Ranking the Heisman Trophy Winners of the BCS Era on NFL and CFB Success

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Ranking the Heisman Trophy Winners of the BCS Era on NFL and CFB Success
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

What began when Texas’ Ricky Williams won the Heisman Trophy 15 years ago ended Saturday night when Florida State’s Jameis Winston lofted the bronze statuette over his head.

Not only is Winston the 79th winner of the most coveted individual award in college football, he’s the last guy ever to take home the prize in the BCS era.

Since the Bowl Championship Series took over for the Bowl Alliance in 1998, 16 athletes have been called to the podium in New York City to become a part of history. 

And though it’s compelling to compare Heisman winners over eight decades of college football, it’s more relevant to do so over a specific era.


Our BCS-era Heisman rankings are based on the following criteria: total Heisman points, statistical FBS rankings, team record, championships, overall draft pick, Pro Bowls and weighted career approximate value (as calculated by Sports-Reference.com).

Undergraduates Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel are given the benefit of solid NFL careers.

Reggie Bush, who forfeited his Heisman Trophy, was not ranked. 

Statistics courtesy of the Heisman, College Football Statistics, Sports Reference/College Football, Pro- Football-Reference.com and College Football Data Warehouse. 

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