Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel will be seeking to become the first repeat winner of the Manning Award, which released its preseason "watch list" on Friday.
Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, won the 2012 Manning Award after a record-breaking freshman campaign. In addition to the Manning Award, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award and was named The Associated Press College Player of the Year. While helping lead the Aggies to an 11-2 record and final No. 5 national ranking, Manziel generated a Southeastern Conference and NCAA freshman record 5,116 yards, passing for 3,706 yards and rushing for 1,410 yards.
The watch list for the 2013 Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, was selected in conjunction with the release of ESPN's new Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) – the top 30 returning quarterbacks according to the QBR make up the Watch List. The winner will still be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls. Manziel led the nation in total QBR last season with a 90.5 rating, just ahead of Oregon's Marcus Mariota (87.3), Clemson's Tajh Boyd (82.2) and Alabama's A.J. McCarron (81.1).
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.
"This is always an exciting time of year for college football players, coaches and fans," said Archie Manning. "ESPN has come up with an interesting new statistical measure of quarterbacks so we decided to use the QBR to determine our Watch List, but we want to remind everyone that every quarterback in the country remains eligible to win this honor and we're looking forward to seeing how things play out on the field."
Total QBR measures a quarterback's contributions to scoring on each play (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, and penalties) accounting for game context (down, distance, yard line, time remaining, and score) and adjusted for opponent strength. It is based on a 0-100 scale and 50 is average.
"Total QBR uses all of a quarterback's plays and accounts for the context of the game and quality of the defenses faced," said ESPN Stats & Information Sr. Director Jeff Bennett. "We are excited to bring a more complete rating system to the fans to allow for fairer comparisons of quarterbacks who play in different types of systems and face various levels of competition. We're pleased that a national award like the Manning Award has seen the value of our new Total QBR for college."
"College football has needed this for a long time," said ESPN College Football Analyst Brad Edwards. "Finally, we have a way to measure the performance of a dual-threat QB against that of a pure passer. I only wish we could go back in time and use it to see the full impact of guys like Archie Manning, John Elway and Tommie Frazier."
This year's Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The Mountain West Conference leads the way with six honorees, while the Southeastern Conference has five quarterbacks on the list and the Pac-12 adds four.
Manziel on Manning Watch List
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