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Monday, December 10, 2012
3-point stance: A&M has handled success

By Ivan Maisel

1. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, when asked Saturday night if Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel would be able to fit his head in his helmet next season, said: “I don’t know. That’s a growing process.” But he pointed out that the Aggies have entered new territory this season (new league, top 10 and Manziel’s sudden national prominence) and performed well. “Handling success is the best thing that we have done this year,” he said.

2. Cincinnati scored quite a coup Saturday by spiriting Tommy Tuberville out of Texas Tech to replace Butch Jones. Tuberville is a veteran and a consistent winner and provides just the sort of ballast that the Big East has lacked in recent years. After USF fired Skip Holtz, the conference had one coach with more than 25 career victories: Paul Pasqualoni of UConn. Tuberville didn’t come to Cincinnati as Indiana Jones, ready to save the league. He came because he wanted out of Lubbock.

3. Notre Dame didn’t end its 25-year Heisman drought. But linebacker Manti Te'o became the first Irish player to finish second since Raghib Ismail did so in 1990. More importantly, Te’o is the third defensive player in the past four seasons to make it to New York as a Heisman finalist. Defensive players will always be dependent on excelling in a season in which no offensive player stands out. But the time is near when a defender will hoist the trophy.