Kleinsman vs Heisziel

Al Messerschmidt

The problem with comparing a QB from a defensive league versus one from an offensive league when one team plays ball control offense and the other plays a spread offense is that direct comparisons are almost impossible.

You really can't compare Manti Te'o to either Collin Klein or John Manziel, if you can figure out how to compare a defensive player and his skill set to offensive players and their skill sets then you might be in line for a trip to a Sweden.

Mr. Te'o is arguably the most important player on the only undefeated team in the country, but that doesn't mean he is the best player at his position in the country or that he should be in the running for the Heisman. But if you are the type that likes to reward the best team in the country (based on record) then you should encourage everyone that votes for the Heisman to vote him #3 so ND has a representative at the ceremony. If you want my analysis of linebackers you can browse the BOTC archives for my Butkus analysis.

On the offensive side of the ball, it is difficult to compare players who play the same position because teams might have different offensive strategies and tactics and their opponents could just possibly have different strengths and weaknesses. For instance aTm has run 959 offensive plays versus 712 for K-State; On a per game basis, aTm runs approximately 80 plays while K-State runs approximately 65 plays. If you give one player 23% more opportunities does this make them a better player?

Which brings up the question of if it is possible to even decide if a player is the best in the country?

For comparison let's look at the best three games (qb rating) for passing and the best three games for rushing for Manziel and Klein (all stats from cfbstats.com, if there is a typo email me):

3 best games for QB rating +/-
from season average
Opponent QB
Rating
Pass
Defense
Rank
Yards Attempts Completions Rating Yards Attempts
Manziel Sam Houston 221.6 - 267 20 14 +65.79 -17.917 -13.33
Arkansas 202.5 117 453 38 29 +46.66 +168 +4.667
South Carolina St.
197.6 - 174 20 15 +41.73 -110.92 -13.33
Klein West Virginia 266.82 124 323 21 19 +112.7 +112.9 -2.91
Miami 254 103 210 11 9 +99.88 -.09 -12.91
N Texas 194.6 85 230 25 20 +40.48 +19.91 +1.09

3 best rushing games +/-
from season average
Opponent Rush
Defense
Rank
Attempts Yards Avg Attempts Yards Avg
Manziel @Louisiana Tech 87 19 181 9.53 +3.6 +81.3 +3.11
@Ol' Miss 29 20 129 6.45 +4.6 +29.3 +.03
@Miss State 73 21 129 6.14 +5.6 +29.3 -.3
Klein KU 92 10 116 12 -4.6 +34 +5.98
@ Iowa State 71 25 105 4.2 +8.67 +19.17 -1.06
N Texas 67 11 85 7.7 -10.67 +55.28 +3.16

Now the 3 worst games for passing and rushing

3 worst games for QB rating +/-
from season average
Opponent QB
Rating
Pass
Defense
Rank
Yards Attempts Completions Rating Yards Attempts
Manziel LSU 82.48 20 276 56 29 -73.4 -8.9 +22.67
@Auburn 103.2 45 260 23 16 -52.6 -24.9 -10.3
@Ol' Miss 124.4 86 191 26 17 -31.4 -93.9 -7.33
Klein @Baylor 103.3 122 286 50 27 -50.87 75.91 26.09
@TCU 105.6 50 145 21 12 -48.5 -65.1 -2.91
@OU 123.5 22 154 21 13 -30.61 -56.1 -2.91

3 worst rushing games +/-
from season average
Opponent Rush
Defense
Rank
Attempts Yards Avg Attempts Yards Avg
Manziel LSU 10 17 27 1.59 +1.6 -72.7 -4.8
Florida 6 17 60 3.53 +1.60 -39.7 -2.89
Missouri 50 12 67 5.58 -3.4 -32.7 -.8
Klein Baylor 89 17 39 2.3 +1.45 -33 -2.34
@WVU 41 12 41 3.4 -3.71 -38.43 -1.63
@TCU 7 15 50 3.3 -.4 -25.30 -1.56

After looking at the numbers for both quarterbacks, about the only thing I can say is that both are good at times and also have games which make you wonder. I don't know that it will change anyone's mind about the abilities of these quarterbacks.

The ball control offense that K-State uses will never have the numbers of a spread offense. Manziel has 400 pass and 184 rush attempts versus Klein's 258 pass and 171 rush attempts. Would Collin Klein have numbers better than Manziel if he had the same attempts in passing? Maybe, maybe not.

Every 16.67 plays Manziel throws a TD, every 50 plays an interception and he rushes for a TD once every 9.68 (13% more play than Klein) plays. Collin Klein throws a TD every 18.43 (10% more plays than Manziel) passes, an interception once every 43 (14% more often than Manziel) passes and rushes for a TD once every 8.55 plays. Which tells you that both are going to score on you, just one happens to be a slightly better runner and the other a slightly better passer.

Will Manziel win the Heisman, maybe? Considering Collin Klein has done 2 things no other QB in college football has ever done (most rushing TD's in a season by a QB in 1 fewer game than the other guy that set the record), and 2 seasons of 20 rushing and 10 passing TD's.), I'd like to see him win it. Neither Manziel or Te'o have set a record that I know about. (edit: Manziel has set the SEC yards in a season record with 4600, the NCAA record is 5,976 (B. J. Symon's of Texas Tech); so if Manziel was still in the B12 he would not have set a conference record)

But I don't vote and the Texas game is basically the time for Mr. Klein and the rest of the Cat's to show how they handle adversity.

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