10 Biggest Hesiman Snubs of All Time
The 10 Biggest Heisman Snubs of All Time
Every season, the best player in college football is awarded the Heisman Trophy by former winners and media members, and almost every season after the winner is crowned, there is debate over who won and who should have won. Some years the debate is frivolous, just a bunch of nothing created by talking-heads to create viewers and listeners, and other years there is real controversy, or ignorance, I'll let you decide.
Back in the good 'ol days, there were writers and media members that wouldn't vote for player who wasn't an upperclassman, which is ridiculous; you're either the best player in the country, or you're not, it's pretty simple really. There was also the black-eye era of American society in the 50s, 60s and early 70s when people should have known better, but still refused to give any credit to a player unless he was white. There are also the seasons when voters are swayed by the "Heisman Moment." For those that are unaware, the "Heisman moment" is that moment when media members see a play, or series of plays near the end of the college football season, and lose their heads like a 12-year-old girl at a Justin Beiber concert, and vote based on that moment instead of the season. And there is also just regular stupidity, when a voter would shows favoritism to a specific school, or decides that the Heisman, for some reason had become a career achievement award, and give it to a player just because of their cumulative college career, instead of what the award really is, the best player for that one season. Come on guys, this isn't hard, there is a reason they give one out every year.
The seasons in which the Heisman was given to less deserving players, and in some cases undeserving players is what makes this list. These are the top 10 greatest snubs of the award. The 10 players who had their hearts ripped out, all their hard work ignored, because the voters had a different agenda. These are all travesties and crimes that have been committed by the Heisman Trophy voters.
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10. Vince Young (Texas) 2005
Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy in 2005, keeping Vince Young from completing one of the most memorable seasons in college football history. Bush had to eventually return his Heisman because his parents were staying in a home that was given to them by a runner for USC. Young should have won this award anyway. He had the best season of any college player in 2005. His Texas squad played a much tougher strength of schedule, as well as beating USC in the National Championship.
Bush led the country in yards from scrimmage, and that's it; Young had over 3,000 yards passing, over 1,000 yards rushing and 38 total touchdowns. He was the ultimate dual-threat. As much of a rushing-receiving threat as Bush was, Young was more dangerous as a passer-runner. His team was better, his stats were better and he wasn't caught taking impermissible benefits. That last one didn't become known until well after Bush's USC career was over, but that just makes the Heisman decision of 2005 look even more dumb.
9. Rex Grossman (Florida) 2001
Rex Grossman got screwed because voters decided to give a career achievement award to Eric Crouch. Grossman threw for just under 4,000 yards and had 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Crouch had seven passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions; he threw the ball nearly 200 less times than Grossman, yet had only two fewer picks. Crouch did have 1,115 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns, but those numbers pail in comparison to other running quarterbacks, and when you throw in his atrocious passing numbers, he is even worse.
Florida finished with a better record for the season, they were ranked third in the final poll, while Nebraska was eighth. This award was given to Crouch because he was a senior and Grossman was a sophomore. If Grossman was the senior and Crouch the sophomore, Crouch would not have even been on the ballot, and that's a fact. Crouch had similar seasons as a sophomore and junior, and didn't finish in the top 10 either year. Grossman put up video-game numbers in the SEC, and was robbed because of his age.
8. Marshall Faulk (SDSU) 1992
This wasn't a great year for the Heisman, so it was assumed the Heisman voters would go ahead and give the award to a sophomore for the first time in history. Instead, the voters gave the award to Gino Torretta, the slightly above-average quarterback from the most hyped college team of all time, the 1992 Miami Hurricanes. Marshall Faulk led the nation in rushing as a sophomore, and had 15 touchdowns. Torretta had 3,060 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions; he wasn't exactly lighting up scoreboards.
This is one of the harder snubs to sell considering San Diego State was 5-5-1 this season, but if you watched football that year, you followed Faulk. You followed Miami too, but it wasn't for Torretta, well unless you had an affinity for slow moving quarterbacks that look like accountants, if that's the case, then you watched Torretta.
7. Joe Theismann (Notre Dame) 1970
Notre Dame has been known to get favorable treatment in the voting process throughout the years, but for some reason Joe Theismann had a very similar season to Jim Plunkett in 1970, but Plunkett won the Heisman. Thesimann played one less game than Plunkett, but was only 451 passing yards and three touchdowns behind. Theismann also had five fewer interceptions, 175 more rushing yards and one more rushing touchdowns. These men have similar statistics, with a slight edge going to Theismann. He did play with two All-Americans on the offensive side of the ball, and that probably hurt him. The fact that Theismann's Notre Dame team finished with a 10-1 record, and Plunkett went 9-3 at Stanford, you have to give the Heisman to Theismann.
6. Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh) 2003
Larry Fitzgerald lost the Heisman to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White. He had very good numbers; he threw for almost 4,000 yards, and had a 40 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions, but Fitzgerald was a beast. White played in a pass-happy offense that allowed him to amass huge numbers, while Fitzgerald was catching passes from Rod Rutherford. Yeah, I don't remember that either. Fitzgerald had 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns, which accounted for all but 15 of Rutherford's touchdown passes. White was eventually exposed when the Sooners were beaten in the Big 12 Championship by Kansas State.
5. Robbie Bosco (BYU) 1984
This was the year that Doug Flutie threw the Hail Mary to beat Miami, and send Boston College to the Cotton Bowl, and the photo above is the statue commemorating the play that won the Heisman for Flutie. He had that "Heisman Moment" and it cost Robbie Bosco the trophy. Flutie was a very good college quarterback, but he was a bit of a novelty act. People saw his size, or should I say lack of size, and were amazed at his skill level. In the 1984 season, Bosco had more yards, more touchdowns, a higher completion percentage and less interceptions. Oh, and BYU won the National Title that season. Bosco's season was better, and his team was better; this was a no-brainer for voters, but they decided to go with Flutie, because he had that memorable moment.
4. O.J. Simpson (USC) 1967
O.J. Simpson should have been the first multiple Heisman Trophy winner; he won the award one year later. Simpson was snubbed in 1967 in favor of Gary Beban. He was the quarterback for UCLA, and in 1967 he threw for a blistering 1,359 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Beban did have 11 rushing touchdowns, but he only had 226 rushing yards and averaged 1.6 yards per rush. He got the job done inside the 10, but that was it. Simpson, on the other hand, was a Jim Brown-type runner, who lit up college football. Simpson averaged 5.4 yards per carry, and had 13 touchdowns. O.J. not winning this award was maybe some foreshadowing by the karma gods, but it was still an absolute injustice him not receiving the Heisman in 1967.
3. Chuck Muncie (California) 1975
Archie Griffin won the Heisman for the second-consecutive year in 1975, becoming the first, and only, player to win the award multiple times. The problem with Griffin winning the award the second time is that he didn't have a great year, he didn't even have a good year. In 1975, Chuck Muncie had 10 more rushing yards, 222 more receiving yards and 13 more touchdowns, and somehow finished second to Griffin. Granted, Griffin's Ohio State team did finish fourth compared to Muncie's California team that finished 14th, but he only had four touchdowns. How do you win a Heisman with only four touchdowns? Kick returners and defensive players get more than four touchdowns.
The odd thing is that some voters have these weird intricacies when it comes to voting. You see where freshmen didn't get votes, or how a guy will get one based on career achievement, but there is no reason to give Griffin a second Heisman just because he won it the year before. There was nothing about the 1975 season that led anyone to believe Griffin had the best college football season.
2. Tommy McDonald (Oklahoma) 1956
Tommy McDonald had the most amount of first-place votes in 1956, but somehow finished third overall. The winner that year, Paul Hornung, threw for three touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and still won the Heisman. I know what you are thinking; his Notre Dame team must have been amazing that year, huh? Nope. The Fighting Irish went 2-8 in 1956, while McDonald was leading his Oklahoma Sooners to a 10-0 record and a National Championship. Hornung winning this award was a fraud for the ages. McDonald was better -- 835 rushing yards, 7.2 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns -- and his team was the best in the country.
I wasn't around in 1956, and I am sure most of you weren't either, but if something like this happened nowadays we would break Twitter, Facebook. Google+ and anything else pertaining to the internet. It would all be gone. The outrage from this season is that Jim Brown finished fifth, but he only played eight games. Brown was great, and several voters left him off because he wasn't white, which is ridiculous, but McDonald had the better season and won a title.
1. Peyton Manning (Tennessee) 1997
Peyton Manning was denied the Heisman Trophy following his senior year at Tennessee by a defensive back. That's right, one of the greatest quarterbacks to every play the sport, one who finished in the top eight of the Heisman three different times, lost to Charles Woodson, the defensive back from Michigan. Manning is the most notorious victim of the "Heisman moment." When Woodson returned a punt for a touchdown against Ohio State, and picked off a pass in the end zone during the fourth quarter, helping the Wolverines hold on to beat the Buckeyes, he secured the Heisman. At that very moment every talking-head on ESPN wet themselves with enjoyment.
Manning had a sensational career at Tennessee, and went on to be the No. 1 pick in the next NFL draft, but this is a thorn that sticks in his side. Losing the Heisman to a defensive player had to sting. He has spent his career making defensive players look foolish, but was denied the most noticeable award in sports because of a defensive back. Woodson had seven interceptions that season, and four total touchdowns, and that somehow equated to a better season than Manning's 3,819 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Defensive backs do not have the kind of imprint on a game the way quarterbacks do. Woodson had a great season, and was the best defensive back in the country, but when have you ever watched a defensive back and thought: "that's the best player I've seen this year?" Manning losing the 1997 Heisman isn't just the biggest Heisman snub of all time, its one of the biggest snubs in all of sports.