(WTNH)–Welcome in to the Greatest College Football Players Tournament, where we’re looking to determine the Grandaddy of the Gridiron in the past 25 years. (Ahem. Keith Jackson voice).
Stop pinching yourself. It’s real.
Our first round is just getting underway, so check our index for the bracket and matchups as they are posted.
BARRY SANDERS REGION
6. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (2012-13)
OK, so things haven’t exactly worked out for him since he crash-landed in the NFL. But during his meteoric path through college football, Johnny Football was one of the most remarkable players the game had ever seen.
Manziel was a force of nature as a freshman in 2012, dazzling the rest of the country with over 5,100 combined yards and 47 combined touchdowns and a performance for the ages in a win over No. 1 Alabama. The upset of the Tide propelled him to the Heisman, and he became the first player in history to win the award as a freshman. He also racked up AP Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Award, and first-team All-America honors. Texas A&M would win 11 games, and hammered Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
His sophomore year wasn’t bad, either, as he threw for more than 4,100 yards and tossed 37 touchdown passes and led the Aggies to another 9 wins.
11. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas (2006-09)
Though not quite as flashy as Manziel or his predecessor in Austin, No. 1 seed Vince Young, McCoy finished his career as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in the history of college football.
The 2009 Walter Camp Player of the Year twice put up completion percentages north of 70%, including a ridiculous 76.7% to go along with 3,859 yards and 34 touchdowns in a record-breaking junior season. McCoy finished second in the Heisman race that year, losing out to Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.
McCoy’s Longhorns won a then-NCAA record 45 games (since surpassed by Boise State’s Kellen Moore), and advanced to the 2009 BCS title game, which Texas may well have won if Colt hadn’t gone down with a bizarre arm injury in the first quarter.