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 list of Manning Award winners reads like a Who's Who for the quarterback position. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner in 2005 after a stellar undefeated regular season and an outstanding performance in the BCS National Championship Game. He passed for 332 yards and five touchdowns in the Trojans' 55-19 win over Oklahoma. Leinart was selected 10th in the 2006 NFL draft and is currently with the Arizona Cardinals.
In 2006, Texas' Vince Young claimed the Award as he led his undefeated Longhorns to a national championship over defending BCS champion USC. Young completed 30-of-40 passes for 267 yards and rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the 41-38 victory. His 8-yard touchdown with 19 seconds remaining lifted Texas to the win. Young was the NFL's third overall pick in 2006 and is currently with the Tennessee Titans.
LSU's JaMarcus Russell captured the third annual Manning Award after his performance in the 2007 Sugar Bowl. He completed 21-of-34 passes for 332 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for another 16 yards and a score in the Tiger's 41-14 victory over Notre Dame. Russell was selected first overall in the NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders.
In 2008, Boston College's Matt Ryan was honored as he led his team to three road wins over ranked teams, and capped off his season with a three-touchdown performance in leading the Eagles to a 24-21 win over Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl. Ryan went on to be selected third overall in the 2008 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Presented with the honor in 2009, Tim Tebow collected the prestigious honor after leading the Florida Gators to the BCS National Championship with a hard-fought victory over Oklahoma in Miami. He threw for 231 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also rushing for 109 yards in the win. The Heisman Trophy winner in 2007, Tebow threw for 2,746 yards with 30 touchdowns while running for 673 yards and another 12 touchdowns as a junior.
The 2010 winner, Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, continued the tradition of excellence to be honored by this award. McCoy led Texas to a perfect 13-0 regular season record, completing 70.6 percent of his passes for 3,521 yards with 27 touchdowns.
In 2011, Cameron Newton earned the Manning Award honor after leading the Tigers to their first national championship since 1957. For the season, the College Park, Ga., product rushed for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns while passing for 2,854 yards and 30 scores. He also caught one touchdown pass to account for a school season record 51 touchdowns. The junior also set Auburn single-season records for rushing touchdowns, passing touchdowns, total offense and rushing yards by a quarterback.
Robert Griffin, III, the sensational breakthrough talent of the 2011 college football season, was selected as the winner of the 2011-12 Manning Award. The junior signal-caller set or tied 54 school records in three full seasons at Baylor, finishing the 2011 season with school records of 4,293 yards, 37 passing touchdowns and a passer efficiency rating of 189.5 (second-best in NCAA FBS history).
This past year's Manning Award winner was the sensational freshman star from Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel. Manziel's spectacular debut season featured a long list of unprecedented accomplishments. In addition to becoming the first freshman to win the Manning Award, he was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and the Davey O'Brien Award. He was the first freshman in FBS history, and just the fifth player ever, to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season.