Meet the Manning Finalists – Andy Dalton park
Andy Dalton (TCU, Junior) has led TCU to its first 12-0 season in program history. The Horned Frogs clinched the outright Mountain West Conference Championship and will appear in their first ever BCS bowl. After closing the season with a 51-10 victory over New Mexico, the Horned Frogs will face Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan.4 at 7 p.m. CT on Fox. For the season, Dalton has completed 174-of-279 passes for 2,484 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. His passer rating of 159.59 ranks sixth nationally. Also, he is fourth on the team in rushing with 522 yards. Capping off the season, Dalton earned his 29th victory as TCU's starting quarterback, tying him for the most in Horned Frog history with Sammy Baugh, who quarterbacked TCU in the 2nd Sugar Bowl Classic played in 1936 when TCU beat LSU, 3-2. Dalton is 29-6 overall (.829) with 7,185 career passing yards, which is just 186 shy of claiming the top spot in that category at TCU.
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 quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
The first five winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who's Who list at the quarterback position. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. Last season's winner was Florida's Tim Tebow, who is making his bid to become the first two-time winner of the honor this year.