NEW ORLEANS - The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 10 finalists for this year's award on Tuesday. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates' bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.
The finalists for this year's Manning Award are:
Tajh Boyd, Sr., Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater, Jr., Louisville
Derek Carr, Sr., Fresno State
Jordan Lynch, Sr., Northern Illinois
Johnny Manziel, So., Texas A&M
Marcus Mariota, So., Oregon
AJ McCarron, Sr., Alabama
Aaron Murray, Sr., Georgia
Bryce Petty, Jr., Baylor
Jameis Winston, Fr., Florida State
While the statistics for the group are exemplary, one stat stands out above the rest - they have combined to win nearly 90 percent of their games with an overall record of 96-12; six of the quarterbacks have already led their teams to double-figures in wins. The finalists average over 3,000 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns while averaging less than six interceptions each. Showing the increasing number of dual-threat quarterbacks, three of the finalists have rushed for over 500 yards this year, while the full group has totaled 64 rushing touchdowns.
"This has been another great year for quarterbacks; and it's getting more interesting as the games get bigger," Archie Manning said. "We really appreciate our selection committee's work in choosing this outstanding group of finalists. I'm looking forward to seeing how they all do over the next couple of weeks and through their bowl games as we prepare to honor our 10th winner in January."
This year's group includes six returning finalists from last year (Boyd, Lynch, Manziel, Mariota, McCarron and Murray). There are five seniors on the list, as well as two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. The finalists come from seven different conferences, including the Southeastern Conference with three honorees, the Atlantic Coast Conference with two, and the American Athletic, the Big 12, the Mid-American, the Mountain West and the Pac-12 with one each.
The winner is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 10th winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor - he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, then the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. McCoy was followed by top-two NFL Draft picks - Auburn's Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers and then Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, was the 2012 winner prior to being the No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Redskins. This past season's winner was Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman to earn the honor.