Reggie Bush: 10 Guys Who Deserve His Stripped Heisman
Today, Yahoo! Sports reported that the Heisman Trophy Trust is going to strip Reggie Bush's Heisman trophy because of NCAA violations. ESPN's Chris Fowler has called that report premature, saying the Trust has not come to a decision on the matter.
However, the report had me thinking, if Reggie Bush couldn't win the Heisman in 2005, who should have won it? That was a great year for college football, with plenty of great individual seasons to choose from. Also, I couldn't resist having some fun and taking a couple of my favorite historical snubs and throwing them in for fun.
Feel free to discuss my selections and offer up some of your favorite snubs in the comments.
No. 10: Larry Johnson
While he was the star of a team that only went 3-9, Larry Johnson rushed for 2,015 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2002.
Johnson didn't have a Heisman campaign from Penn State, and it showed, as he finished in third place in the Heisman voting behind Carson Palmer and Brad Banks.
Meanwhile, Johnson won the Doak Walker Award (best running back), the Maxwell Award (best player), and the Walter Camp Award (best player). Johnson was royally snubbed in 2002 and should have been the Heisman winner.
No. 9: Tommie Frazier
Sorry to go with another historical snub (I promise we'll get to the 2005 candidates next), but Tommie Frazier deserves his due.
In 1995, Frazier was one of the most dangerous players in college football. While he was a quarterback, his passing numbers weren't stellar. Frazier threw for 1,362 yards and 17 touchdowns—nothing to write home about. But he only threw four interceptions the entire year.
Where Frazier made his living was with his legs, as he rushed for 14 touchdowns and 604 yards. The award ended up going to Eddie George, but Frazier ended up winning the national championship while George came up small in Ohio State's biggest games.
No. 8: Laurence Maroney
Minnesota went 7-5 in 2005, but it certainly wasn't because of Maroney.
In those five losses, Maroney rushed for 548 yards and only against Penn State did he fail to break 100 yards. Maroney finished the year with 1,464 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year and never even cracked the Heisman balloting.
I think that's a joke and that Maroney, a person who was named to the All-American team that year, should have at least been up for the award.
No. 7: Jerome Harrison
To be honest, I didn't know how good of a season Jerome Harrison had until I started doing research for this article.
Harrison rushed for 1,900 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Cougars in 2005. He was probably the only bright spot in what was otherwise a miserable season for Washington State.
The Cougars went 4-7, and that probably explains why I didn't hear of Harrison's season until now. Maybe if Washington State had played better, Harrison would have had a better shot at the award.
No. 6: Drew Olson
Matt Leinart wasn't the only quarterback in the Pac-10 who could light up the stat sheet in 2005.
Drew Olson helped lead UCLA to a 10-2 record that year, throwing for 3,198 yards and 34 touchdowns while only throwing six interceptions.
The problem with Olson's resume is those two losses. UCLA was blown out of the water by Arizona (seriously, Arizona) and USC. In those two losses, the Bruins scored 33 total points. Meanwhile, UCLA topped 40 points eight times that year in victories.
Olson didn't help his team when it needed it the most, and it showed in the Heisman voting.
No. 5: DeAngelo Williams
It's hard to believe a player as explosive as DeAngelo Williams was overlooked somewhat as a college player, but Williams was in 2005.
Williams rushed for 1,964 yards on 6.3 yards per carry and 18 touchdowns for Memphis in 2005. And that is why Williams didn't have a bigger push for the award.
Playing for the Tigers and playing in Conference USA didn't give Williams the type of exposure that other players that year got playing for major programs in major conferences. It doesn't change Williams' accomplishments, but it does hurt his credibility in terms of the voters.
No. 4: Michael Robinson
The quarterback for the surprising Penn State Nittany Lions, who came out of nowhere to shock the nation and go 11-1 after several down years for the program.
Robinson emerged from a quarterback battle with Zack Mills to gain the starting job and a captain position to throw for 2,350 yards and 17 touchdowns while running for 11 more.
The quarterback was a major threat for Penn State and was a major reason the Nittany Lions were so successful. Robinson had Penn State on the doorstep of a national title appearance, with a last second loss to Michigan being the Nittany Lions only blemish.
Robinson had a great season that just happened to coincide with other superstars emerging, hurting his candidacy.
No. 3: Brady Quinn
While only managing a 9-3 record, Brady Quinn put up great numbers under center for Notre Dame in 2005.
Quinn threw for an astonishing 3,919 yards and 32 touchdowns as he helped lead the Fighting Irish's mini-resurgence under Charlie Weis.
The problem with Quinn's resume is that other than a win against Michigan—a win that proved to be less impressive each week as Michigan sputtered to a 7-5 finish—Notre Dame didn't beat any of the quality opponents on its schedule.
The Fighting Irish lost to USC and then lost to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, and that's why Brady Quinn isn't higher on this list.
No. 2: Matt Leinart
Despite how Leinart's NFL career has gone up until now, there's no disputing how good of a college quarterback he was.
Leinart won the Heisman in 2004, but had his best season in 2005. He threw for 3,815 yards and 28 touchdowns while running for six more.
At times that year, Leinart was overshadowed by Bush and teammate LenDale White, but it doesn't change how good his season was. While Bush and White got all of the press, it was Leinart who made that team run and helped get them to the level they were at.
No. 1: Vince Young
The runner-up to Reggie Bush in 2005, Vince Young had a monster season, and you could have made just as much of a case for Young as the winner as you could for Bush.
Young threw for 3,036 yards and 26 touchdowns that year and also ran for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns. So doing the math, Young racked up almost 4,100 total yards and tallied 38 touchdowns, but did not win the Heisman Trophy.
I thought Young deserved the trophy that year: just look at his performance in the national title game, where he carried Texas on his back and won the game. Bush fumbled in that game and was on the sidelines for USC's biggest offensive play.
Vince Young should have won that year, and it was more evident after the season was over.