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.
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.