Heisman Trophy 2012: Biggest Snubs Who Should Have Been Named Finalists

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Wide receiver Marqise Lee #9 of the USC Trojans carries the ball on an 80 yard touchdown pass play in front of safety Keelan Johnson #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first quarter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 10, 2012  in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The finalists for the Heisman Trophy have been revealed, but there are a lot of big names that were missing from the list.

Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is the favorite after an unbelievable year with Texas A&M. He finished the regular season with 4,600 yards of total offense, which broke the previous record for an SEC player.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein were also invited to New York, and each have a solid chance of taking home the prestigious award.

However, there are a number of players who deserved to be included after excellent years. These were the biggest snubs from the Heisman presentation.


Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

The sophomore quarterback was almost a one-man team for Ohio State this season.

Although the Buckeyes were ineligible for the postseason, Braxton Miller still led the squad to a perfect 12-0 record. 

He finished with 1,271 rushing yards this year, which was second-most among quarterbacks in FBS. Miller is also one of only three players with over 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards.

Ohio State was punished for actions of players and coaches no longer on the team, and Miller should not have to suffer for those issues. He had a great year and should be considered a finalist for the Heisman.


Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Those poor NFL teams are going to have to wait one more year until Marqise Lee can declare for the draft.

When that happens, however, he has the talent to be one of the first players taken.

Lee was second in the nation with 1,680 receiving yards and third with 14 touchdowns. In a loss to Arizona, the receiver had 16 catches for 345 yards and two scores.

Voters are often shy about voting for players at non-essential positions, but it also means that Lee should not be blamed for USC's five losses.

He was the best player at his position this year and one of the best at any position. This should garner more consideration for the top award in the sport.


Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois

The debate over whether Northern Illinois deserved an Orange Bowl bid will continue throughout the month. However, there is no questioning the accomplishments of the team or quarterback Jordan Lynch.

Lynch led the nation with 1,771 rushing yards this season. That is not only among quarterbacks, but that includes everyone.

Still, he was not limited to just running the ball. He finished just short of 3,000 passing yards and threw 24 touchdown passes to only five interceptions.

He was the main reason that the Huskies won 12 games in a row to end the year and will play for a BCS bowl.

Players from smaller schools do not often get considered for the Heisman, but there should have been an exception this year.


Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

After five games, Geno Smith was not only a Heisman contender but the favorite.

Since that point, his team struggled mightily and West Virginia ended with a 7-5 record.

However, the quarterback still had an amazing year from a statistical standpoint. He led the nation with 40 touchdown passes, was second with a 71.4 completion percentage and was one of only four players with over 4,000 passing yards.

Amazingly, he only threw six interceptions in 490 attempts.

The defense for the Mountaineers allowed 38.1 points per game, which ranked 116th in the country. If this unit performed better, who knows what the team's record would be?

A quarterback has a big effect on the game, but he played well enough this year that he should be considered one of the best in the country regardless of what his team accomplished.