Manziel could struggle in Cotton

Will Johnny Football run wild? We take on several 'myths' for bowl season

Originally Published: December 20, 2012
By Brad Edwards | ESPN Insider
Johnny ManzielAP Photo/Dave MartinDon't be surprised if Johnny Manziel is slowed down a bit during the Cotton Bowl.

Each year, the bowl season provides us the opportunity to see many competitive matchups, but those often come with dynamics that don't exist in the regular season.

Whether it's the longer-than-normal time between games, coaching changes, academic suspensions or unequal motivational levels, there are factors at work in the bowls that give us the need to think a little more than usual when analyzing these games.

Here are a few assumptions likely to be made this bowl season that might not play out as simply as logic would suggest.

1. Johnny Manziel will have his way with the Oklahoma defense
Manziel ranks second in the nation in total offense (383 yards per game), and Oklahoma stumbled down the stretch defensively, allowing 33 points per game in the second half of the season. But Manziel recently became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, and the attention gained from it may have created significant distractions for a player who previously hadn't dealt with the media.

That's just one reason to be concerned about Manziel being able to pick up in the Cotton Bowl where he left off at the end of the regular season. Here's another.


To read more from Brad Edwards on why Johnny Manziel could struggle against Oklahoma, plus see the rest of his surprising predictions for bowl season, you must be an ESPN Insider.

• Analyzes college football and the BCS as part of ESPN's Stats & Information Group
• Analyst for both College GameDay on ESPN Radio and the ESPN College Football app