I know you read the title to this article and said to yourself, that is the worst bit of grammar you have ever read. I actually took the line from Eddie Murphy’s classic movie Coming to America. It’s the scene where Eddie Murphy is in the church, and Randy Watson & Sexual Chocolate just finished performing. One of the barbers in the crowd looks to the barber to his left and utters “that boy good.” I must have done the same thing ten times Saturday afternoon with my friends while we were watching the Alabama and Texas A&M game. Every time Johnny Manziel evaded a would be sack, and would make some video game type play, I would look over to my friends and just shake my head and say, “that boy good.” His numbers were Heisman-esqu; Manziel threw for 468 yards and five touchdowns; and rushed for 98 yards. This was against an Alabama team coached by one of the greatest college coaches of all-time, Nick Saban. Saturday’s was a game most college football fans had marked on their calendar for the 2013 college football season.
Unless you followed the SEC, or the Texas A&M Aggies last season, you had never heard of Johnny Manziel, well that is until the game the Aggies played against Alabama last season on November 12, in Alabama. Coming into that game, the Crimson Tide were ranked number one in the country, and the Aggies, who were playing their first season in the SEC, came in ranked number 15 in the nation. This game would be what put Johnny “Football” Manziel on the map. Alabama has always been known for its stingy defense under Nick Saban, and they had future top ten NFL pick, Dee Milner as their starting cornerback. This was just supposed to be another game the Crimson Tide won on their way to another National Championship game. Unfortunately for Saban and the Crimson Tide, the game did not play out that way.
In that game, Johnny Football went 24 for 31 for 254 yards and 94 rushing yards; he also added two touchdowns. He was able to get away from the Alabama defense on a number of occasions, even though he was sacked four times. This was not a performance anyone expected against the Crimson, especially by a quarterback not many people knew about outside of SEC country. Fast-forward to this seasons game between the two teams, with both schools being ranked in the top 10, and Johnny Football being an absolute celebrity now.
Nick Saban had an entire off-season to game plan for this, and he had a bye-week coming into the game against the Aggies this time. Many college football analysts had Alabama winning the game, which they did, and Johnny Football having a subpar game, which he didn’t. Manziel and his receivers dropped 42 points on the Crimson Tide, but ultimately fell short of what would have been another signature win on Manziel’s resume. Manziel was giving the Crimson tide problems all afternoon with his ability to create plays with his mobility, and he even hit receiver Mike Evans for a 95-yard touchdown that brought game to within seven points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Mike Evans had a school record 279 receiving yards in the game as well. It was another huge statistical game for Manziel, and should help his repeat Heisman trophy hopes. There is still plenty of season left to play, and the loss to Alabama will hurt the Aggies hopes of getting to a National Championship game.
The Aggies can always look at Nick Saban and feel optimistic, because Saban has coached two teams who have lost one game in a season, and went on to win the National Championship. Those two teams were last years Alabama team, and Saban’s LSU team from 2003. So there is still hope for Johnny Football and the Aggies. With a little luck, and Manziel continuing to terrorize defenses, anything is possible. If Manziel is able to win a National Championship and another Heisman trophy, his celebrity may quadruple. If that happens, and you think Tebow Mania was overwhelming, The Legend of Johnny Football will probably shut ESPN servers down. I’ll be watching every step of the way.