With Manziel news, college football fans are biggest winners

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Yes. I’m talking about you. All of you. All SEC and college football fans around the country. Today you won. We all won.

With the announcement that Johnny Manziel will only be suspended for the first half against Rice, removing the dark cloud cast by the NCAA and allegations over the player, you can hoist your crystal ball in the comforts of your own home.

You may not like him, but you respect him as a player. And if you don’t respect him, you love watching his ridiculous highlights, running circles around his opponents and piercing the heart of every Oklahoma, Texas and Big 12 fan along the way.

He’s the silver lining that helped leapfrog the biggest shadow in the state of Texas – in one year. Manziel is the biggest reason Texas A&M’s program is about to jump to another level, leaving the Horns in a freefall.

Manziel’s electrifying encore is a mere three days and two quarters away, and Rice will be the victim. Yeah, he won’t start, but 300-plus total second-half yards aren’t out of the question. It’s going to get ugly.

Folks will point to the Summer of Manziel as the single biggest distraction that will keep Johnny Manziel from going all Johnny Football again. But that’s just not going to be the case.

Some say Manziel is in for a sophomore slump, but that’s wishful thinking. Many say Manziel is a cancer in the locker room. His teammates know that with him, they’re a national championship contender. Without him, they’re, uh, a seven- or eight-win roster. Media pundits also say that defensive coordinators now have the blueprint to beat the Aggies based on Florida, LSU and a complete offseason of scheming and game planning. Yet, they fail to mention Kevin Sumlin’s offensive genius and ability to make adjustments just as well – or better – than defensive coordinators.

Of course, if Texas A&M loses three games because of the defense, who will get the blame? Manziel. He’s the Heisman Trophy winner, and with that comes a responsibility and an accountability to make sure you don’t lose football games. I get that. He’s earned that right.

Alabama had the most to gain from sitting Manziel. But all of Alabama would have been pissed off – including Nick Saban – should he been suspended for the game, because the Tide want revenge and to beat the Aggies at their best game.

I’m not debating whether or not he did it, nor am I debating whether the NCAA is a lacking institution; we’ve been through that already. But the reality that Johnny Football is guaranteed to be making his encore is riveting.

The assurance that Manziel will play in 2013 means the SEC West is wide open. It means the dynasty that’s been built by the process is in jeopardy. It means everyone’s preseason top 10s stay the same, and Verne Lundquist can chortle over Manziel’s ridiculousness on the field. It means the coaches preseason All-SEC team will fuel Manziel’s ever burning ember of wanting to be great.

I don’t exactly condone the Summer of Manziel. I’m not sure I want my starting quarterback acting like that all the time. He brought a lot of these off-the-field antics on himself, and, largely, he has to prove people wrong this season. Can he do it? Absolutely.

Johnny Manziel gets to play college football one more year. He won. But the biggest winner is us, the fans, and you better enjoy every minute of it.

Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell

COMMENTS

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  • The problem is he can never live up to the amount of hype articles such as this one are trying to create…JFF had an AWESOME year obviously…and I appreciate but some of y’all act like he’s the best thing that ever happened to football…which to me is a little much at this point.

    • Nah, CFB much > than Manziel. The program is much > one player. But if you’re a CFB fan – which I know you are JP, you were excited to see this happen. You’re the man, JP

    • and what is it Dawg that makes you think he cant have the same impact this year that he did last year – hes got more and better players around him – WRS, RBs, TEs – only thing he will need to do is outscore teams that overpower A&Ms defense – and with what he averaged last year, that shouldnt be a problem – we;ll see you in Atlanta – Gig Em!~

  • In the short run yes but in the long run? I’m not so sure about that. Yes, Manziel is talented and fun to watch but the NCAA’s actions look them and CFB look worse than no suspension at all.

  • This is sCam Newton 2.0. If he did nothing wrong, then why the suspension? Given the utter failure of the NCAA to even police itself it’s no surprise College footballs biggest star won’t miss any meaningful game time. I can’t believe the memorabilia supplier can’t produce a canceled check, an electronic record of a payment or something. If not, why even bring it up in the 1st place. Maybe it went to Johnny’s parents? As we know, that doesn’t violate eligibility…..

    • That’s the point I want to know. If he did nothing wrong, then there should be no suspension and why just a half game? I’ve got a feeling there was money exchanged and that money went to Uncle Nate which I’m assuming that the NCAA finds perfectly acceptable given the “relationship prior to college” rule and because you know it’s Johnny Football. He had a great Freshman season, I’m expecting the Sophomore slump and his inability to live up to the media hype.

    • It’s very important to note that the NCAA dropped the investigation regarding Manziel’s alleged sale of autographs due to lack of tangible evidence or witness testimonies. The half-game suspension is in response to a bylaw that basically states that Manziel should have made an attempt to stop the sale of his autographs altogether, regardless of who is profiting from them.

    • @Chris (@David) – why did A&M accept the suspension? as i understand it, it clears A&M to play Manziel – after his suspension is served, Manziel will be elligible to play football for the Aggies – the NCAA wouldnt be able to come back and penalize A&M at a later date for playing an “inelligible” player – since they ruled that a 1/2 game suspension would suffice to cover what was called an “inadvertant” transgression, the school would not face future sanctions for that in particular – Gig EM! and BTHO Bama!~