Cubs

Te'o remains a longshot for Heisman Trophy

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Te'o remains a longshot for Heisman Trophy

Two secondary consequences of Kansas State and Oregon's losses Saturday night were the blows to the Heisman candidacies of Collin Klein and Kenjon Barner, both of whom struggled in their respective defeats.

Manti Te'o secured a trip to New York as a Heisman finalist after securing Notre Dame's win over Oklahoma with a fourth-quarter interception. But his chances of winning it remain low, despite Klein and Barner falling off a bit.

Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel looks like favorite to win the Heisman at this point, while neither Klein nor Barner should be counted out. But as long as there's a quarterback putting up gaudy numbers -- Manziel has thrown for 3,047 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 1,114 yards and 17 touchdowns -- Te'o's chances are slim.

His coach, though, will campaign for him as long as Notre Dame wins Nov. 24 against USC.

"I think he should win the Heisman Trophy, provided we continue to win," Brian Kelly said Sunday. "... He doesn't talk much about it. He's not focused on those things, he's focused on the things that we all know that are important to him, and that is his team and how we play on Saturday.

"I'll push for him. I think he should win the Heisman. But he's not really focused on that."

There's an argument to be made that the physical and emotional leader of one of the nation's best defenses deserves the honor reserved for the best player on college football. But Te'o's impact is far more difficult to quantify than that of Manziel, who is the first freshman in NCAA history to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000.

At the least, there's a good chance Te'o winds up at the Heisman ceremony in New York as a finalist -- a rarity for a defense-only player. And it won't be the only award ceremony Te'o will be attending -- he's a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player), Lombardi Award (best linebackerlineman), Campbell Trophy (top scholar athlete) and Senior CLASS Award (top student athlete), as well as a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (best defensive player), Butkus Award (best linebacker), Walter Camp Award (player of the year), Lott Trophy (best playerstudentcommunity member) and Maxwell Award (player of the year).

"The only thing we talked about is that he's going to be with me after the USC game quite a bit because we've got a lot of banquets and awards shows to be at," Kelly said. "So the only thing that I've talked to him about is that we have a hope that we'll be in New York together in a couple of weeks."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Yu Darvish, Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa and more

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Yu Darvish, Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa and more

Tuesday on Sports Talk Live, David Kaplan along with Chris Bleck, Rich Campbell and Jordan Bernfield discuss:

            -the posibility of the Cubs signing Yu Darvish and the need for one more pitcher in the rotation

            -Jim Thome looking like he'll be inducted into Cooperstown tomorrow

            -Sammy Sosa's Hall of Fame chances

            -Corey Crawford back to working out as the Hawks losing continues

            -DeMarcus Cousins with a game for the ages, but is his baggage worth signing him?

            -Do the Eagles have a chance of beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl?

1-on-1 with Antioch quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis

1-on-1 with Antioch quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis

Need proof that the college football recruiting process is evaluating and offering players younger than ever before? All you need to do is ask Antioch quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis (6-foot-3, 185 pounds).

Kaliakmanis, who as a freshman was Carmel's starting quarterback before transferring to his home school district after the fall semester, recently landed his first verbal scholarship from Syracuse. Kaliakmanis, who is also on several college recruiting radar screens this winter, was easily one of the stronger performers in a loaded quarterback field at the recently held EDGYTIM MLK Underclassmen Showcase, powered by EFT Football Academy. 

I caught up with Kaliakmanis and discussed how Syracuse gave him his first scholarship, his recent transfer to Antioch and much more.