Could Marqise Lee Steal Heisman Trophy Votes Away from USC Teammate Matt Barkley

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterSeptember 12, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 08: Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans talks with Marqise Lee #9 during a timeout against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

If Marqise Lee continues on his remarkable tear through the college football world, he will certainly steal some votes from Matt Barkley, but not enough for the sophomore to snatch the Heisman from his teammate.

Several times over the last decade we have seen tandems push their way into Heisman contention; Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart at USC and Adrian Peterson and Jason White at Oklahoma.

In the case of Weeden and Blackmon, both players had stellar years but were ultimately left off the Top 10 in Heisman voting. One has to think if there was merely one candidate for the Pokes, perhaps they could have snuck up the chart.

As for the other cases, we have a mixed bag. The Texas Tech tandem was able to pull into the Top Five, albeit in the bottom two slots. Their 329 combined points would not have been enough to push them higher than the fourth spot that Graham Harrell already took home for the season.

For USC, both 2004 and 2005 featured two Top Five Heisman Finalists. In 2005, Reggie Bush garnered enough votes to beat out the field, including his third-place finishing quarterback, Matt Leinart. Leinart's score was less than half that of runner-up Vince Young, letting Bush essentially walk to the trophy by over 900 points.

However, it must be mentioned that Leinart was already holding a Heisman in his hands. In 2004, Leinart won the whole deal with 1,325 points while Bush finished fifth with just 597 points.

2004 is also an exercise in vote splitting for another reason: the Oklahoma duo. Adrian Peterson and Jason White finished second and third in the vote with a combined score of 1,954. They had enough points to win another Heisman for the Sooners, unfortunately, the votes were dispersed between the two players and neither of them took home the hardware.

We are all watching Marqise Lee grow into greatness and it is quite exciting. However, where Heisman is concerned, that is still Matt Barkley's award to lose, and it is highly unlikely he loses it to his sophomore teammate. If Barkley loses this Heisman, it won't be to Lee; another player will have to rise up as a solo act to grab the stiff arming trophy.

All Heisman voting numbers via Sports Reference