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Why I hate the Heisman

Why I hate the Heisman



Posted on December 8, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 8 at 9:00 PM

I hate the Heisman Trophy.

Hate it, because it is not at all what it's supposed to be. The Heisman Trophy is the single-most prestigious individual award in all of sports, but only a handful of college football players begin the season with a chance to win it.

The Heisman is supposedly awarded to the most outstanding college football player. In reality, is it awarded to the best quarterback or running back from a top-10 team. And until four years ago, the winner was also "required" to be an upper-classman (Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford were the first sophomores to win the trophy).

Consider the last 11 Heisman winners - using the Associated Press ranking at the time the trophy was awarded:

2010: Cam Newton, #1 Auburn

2009: Mark Ingram, #1 Alabama

2008: Sam Bradford, #2 Oklahoma

2007: Tim Tebow, #9 Florida

2006: Troy Smith, #1 Ohio State

2005: Reggie Bush, #1 USC (since forfeited)

2004: Matt Leinart, #1 USC

2003: Jason White, #3 Oklahoma

2002: Carson Palmer, #5 USC

2001: Eric Crouch, #4 Nebraska

2000:  Chris Weinke, #3 Florida State

That's nine quarterbacks, two running backs, and an average ranking of 3rd in the AP poll before the bowl games.

Coming into the 2011 season, there have been 76 Heisman winners. All but two were juniors or seniors. 42 of them were running backs, and 29 were quarterbacks. That leaves two "ends" (1936 and 1949), two wide receivers, and one defensive player (Charles Woodson, although he had to mix in a few catches on offense to lock it up).

I hate the Heisman trophy because the one thing is supposedly represents - the best player in college football - is not that thing at all.  In reality, the Heisman trophy is awarded to college football's most outstanding skill position player from a top-10 team. Despite those restrictions, it is regarded as the most prestigious individual award in sports.

twitter: @tedmadden