What would happen if the Heisman was voted on after the bowl seasons?
Heisman Trophy: What if voted on after bowl games, 2010-2013
It’s a college football tradition to award the Heisman Trophy, the premier individual prize in all of sports, in between the end of the regular season and the bowls. What would happen if the voting was done after the season was over?
2013 Jameis Winston, QB Florida State
The Final Three Were … 1) Winston, 2) AJ McCarron, QB Alabama, 3) Jordan Lynch, QB Northern Illinois
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been … Jameis Winston, QB Florida State
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been … 1) Winston, 2) Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M, 3) McCarron
Jameis Winston came up with 2,205 points to AJ McCarron’s 704, and it wouldn’t have been that close after the BCS championship game when Winston brought his Seminoles back with an all-timer of a game-winning drive to take the national championship. McCarron’s Alabama team might have lost to Oklahoma, and McCarron might have been upstaged by Trevor Knight, but the Heisman runner-up had himself a game, completing 63% of his passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns with two picks. However, the talk of the bowl season – at least until the title game, was Johnny Manziel after going nutso on Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, mounting an epic comeback completing 30-of-38 passes for 382 yards and four touchdowns, and running 11 times for 73 yards and a score. Mr. Football finished fifth in the voting – that would’ve changed.
No. 3 man Jordan Lynch had a rough time in Northern Illinois’ 21-14 bowl loss to Utah State, throwing for 216 yards and a touchdown with a pick, but being held to 39 yards and a score on 18 carries. Fourth-place finisher Andre Williams of Boston College closed out his career with a thud, running for 75 yards and a score on 26 carries in the 42-19 loss to Arizona. Likely finishing third, or fourth at worst, was Auburn’s Tre Mason, who almost won Auburn the national title running for 195 tough yards and a key late score on 34 carries before Winston came up with something special.
2012 Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
The Final Three Were … 1) Manziel, 2) Manti Te’o, LB Notre Dame, 3) Collin Klein, QB Kansas State
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been … Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been … 1) Manziel, 2) Te’o, 3) Klein
Manziel didn’t exactly squeak out a close victory over Te’o – 2,029 points to 1,706 – but it would’ve been a massive landslide after the bowls. 321 first place votes went to Te’o, and while the stats weren’t bad against Alabama making ten tackles, the horrible overall performance would’ve been costly.
Manziel, who ran for 229 yards and two scores and threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl blowout over Oklahoma, would’ve at least taken away 150 first place votes, if not a lot more considering almost no one would’ve voted for Klein, who struggled with just 30 rushing yards and 151 passing through the air with two picks in the Fiesta loss to Kansas State. The problem is that there might not have been another option to bounce Klein out of the No. 3 spot.
Marqise Lee finished fourth in the voting, but USC tanked in the bowl loss to Georgia Tech, and while sixth-place finisher Jadeveon Clowney came up with the signature tackle of the bowl season in the win over Michigan, he only got 61 points the first time around while Klein got 894.
Braxton Miller was fifth in the voting, but not playing in a bowl game would’ve hurt. No. 7 man Jordan Lynch didn’t help himself in NIU’s Orange Bowl loss to Florida State, and No. 8 vote getter Tavon Austin of West Virginia wouldn’t have had a shot after the Pinstripe loss to Syracuse. Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Jarvis Jones of Georgia, ninth and tenth, respectively, were too far back in the pack.
2011 Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
The Final Three Were … 1) Griffin, 2) Andrew Luck, QB Stanford, 3) Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been … Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been … 1) Griffin, 2) Luck, 3) Richardson
RG3 won the Heisman because he was among the most exciting playmakers college football had ever seen, but he was merely above-average in the Alamo Bowl win over Washington – Terrance Ganaway ran for 200 yards and five scores as one of three Bears to go over 100 yards. Griffin’s 295 passing yards and 55 rushing yards and a score weren’t bad.
Andrew Luck would’ve made the margin closer after completing 27-of-31 passes for 347 yards and two scores with a pick in the loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, while Trent Richardson ran for 96 yards and a score to help Alabama win the national title. Montee Ball was great against Oregon in the Rose Bowl loss, running for 164 yards and a score and catching four passes for 51 yards, but the high-riser would’ve been Houston’s Case Keenum, who embarrassed Penn State with 532 passing yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win.
2010 Cam Newton, QB Auburn
The Final Three Were … 1) Newton, 2) Andrew Luck, QB Stanford, 3) LaMichael James, RB Oregon
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been … Cam Newton, QB Auburn
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been … 1) Newton, 2) Luck, 3) Kellen Moore, QB Boise State
While Cam wasn’t necessarily Cam in the BCS Championship win over Oregon, but he was Cam enough, completing 20-of-34 passes for 265 yards and two scores with a pick, and running 22 times for 64 yards. Meanwhile, James was stuffed for 49 yards on just 13 carries. Luck destroyed Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, completing 18-of-23 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns with a pick, but it still wouldn’t have been enough to get past Newton. Moore and Boise State obliterated Utah 26-3 with a 28-of-38 day for 339 yards and two scores with a pick.