Legacies of the ‘runners-up’

The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts are 0-12. They have barely been able to keep themselves in the games they’ve participated in this year. Since selecting Peyton Manning in 1998, the Colts have been contenders in the Super Bowl hunt.

Four years ago Manning won the Super Bowl.

Ever since he has come into the NFL Peyton Manning has been a force. He is arguably the smartest quarterback in the NFL and he’s something to watch in action. When Peyton gets to the line of scrimmage he then decides if he’ll keep the play he called in the huddle, or if he’ll make an audible. (Peyton makes a lot of audibles).

He can read defenses; some would say he studies the game like none other. But I digress. Peyton Manning went for surgery in the NFL offseason. His neck was not healed by the time the season started. At this point he’s done for the season, especially after a second neck surgery.

And no team is closer to getting the number one pick in the 2012 NFL draft than Manning’s team the Indianapolis Colts.

All we’ve ever heard since the early stages of the NFL season is ‘We want Luck. We want Luck.’ Colts fans are making their own NFL jerseys that have Luck’s name and number on their back.

And who is Andrew Luck? He’s the next coming of Peyton Manning. Or so the experts say. He’s the NCAA college quarterback who will live up to the hype. As it stands quarterbacks, especially Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks, tend to be over-hyped. Don’t believe me? Check out the winners of college football’s MVP in the 10 years since Peyton was runner-up in 1997.

Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Carson Palmer, Jason White, Matt Leinart, Troy Smith and Tim Tebow. Aside from Tebow, what have these guys done?

In the same time span, here are the runners up. The quarterbacks that were not Heisman winners are Rex Grossman, Michael Vick, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Tim Tebow. Need I say more.

On Saturday, for the second year in a row Andrew Luck was a runner-up for the Heisman. But based on the class of runners up for the Heisman, he stands in good company and just may be a good bet to literally be the next Peyton Manning.