By TPR Staff

This week’s Discover Fan Loyalty Poll was about giving thanks, having just concluded Thanksgiving weekend. It is a great time for college football, as Thanksgiving brings families together at the dinner table, but rivalries together on the football field. This year was no different. To see the complete results of the latest Discover Fan Loyalty Poll, make sure to scroll down and check out the infograph. As far as college football fans are concerned, they may be able to be thankful for some Heisman Trophy history this year, although it is still up in the air as to which player may be making that history in 2012?

We know this much. With only one more chance for other players to prove themselves as Heisman contenders, Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o are the unquestioned favorites for the Heisman Trophy award in 2012, with both having history against them. But while history may not be in their corner, one of them may very well make history if they do win the Heisman this season.

Both have had fantastic seasons. Manziel is a freshman, and no such player has even won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman. many voters do not even like voting for a sophomore, let alone a freshman. Only a select number of freshmen have even ever been invited to New York as one of the five Heisman finalists, yet none has ever won the award. Manziel has an excellent chance at becoming the first.

Te’o is a linebacker. No player who only played defense has even won the Heisman. Charles Woodson won it with the Michigan Wolverines in 1997, but he was also a punt returner. Ernie Davis was the last player to win the Heisman on defense, but was also a fullback/halfback. Other defensive players who won the Heisman include Leon Hart and Larry Kelley, both of whom also played on the offensive side of the ball as well. Te’o would be the first strictly defensive player to win the top honor bestowed by college football.

Before we take a further look at this year’s Heisman Trophy, check out the complete results of the latest Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. College football fans across America were asked with which members of their favorite team they would like to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner, as well as who they were most thankful for this year on their team. I would assume that Aggies and Irish fans are most thankful for their Heisman candidates, although both have excellent players and coaches on both sides of the ball. How would you answer this week’s questions? Feel free to weigh in with your responses at the conclusion of this article.

As you can see, the majority of college football fans are most thankful for their head coach, while they would prefer to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner with the players from their favorite team, as opposed to the cheerleaders or the band members or mascot. Do you agree?

As far as this year’s Heisman is concerned, it appears to be a two man race between Manziel and Te’o, with either one of them making history with a win. Still, it may be difficult for either to win the award, as many voters will simply not vote for a freshman. Others will not vote for a player on defense. Manziel and Te’o have had phenomenal seasons, and both are worthy of winning the Heisman this year. Te’o just helped the Fighting Irish cap off an undefeated regular season on their way to play in the BCS Championship Game. Manziel led the Aggies to an upset win on the road over the Alabama Crimson Tide and may also be going to a BCS Bowl.

It will be tough to decide this year’s vote, which is quite often the case. While the race appears to be between just these two players, three others will still have to get invited s one of the five finalists. Here is a look at the other contenders who may still have a say in this contest.

* Collin Klein – QB – Kansas State Wildcats // The Heisman seemed as if it belonged to Klein for much of the season, but when K-State got blown out by the Baylor Bears, Klein seemed to slip more than perhaps he should have. he will have one more game to prove himself against the Texas Longhorns next Saturday, but while he will likely be a finalist, he is not likely to have enough time to change voters’ minds.

* Kenjon Barner – RB – Oregon Ducks // The speedster from Oregon was in contention for much of the season, but two subpar games eventually knocked him out of the race. he rebounded for a big game against the Oregon State Beavers yesterday, but it likely too little too late.

* Braxton Miller – QB – Ohio State Buckeyes // OSU is not going to a bowl game, even though they finished 2012 with an undefeated 12-0 record. They are ineligible due to past violations, but that should not stop voters from at least considering Miller. He will not win, but he could be a finalist.

* Marqise Lee – WR – USC Trojans // Lee was a contender for quite some time as well, although wide receivers rarely win the award either. Still, while his 5 catches for 75 yards were nice in the Trojans’ loss to the Irish on Saturday, they are hardly worthy of the Heisman.

* Tajh Boyd – QB – Clemson Tigers // A finalist a week ago after accounting for 8 total touchdowns in Clemson’s win the previous week, Boyd di nothing to help himself in his team’s loss against the South Carolina Gamecocks yesterday. He was never going to win the award, but I feel yesterday may have taken him out of the running to even be a finalist.

As always, stay tuned to the Pigskin Report for the most in depth, extensive and entertaining coverage of all things college football this season, including the Heisman, the BCS Championship, all the bowl games as well as the best coverage of the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. Make sure to check back each and every day, and you can also 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.




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