The Man(ziel)ning Award!; more Designated Reads
• Mack Brown offered the Manning Award as a safety. College football’s first freshman Heisman Trophy winner can add another accolade to his surely sagging trophy shelf: Johnny Manziel has won the Manning Award. Manziel entered the national lexicon with last year’s shirtless mugshot follies, won the starting job at Texas A&M as an underclassman, took home the Heisman, obliterated a former conference rival in the Cotton Bowl and will — football gods willing — continue to stay on his “hi, haters” message train throughout the forthcoming offseason. It is getting perilously close to impossible to hate Johnny Football, particularly if you don’t have a rooting interest in a defense that had to play him this year. Congrats, kiddo.
• Coach-firin’ follies. The silly season rolls on in the assistants derby: OUT goes Louisiana defensive coordinator Greg Stewart … IN comes Mario Cristobal at Miami in a most excellent personnel coup for the ‘Canes … and IN comes Ted Roof, back at Georgia Tech? (Related reading: “Has the internet desensitized us to the extraordinary?”)
• Gettin’ drafty. GONE: Tennessee’s three brightest offensive stars. BACK: Tajh Boyd, whose future presence, along with Aaron Murray’s, makes Clemson’s Week 1 date with Georgia an absolute must-watch game. GONE, TEARILY: Outland Trophy winner Luke Joeckel, whose letter to the faithful of Texas A&M you simply must read.
• Schedule matters. No dates yet, but next season’s #MACtion matchups have been released.
• Misc. Notre Dame has hopefully spent enough time with Alabama at this point to be familiar with the intricacies of claiming an extra national title … Bret Bielema will fight you on Twitter, which should go over really well at Arkansas … Jesse Williams’ very special Skype session … how Florida State’s Justin Shanks is sleeping his way into shape … Fulmer Cup season, ahoy!