For the first time since winning the national championship back in 1988, Notre Dame has finished a season undefeated, but does Notre Dame's best player deserve the most prestigious hardware?
Irish linebacker and captain Manti Te'o is expected to be among the five finalists announced for the Heisman when its announced on December 3rd. The Heisman Trophy winner will be announced on December 8th in New York City.
Only once before has a defensive player won the Heisman, that was Charles Woodson. Most feel this is the next best chance.
For Irish coach Brian Kelly, there's no doubt.
"If a guy like Manti Te'o is not going to win the Heisman then they should just make it an offensive award," Kelly said Saturday night after Notre Dame beat USC. "Just give it to an offensive player ever year and let's cut to the chase."
"He's the backbone of a 12-0 football team that has proven itself each and every week--if the Heisman Trophy is what it is, I just don't know how Manti Te'o is left out of that conversation."
Manti's teammates agree.
"He has my vote," said senior running back Theo Riddick.
"Definitely, definitely," quarterback Everett Golson said when asked if Manti should win it.
So what is Manti saying?
"I'd rather go to the national championship and now that I know that I am, if I win--that would be great and it would be a great honor for my family but if i don't, I'd rather win in Miami," Te'o said Saturday.
The front runner for the Heisman is Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel.