet…not a national title, not even a conference title, he hasn’t made it in the NFL, in fact he virtually has won 1 big game. Most people just want Johnny Football to go away, and go away quietly. Quietly is not in Manziel’s playbook however. The louder they are, the harder they fall and if Manziel does collapse it will be seen by the entire nation. It will be the most played collapse in the country, and he only has himself to thank.
Former Spartan coach Nick Saban is the perfect man to defeat Johnny Football. Some are calling him the greatest coach in Alabama history, a history that includes the legendary “Bear” Bryant. He has had a week off to get his defense prepared for Manziel and the A&M offense. I don’t think they’ve only been preparing for this rematch a week though. Alabama’s weight room went through some redecorating; putting the A&M logo up and running a replay of last year’s loss to A&M above every weight machine. This spells bad news for Johnny Football, Saban already brings the number 1 ranked team in the country with him, the defending SEC champs and winners of 3 out of the last 4 national titles.
The defense for Alabama has a lot to prove, but maybe not as much as quarterback A.J. McCarron. How is he forgotten in all of this? How is he picked to be SEC third team? Why does he get so disrespected? Probably because he’s a perfect example of what a student athlete should be. He does everything the right way, and avoids the limelight. McCarron has already won 2 straight national titles (every year he has started), and is the favorite to make it a third this season. That would make him the only player in history to win 3 national titles. McCarron, friend of Manziel, is out to prove he is not only the best quarterback in the game but the best quarterback in the country. He sure has a resume to back him up.