Ask Wallace: Manziel, Mel Gibson, Bowl Upsets and More

NCAA Football: Heisman Trophy Presentation

William Wallace answers all your questions ranging from SEC coaches, Heisman trophies and relationship advice. Send your questions via Twitter to @WillWallaceSEC or ask a question in the comments below.

Caitlyn Shepard asks:

@WillWallaceSEC think Johnny Football would’ve won the Heisman if A&M had stayed in the Big 12, or did the SEC lend credibility to his stats?

Robert Griffin III won the Heisman last season out the Big 12 at a school called Baylor mainly off of highlights, interesting hair and nickname recognition.  (For some reason when I hear the word Baylor my first though every single time goes to Babar the Elephant. I can’t explain why that is but it’s the truth.)  His stats were extremely impressive, combining for 4642 total yards and 45 touchdowns. He had a 192.3 passing efficiency.  I know that because it was the first time anyone had talked about passing efficiency ever before.  He also lost three games in four weeks, losing to unranked Kansas State by one, #23 Texas A&M by 27 and #4 Oklahoma State by 35.  A 35-point loss? Wait, how did RG3 win the Heisman?

Johnny Manziel threw up 4600 total yards and 43 total touchdowns.  Those stats are right there with RG3’s numbers from the year before.  Would a redshirt freshman throwing up those kind of numbers (or likely greater) against porous Big12 defenses only one year later cheapen the accomplishment?  Would having Collin Klein in the same conference putting up similarly impressive stats cancel out what the other is doing to some extent?  The answer to both questions is yes.

Manziel wouldn’t have won the Southern vote, at least not as dominantly as he did.  Hell, I’m not sure the SEC was taking Johnny Football seriously until after he beat Alabama.  He lost to the two best teams he played against, Florida and LSU and was even called Johnny Interception by ESPN’s David Pollack after the latter.  I’m not sure a freshman could have won the Heisman doing anything short of beating Alabama, the defending national champion and then #1 team in the BCS.  There is no greater signature win than that.  The Heisman race ended on that night.  Had Texas A&M been in the Big 12, he never would have had that chance.

However, Manziel may have been undefeated, playing against inferior competition… but so was Manti Te’o. I’m not sure a freshman in the Big 12 one year after Robert Griffin III could have had enough juice to hold off the Notre Dame machine. The only thing bigger than the Notre Dame machine in College Football is the SEC machine.

So, if Johnny Manziel had played this season in the Big 12, he would not have won the Heisman Trophy.

Jennifer Murchison asks:

@WillWallaceSEC I’m a CFB fan, he is not. Will this relationship last? #hoddytoddy #secrules

Well, Jennifer, sure it could last. There are millions of loveless, sexless, enjoyment free relationships out there. However, you are the kind of girl who puts #hottytoddy at the end of her tweets.  You don’t want that life.  Drop this bozo.  If you’re married, get a divorce and take him for everything you can.  If you have kids, let him have full custody. It sounds like he has nothing better to do than be a good father YAWN. Besides, nothing slows down a Gameday like bratty children, am I right? (We high-five, then go get drunk) #hottytoddy

Chase Haynie asks

@WillWallaceSEC A Girl I like has told all the girls in her group like me but are afraid of being hurt so how do you see the OM-PITT game?

Chase, she’s right.  You’re not the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone is really hoping makes it happen.  You’re the guy in the rated R movie.  The girls aren’t sure if they like you yet. They’re not sure where you’re coming from. You’re a bad man, Chase. A bad man.

My boy Bo Wallace is a bad man, like you, Chase.  He survived Georgia, Alabama and LSU and still had enough in the tank to have a career game against his biggest rival, Mississippi State.  This Ole Miss team has a lot of heart and they know a bowl win really sends this program in the right direction heading into recruiting and 2013.  Ole Miss 35 Pitt 24.

Brian Battle asks:

@WillWallaceSEC When I read your tweets my brain automatically translates them in a Mel Gibson Scottish accent. #HailState

You’re close, Brian.  I actually sound exactly like Mel Gibson, but less Braveheart Mel Gibson and more screaming at his Russian ex-girlfriend Mel Gibson.

David Goldstein asks:

@WillWallaceSEC With most SEC teams as considerable favorites, what SEC team or teams do you see getting “upset” during bowl season?

As you mentioned these are all favorable matchups for the SEC.  Bowl games largely mean nothing so upsets happen when the game means different things to the two teams.  Take LSU vs. Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  LSU has already played Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M and South Carolina.  One year ago they were undefeated and preparing for the BCS Championship game.  Clemson might be the sixth best team LSU played all season, but if they lose this game, it does nothing to change the perception of their program.  This easily could be a trip to a wild town full of swag bags and strip clubs.

Clemson, on the other hand, needs this win.  If they can beat LSU it helps offset the loss to South Carolina the end of the season.  A win over LSU would be the biggest win for the program in years.  LSU is the better team, but Clemson has some legit NFL caliber weapons. If LSU is expecting to coast or isn’t fully invested, then Clemson could sneak up on them.

Florida is also in there but to a lesser extent.  Florida was a Lane Kiffin win (stop laughing) away from the BCS National Title Game.  Making the Sugar Bowl is huge for Louisville and Charlie Strong, and a win over the #3 team in the country could change the direction of their program. With that said, I don’t think Louisville will score more than 14 points on Florida’s defense.

Thanks, fools.

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