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• 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.
We are not generally overfond of spring football, which clocks in high on pageantry (and higher every year) and low on actual valuable information. But we are highly susceptible to the promise of tailgate meats, and were lured to Death Valley on Saturday to sample a 40-pound brisket* and take in the Orange and White game.
*May not be actual weight, but it was big. And delectable.