Robert Griffin, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram: You Just Won the Heisman! (Or Did You?)

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Robert Griffin, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram: You Just Won the Heisman! (Or Did You?)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
RG3 - the latest Heisman winner.

The Heisman.  In all of college football, there is no more honored and coveted an award. 

Given annually to the nation's best college football player since 1935, it's a hotly contested subject by both the players on the field and the fans and sportswriters off it.  Only one time has one player managed to win it twice: Ohio State's Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975.

But does the Heisman equal NFL greatness?  Hardly.  For every Hall of Famer like Roger Staubach and Marcus Allen, there is a Gino Torretta or Archie Griffin.  Or worse, a Charlie Ward or Ray Berwanger, both of whom won it and never played NFL football.  

Is there a way to better narrow down the best players, in order to find those who will take the mantle of Heisman winner into the NFL and exit an All-Star? 

Sadly, I would wager to say no.  One point I constantly argue throughout is strength of schedule.  More specifically, all those cupcake games top-25 schools play against bottom-25 schools, or even worse, FCS schools. 

I decided to take those games away from the last three Heisman winners and their runner-ups and see what was left of their stats.  No more six touchdown games against South Dakota Polytechnic to buff the stats.  Will it make a difference?  Will it change your mind as to who really should have won the trophy that year?  Maybe, maybe not. 

It's an experiment to see if it really matters, if there really is a correlation.  It's too early to tell much of these players' careers, but there are already a few interesting revelations that shouldn't be ignored.  I chose the last three years, but in part two of this series I'll go back another three years and see whose NFL careers have risen and whose has fallen. 

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