Photo Courtesy: Heisman.com
Ohio State Legendary Running Back Archie Griffin is the first and last college football player to win the Heisman Trophy twice and it looks more and more like he will be the only one.
Saturday night, 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel came in 5th place–to Florida State’s Jameis Winston–in his bid to win sports most prestigious trophy. Which is an atrocity If you look at his 2013 season. Manziel isn’t the first defending Heisman Trophy winner to well fall short of repeating, which only proves, those that have a say in whether or not another player accomplishes the feat again, won’t.Since 1975, when Archie Griffin won his second Heisman after his senior season, seven defending Heisman winners returned to school the following season. Only Florida Gator Quarterback Tim Tebow, in 2008 came close to repeating. He was 151 points behind eventually winner, Oklahoma Sooner Quarterback Sam Bradford, but had the most first place votes–309 to Bradford’s 300. Even still, Tebow finish third overall in the total vote.
Since then, the returning winners have only fallen farther and farther away from hoisting the twenty five pound bronzed statue a second time. Even harder to fathom, is why defending winners are doing worse in the final vote. Since Tim Tebow’s third trip to New York in 2009–when he came in fifth place–the two following returning winners, Oklahoma’s Bradford and Alabama’s Mark Ingram (2009 winner) didn’t even place.
In 2008, Tim Tebow led his Florida Gators to a 13-1 record, a second BCS National Title in three years while throwing for 2,747 yards and 30 touchdowns, ran for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns. That was the season he finished third. He followed that Season with better stats, a career high 70.1 completion rate with 2,895 passing yards and 21 touchdowns, while running for another 14 touchdowns and a career high 910 yards. Yet he came in fifth place.
In 2013, Manziel threw for career highs in touchdowns with 33 and yards 3,732 yards–he threw for 3,706 in 2012–with a bowl game to add to his total. His rushing yards of 686 are well below his 1,410 from 2012, but he has had several signature moments in 2013 and was considered a front runner before the loss to LSU. And don’t give me the argument he lost the Trophy because his team lost four games, so did the Tebow led Gators the season he won the “bronze stiff arm.” So you tell me what’s going on. It’s becoming more clear that the trusted (sarcasm) Heisman voters don’t even want there to be a close call a player wins the award twice.
I’m not saying Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston didn’t deserved to win. When you take in to account individual and team success, he was the clear cut best player in College Football. I’m just saying Manziel and other defending winners deserved a better showing and respect from voters. You won’t find a Heisman voter to come out and say they don’t want to see another two time winner, but the evidence clearly shows they don’t.
I understand the Heisman is a prestigious honor. As a native of Columbus, I’ve seen first hand how Archie Griffin is highly regarded as the “Only Two Time Heisman Winner.” He and The Ohio State University has great pride in it, so does majority of central Ohio. Maybe the voters prefer to keep it like that on a historic level as well, and only want to bestow that honor to one man. As new, younger voters are included in the vote, maybe there will eventually be another to join Griffin’s exclusive room in the Heisman house. Winston will have his chance in the next two seasons, but based on what I’ve seen, I highly doubt he will. Just like I don’t think we will ever see another defensive player like Charles Woodson win the award, but that’s another story.