Heisman winners are .500 in bowl games during BCS era

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The Heisman winners in the past 14 seasons solely in the BCS era are an even .500 in bowl games after hoisting the stiff-arm trophy in the Big Apple, and 2012 winner Johnny Manziel will break an even tie against Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.

Here’s a look at the Heisman winners in the BCS era, and how they fared in the bowl game:

Year

Winner

Team

Bowl Result

Opponent

1998

Ricky Williams

Texas

W 38-11

#25 Miss State

1999

Ron Dayne

Wisconsin

W 17-9

#22 Stanford

2000

Chris Weinke

FSU

L 13-2

#1 Oklahoma

2001

Eric Crouch

Nebraska

L 37-14

#1 Miami

2002

Carson Palmer

USC

W 38-17

#3 Iowa

2003

Jason White

Oklahoma

L 21-14

#2 LSU

2004

Matt Leinart

USC

W 55-19

#2 Oklahoma

2005

Reggie Bush

USC

L 41-38

#2 Texas

2006

Troy Smith

Ohio State

L 41-14

#2 Florida

2007

Tim Tebow

Florida

L 41-35

Michigan

2008

Sam Bradford

Oklahoma

L 24-14

#1 Florida

2009

Mark Ingram

Alabama

W 37-21

#2 Texas

2010

Cam Newton

Auburn

W 22-19

#2 Oregon

2011

Robert Griffin III

Baylor

W 67-56

Washington

2012

Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M

?

#12 Oklahoma

The electrifying freshman will have his hands full with an athletic Sooners’ defense, but OU has yet to face anyone with a fraction of the play-making ability that Manziel possesses. Ironically, the two teams Oklahoma lost to – Kansas State and Notre Dame – suited dual-threat quarterbacks, but neither Collin Klein or Everett Golson come close to having the skill set, creativity or raw athleticism that Manziel occupies.

The Big 12 is a passing league, and Oklahoma has fielded a top 25 pass defense, which has helped them win football games in their league. But they have struggled against better rushing teams, and more importantly mobile quarterbacks. Manziel’s passing stats haven’t exactly been crooked numbers every week, but his creativity when plays break down could torch Oklahoma’s defense. Manziel is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, third in the SEC, and he averages 383.3 yards per game of total offense.

You often read about how ‘Florida and LSU laid out the blueprint to beat Manziel’. That’s because those are two of the best defenses in the country, with game-changing and NFL-bound defensive linemen and linebackers who can tackle in space. Oklahoma’s defense isn’t in the class of either Florida or LSU, and stopping Manziel with a controlled defensive approach from disciplined and athletic defensive ends and linebackers is a task within itself.

Texas A&M’s offensive line alone is better than anyone Oklahoma has faced this season, too. These guys are big, physical and athletic, and they move defensive linemen around every play.

Texas A&M and Oklahoma will have recruiting battles for years to come, and whoever wins this game will have a little more pep in their step when entering Mama’s home for the next blue-chip recruit.

I would be more worried about the loss of Kliff Kingsbury stopping the Texas A&M offense more so than anything Oklahoma or a Heisman jinx would throw at Manziel.

Photo Credit: John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

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