- David Ubben, College Football
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Thanks for all your email this week. Interesting as always. Here's my Mailbag if you've got more to say.
Here's the best of the bunch this week.
Jason in Owasso, Okla., writes: Hey! I'm submitting this early so I hope you get it! Who do you think deserves the Heisman more? Collin Klein or Johnny Manziel? I think Manziel is more important to his team [Texas A&M] because K-State is a better team all-around and Klein gets more help than Manziel. Manziel has 2780 passing yards and 18 TDs with 6 INTs while Klein only has 2020 passing yards with 12 TDs and 3 INTs! Manziel also has more rushing yards! 1014 to 748 with only 2 more carries!!! To me it is no question who is having a better season and is more important to his team. Also, Manziel has been playing against WAY better defenses! With less experience also! What do you think?
Mike in Texas asked: Why is everything you stated about RGIII and his Heisman chances now invalid for Johnny Manziel, especially the W-L records you defended for Baylor?
David Ubben: If you want to talk simple yardage numbers, then fine. Manziel's advantage might have something to do with the fact that he's had the ball in his hands for almost 130 more plays than Klein, whose yards per pass attempt are significantly higher. Klein leads the nation with 9.7 yards an attempt, and led the nation in passer rating, too, until last week's rough outing against TCU that, unfortunately for Klein, came right after Manziel's big coming-out party versus Alabama.
You could argue importance any way you want, but I'd say that's mostly a push.
As for the wins argument, if you can't see the difference between RG3 and Manziel when it comes to winning the Heisman with losses, I can't help you. Winning 10 games at Baylor is really, really hard. Look at the Bears this season.
A&M has two nine-win seasons since 2006. Yes, this year's SEC is tougher than the Big 12, but outside of last week's victory over Alabama, where's the proof that A&M is blowing up in the SEC this year, winning games it couldn't win in the Big 12?
It lost to Florida and LSU and doesn't really have another strong win on the resume. At Alabama is obviously a better win than Oklahoma, but it's still only one game. The rest of the wins for both K-State and Texas A&M aren't all that different. Manziel failed to throw a touchdown pass in both of Texas A&M's losses and threw three picks (including one to seal the game) against LSU. Football's a team game, yes, but Manziel didn't make plays late to win those games.
He turned the ball the same number of times against LSU that Klein has all year. If Klein turns the ball over, K-State loses that Oklahoma game. He didn't. The Cats won. Manziel's got eight turnovers this year. Klein's got three. That's a big gap, especially when the competition is as close as it is.
When you look at the loss column, how do you not take that into account? Griffin lost games, yes, but winning 10 games at Baylor is a monumentally more difficult task than winning 10 games at Texas A&M in the SEC. The Aggies can talk about "that tough SEC schedule" all they want, but they're not racking up wins to make those 10 wins truly impressive. You can't take anything away from that Alabama win. It was amazing stuff. Manziel's a fantastic player. He's one of the best in the country.
He's just not better than Klein.
Hutch in Lubbock, Texas, writes: Your thoughts on Kliff Kingsbury's success leading him back to TTU eventually as perhaps one of the few people who could reunite a still-fractured fan base?
DU: It's a little early in his career, and I think he definitely needs more experience, but I could definitely see Kingsbury -- in his first season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M -- taking that job at some point. This is only his fifth season coaching, but if he keeps it going, I'm sure he'll get his alma mater's attention whenever Tommy Tuberville's time is done there. Of course, he'd be well-served by grabbing a head-coaching job at a smaller program before then. If I'm Texas Tech, I'd probably want to see him run an entire program before I hand him the keys to Jones AT&T Stadium.
Still, what a promising start. I'd be surprised if we didn't see him back in the Big 12 before too long.
Rob in Orlando, Fla., writes: Dave, What's the deal with WVU they confuse me the most of any FBS team. They seem to have the same offense from the recent Orange Bowl pounding they did on Clemson and started off as if they never lost track ... then the walls just hit or someone flipped off the switch. Clemson is still pretty decent this year so that leaves me with the question is this an internal issue? Are the Mountaineers self-destructing because of the coaching? All problems seem to be leading that way with the talent at hand.
DU: I mentioned this in the chat last week, but I think I'm subscribing more to the theory that West Virginia was overrated from the start. The offensive production has slowed, yes, but the Mountaineers showed plenty of inconsistency last year and that's continued this week. Geno Smith's first five games were as good as any Big 12 quarterback we've ever seen, but the defensive deficiencies were obvious. Texas was also playing pretty sorry defense at the time but has grown up a bit in the past few weeks. Baylor was ranked when WVU beat it 70-63, but the Bears are a four-win team now with just one Big 12 victory ... against winless Kansas. So, clearly, that win was overinflated in retrospect.
I was admittedly on board with WVU after that Texas game, but looking back, it's easy to see the possibility that this is more than just some head-scratching dip in performance. Those early performances weren't quite as impressive in hindsight.
Chuck Roberts in Dallas writes: David; When you were ranking the best defensive players in the Big 12 I couldn't figure out why you had Devonte Fields ahead of Arthur Brown. Truth is, I'd never seen Fields play. Well, after Saturday's game it's very apparent to me now that you are right, so I just wanted to acknowledge that.
DU: That tends to happen. Sadly, I'm afraid you're not the only one who hasn't paid attention to Fields. TCU's a newcomer to the league this year, but Fields is just tearing it up, whether folks are watching or not. He's only going to get better. Gary Patterson talked a little bit about that this week, mentioning that Fields' strength needed a lot of improvement. For his positon, he's still a little undersized, and as he gets used to the strength and conditioning program at TCU, he'll fill out quite a bit.
18hDavid M. Hale