The redshirt freshman quarterback leads the final HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll of the season released on Tuesday. The poll has proven to be the most accurate of all the Heisman polls in the last five years.
If this year's poll is correct, Manziel will become the first freshman winner in the 78-year history of the trophy.
The 11-member weekly panel of actual Heisman voters gave Manziel eight first-place votes and placed him on 10 of their ballots. He totaled 27 points, which was his same score the previous week. The results point to a comfortable win for Manziel when the Heisman is awarded on Saturday.
"He's been the most outstanding player of the season," said one voter. "It's hard not to pick a guy who set the SEC total offense record and knocked off the No. 1 team."
Coming in second was Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o, who appeared on nine ballots and tallied 18 points with one first-place vote. He dropped a couple points from the previous poll but looks poised to notch the highest finish by a pure defensive player since Hugh Green of Pittsburgh was the runner-up in 1980 to South Carolina running back George Rogers.
Heisman ballots are due by 5 p.m. ET Monday. The finalists for the 2012 Heisman ceremony will be announced an hour later, at 6 p.m.
Now in its seventh season, the former HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll has been reborn as the HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the last five seasons, with the final 2011 poll correctly picking the top seven finishers. It is made up of 11 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis (just like a real Heisman ballot) with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.
Each week's poll is released on Tuesdays throughout the season at CBSSports.com and at HeismanPundit.com. Check out previous polls for this season here.
The HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll, 12-3-2012
Player, total points (first-place votes in parentheses)
3. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State -- 10
4. (tie) Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State -- 5 (1)
Marqise Lee, WR, USC -- 5 (1)
6. Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon -- 1
Total ballots appeared on: Manziel (10), Te'o (9), Klein (7), Miller and Lee (3), Barner (1)
About the Voting Panel
The 11 members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Tom Dienhart of The Big Ten Network, Michael Lev of the Orange County Register, Bruce Feldman and Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com, Bryan Fischer of the Pac-12 Network, Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News, Lenn Robbins of the New York Post, Jenni Carlson of The Daily Oklahoman and Dave Hackenberg of the Toledo Blade. Chris Huston, CBSSports.com Heisman analyst and publisher of HeismanPundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
Past 2012 Poll Leaders
Preseason, Matt Barkley
Sept. 4, Matt Barkley
Sept. 11, Matt Barkley
Sept. 18, Geno Smith
Sept. 25, Geno Smith
Oct. 2, Geno Smith
Oct. 9, Geno Smith
Oct. 16, Geno Smith
Oct. 23, Collin Klein
Oct. 30, Collin Klein
Nov. 6, Collin Klein
Nov. 13, Collin Klein
Nov. 20, Johnny Manziel
Nov. 27, Johnny Manziel
The Last Five Years of the Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll
|Final 2011 Poll||Actual Heisman Results|
|1. Robert Griffin III||1. Robert Griffin III|
|2. Andrew Luck||2. Andrew Luck|
|3. Trent Richardson||3. Trent Richardson|
|4. Montee Ball||4. Montee Ball|
|5. Tyrann Mathieu||5. Tyrann Mathieu|
|6. Matt Barkley||6. Matt Barkley|
|7. Case Keenum||7. Case Keenum|
|Final 2010 Poll||Actual Heisman Results|
|1. Cameron Newton||1. Cameron Newton|
|2. Andrew Luck||2. Andrew Luck|
|3. (tie) LaMichael James||3. LaMichael James|
|3. (tie) Kellen Moore||4. Kellen Moore|
|5. Justin Blackmon||5. Justin Blackmon|
|6. Denard Robinson||6. Denard Robinson|
|Final 2009 Poll||Actual Heisman Results|
|1. Mark Ingram||1. Mark Ingram|
|2. Toby Gerhart||2. Toby Gerhart|
|3. Colt McCoy||3. Colt McCoy|
|4. Ndamukong Suh||4. Ndamukong Suh|
|5. Kellen Moore||5. Tim Tebow|
|6. Tim Tebow||6. C.J. Spiller|
|Final 2008 Poll||Actual Heisman Results|
|1. Sam Bradford||1. Sam Bradford|
|2. Tim Tebow||2. Colt McCoy|
|3. Colt McCoy||3. Tim Tebow|
|4. Graham Harrell||4. Graham Harrell|
|5. Michael Crabtree||5. Michael Crabtree|
|6. Shon Greene||6. Shon Greene|
|Final 2007 Poll||Actual Heisman Results|
|1. Tim Tebow||1. Tim Tebow|
|2. Darren McFadden||2. Darren McFadden|
|3. Colt Brennan||3. Colt Brennan|
|4. Chase Daniel||4. Chase Daniel|
|5. Pat White||5. Dennis Dixon|
|6. Dennis Dixon||6. Pat White|