By now, you all know what happened during a wild weekend in the world of college football, as the Kansas State Wildcats and Oregon Ducks suffered their first defeats of the 2012 season, while the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rose to the No. 1 ranking in the newest BCS Standings. The Golden Domers should also go to the top of the next Discover Fan Loyalty Poll after coming out of this past weekend as the lone undefeated team in the BCS Standings. But the crystal ball signifying the best if the nation may not be the only hardware that players for the Irish are competing for in 2012.
Notre Dame has just one game remaining in their regular season. If they can win on the road this Saturday night against the Matt Barkley-less USC Trojans, they will play for their first ever BCS Championship. It is far from a lock, especially considering how things have gone for the top teams over the past few weeks, but USC is all that stands between the Irish and their first ever BCS Championship Game.
It may also be all that stands between Manti Te’o and the Heisman Trophy.
But before I get to that, take a look at the latest results from the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. College football fans across the country were asked about which late night talk show host they would prefer to hear sing the National Anthem at their favorite team’s next home game, as well as which celebrity they would most like to have crash their next tailgate party. Check out the results in the infogrpah below, and then feel free to weigh in with your own answers at the en of this article.
In the latest results from the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll, the Texas A&M Aggies had climbed to the No. 5 spot in the fans’ rankings after knocking off the then No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide the previous week. The Aggies were able to win that game due to the incredible play of freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziel, who is looking to become the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy award. He may be in better position than any other freshman player who has ever taken the college football world by storm.
Still, it will not be easy for the man they call Johnny Football, and it is still not just a two man race between Manziel and Te’o either. That would be far too simple and, as we know when it comes to NCAA Football, everything is always far more complicated than they may seem.
Entering this past weekend, the Heisman Trophy was Kansas State Wildcats QB Collin Klein’s to lose. In the team’s blow out loss at the hands of the unranked Baylor Bears, Klein may have done just that. He could still rebound with a huge game against the Texas Longhorns in two weeks, but this past Saturday at least let others back in the race. Kenjon Barner, the speedy running back for the Oregon Ducks, also seemed to drop a bit after having a second straight pedestrian game this Saturday night.
The race may very well boil down to Te’o vs. Manziel, which would be quite interesting. Defensive players so rarely win the Heisman, and are even infrequently invited to the award ceremony as one of the five finalists. On the flip side, however, a freshman has never won the honor. It generally does not even go to a sophomore, let alone a freshman.
Still, if Notre Dame can defeat USC on Saturday night and cap an undefeated season and a berth in the BCS Championship Game, it will be hard to deny Te’o, regardless of his position. I would also like to see the voters take character into account for once. Te’o is a leader both on and off the field, and may be an even more special person than he is a player, which is saying something.
Stay tuned to The Pigskin Report each and every day throughout the college football season for the latest breaking news as well as complete coverage of the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. Also, make sure to Like Discover on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!
* The 15-week Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 800 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online.
Discover launched the Fan Loyalty Poll to give die-hard fans a platform to showcase their dedication and love for their favorite college football team leading up to the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl. Each week the poll will offer new questions about what college football fans are thinking this season.
Beyond title sponsorship of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.