Prior to the 2004 college football season, 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 college football quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting; therefore, it is presented annually following the completion of the bowl season. The winner is selected by a panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl announced the official preseason Watch List for the 2014-15 Manning Award on Thursday, Aug. 14. The finalists for this year's Manning Award will be released on Wednesday, December 3 (DATE CHANGE DUE TO THANKSGIVING). The winner is scheduled to be named on Jan. 14, following the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game.
During the 2014 college football season, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will select multiple Manning Award Stars of the Week each week. Following those selections, fans will have the opportunity to vote for the overall Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. Over the course of 13 weeks last season, 66 players from 60 different schools were recognized and fans voted 47,802 times.
Jameis Winston, fresh off leading his Florida State team to the BCS National Championship, was selected as the 2013-14 winner of the Manning Award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the top quarterback in the nation.
"On behalf of the Manning family and my sons Peyton and Eli, we want to thank the Allstate Sugar Bowl for creating this award," said Archie Manning. "We like to think this award is a little unique because we wait until after the bowl games to recognize the best quarterback in the country for the entire year. We are truly honored to present this award to Jameis Winston after an outstanding year as a quarterback at Florida State. He had an undefeated team that climaxed with a great win in Pasadena on Monday night."
"It means a lot to have my name next to ‘Manning,'" Winston said. "With the accolades that Peyton and Eli and Mr. Manning have had in college and in professional football, it makes me so happy to get announced as the winner of this award."
The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner following the regular season, Winston added to his accomplishments by being named the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the BCS National Championship. With the Seminoles trailing 31-27 with 1:11 to go in the game, Winston took charge from his own 20-yard line, completing 5-of-6 passes to get his team to the two-yard line before finding Kelvin Benjamin for a two-yard touchdown connection to clinch the title with 13 seconds remaining.
Winston is the second freshman to earn the honor, joining 2012-13 honoree, Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M. He is also the second Atlantic Coast Conference player to be selected (joining Boston College's Matt Ryan from 2007-08) and the fifth national champion to win the honor (joining Matt Leinart, 2004-05; Vince Young, 2005-06; Tim Tebow, 2008-09; and Cam Newton, 2010-11).
A product of Bessamer, Ala., Winston set the ACC and FBS freshman record for touchdown passes (40) and the freshman mark for passing yards (4,057), while leading the nation in total quarterback rating (85.8) and pass efficiency rating (184.8). In addition to becoming the first freshman to capture the ACC Player of the Year award in the 61-year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, he was a consensus All-American, the Walter Camp National Player of the Year and the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Year.
During the 2013 college football season, the Allstate Sugar Bowl selected multiple Manning Award Stars of the Week each week. Following those selections, fans had the opportunity to vote for the overall Manning Award Player of the Week. Over the course of 13 weeks last season, 62 players from 59 different schools were recognized and fans voted 37,116 times.
In its first 11 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 10 different schools and from four different conferences. While the Southeastern Conference leads the way with four Manning Award winners (JaMarcus Russell, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel), Texas is the only school with two winners (Vince Young and Colt McCoy).
Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Seven of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Jameis Winston, Robert Griffin, III, and Matt Ryan, who connected for over 4,500 yards during the 2007 season. On the other hand, Young, Manziel and Newton were both 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.
Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Five of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons, including 51 scores from Newton, who threw for 30 touchdowns, ran for 20 more and added a receiving TD.
One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes into account the quarterbacks bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Ten of the 11 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor; the lone loss was McCoy's in the 2010 BCS Championship game when he suffered an early injury. In addition to McCoy, five other Manning honorees (Matt Leinart, Young, Tebow, Newton and Winston) led their team to the BCS Championship game - all five emerged victorious.
Manning Award winners have also factored prominently in the NFL Draft as they all heard their names called on Draft Day (other than Winston, who will likely be a top pick in a future draft). Two honorees were selected No. 1 overall (Russell and Newton), while three others went No. 2 or No. 3 (Young, Ryan and Griffin).
All of the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.