The week that was in the always unpredictable life of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:
- Cotton up, Johnny Football. With Texas A&M now eliminated from the SEC race, and presumably out of the BCS bowl bid picture, postseason projections get a bit easier. And there is every possibility that the Aggies could land in the Cotton Bowl for the second year in a row.
Bowls, typically, don't like to extend bids to the same team two years in a row, in part because fan bases don't travel well for an encore performance. But two factors make that a non-issue: 1) This could be Manziel's last college game, and 2) Dallas is an awfully convenient venue for Aggies fans. Forget concerns about ticket sales -- the place would be packed. And that's what matters to bowl committees, anyway. This bowl projection sees an all-Texas matchup in the Cotton Bowl pitting Johnny Football against the pinball offense of Baylor. If that happens, better check the light bulbs in the scoreboard beforehand.
If Johnny Football does close things out at the Cotton Bowl, he'll have a hard time topping what he did there a year ago:
- Time's almost up for Manziel to make up his mind about entering the NFL early or staying in college. TAMU coach Kevin Sumlin revealed on a radio program Friday that his star quarterback will announce whether he is turning pro early before the Aggies' bowl appearance. Based on the dates of TAMU's most likely bowl destinations, look for Manziel's announcement around New Years, give or take a couple of days.
This week's two down takes a nuts-and-bolts look at just how tall a task Manziel faces in finishing the season against LSU and Missouri. Can he afford to lose one of those games and still win the Heisman Trophy? Baylor's Robert Griffin III won the award with three losses in 2011, but the history of three-loss Heisman winners beyond that is pretty spotty.
- LSU (7-3) is ranked No. 18 and handed Manziel one of just two losses in his freshman season. The Tigers also get Manziel in Death Valley, where they are 5-0 at home this season. The plan? Keep Manziel off the field with a steady dose of star running back Jeremy Hill, who can move the chains as well as anyone.
- Missouri (9-1) is ranked No. 8, and if the Tigers handle Ole Miss this weekend, they'll have everything to play for against the Aggies: An SEC Championship Game berth would be at stake. Two dynamic Missouri pass rushers, both of whom have NFL futures, will pursue Manziel (Kony Ealy, Michael Sam). They've combined for 16.5 sacks.
Johnny be Good
**Manziel gets enough grief for what he does on his own time. It certainly deserves mention when he makes time. A lot of fans may never forget what Johnny Football did on the field. This one won't ever forget something far more impressive.
Johnny by the numbers
How much of Texas A&M's total offense is Johnny Football responsible for? Consider: His 3,924 yards of total offense represents 68 percent of the team's total for the year of 5,780.
Manziel comes off an idle week for the second time this season against LSU. After getting an extra week to rest earlier this year, Johnny Football shredded Ole Miss in a comeback victory, completing 31 of 39 passes for 346 yards, and another 124 rushing.
Random Manziel Tweet of the Week
Cold-weather Johnny, apparently, doesn't go cold on the stat sheet: