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Danielson on Heisman: Up on Johnny Football, down on Manti Te’o; interesting take on SEC coach openings

CBS’ Gary Danielson was in Manti Te’o's camp for the Heisman Trophy. He thought the Notre Dame linebacker was worthy of the award.

Then he watched Saturday’s Irish-USC game.

“I was all prepared to say Manti Te’o until I watched Saturday’s game,” said the CBS analyst on teleconference earlier this week. “Notre Dame wouldn’t be undefeated without him. But I watched the game, and he went 10-15 minutes without his name being mentioned on TV. That doesn’t happen when you’re a star running back or quarterback. That’s why it is so difficult for a defensive player to win because you don’t get mentioned.”

As for Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Danielson doesn’t think the freshman thing should be counted against him.

“In modern sports, we’ve been able to toss out age as the biggest qualifier,” Danielson said. “Even though, he is listed as a freshman, he is in his second year of eligibility. He’s the same as Tebow (who won the Heisman as a sophomore). Tebow basically was doing quarterback sneaks his freshman year. I don’t see where (Manziel) has any less experience. I don’t think he should be disqualified because of his age.”

Danielson’s partner, Verne Lundquist, also thinks Manziel has a good shot to win the Heisman.

“I would not be surprised if he won,” Lundquist said. “He’s probably earned it.”

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Danielson had an interesting take on the SEC coach openings at Auburn, Tennessee, and Arkansas. He thinks prospective candidates should have “second thoughts” before diving into those programs.

“It’s because of the expectations,” Danielson said. “At Tennessee, Auburn and Arkansas, people are expecting you to at least compete for a national title every year. If you’re going to leave a cozy job, you better know what you’re getting into.

“They all have unique problems. Tennessee doesn’t have a lot of football players around them. Auburn is in the shadow of the best recruiting program in the country. Arkansas, because of where they are situated, there’s a big challenge.”

 

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