Heisman Trophy : A Joke Award That Has Become Garbage
Right off the bat, the Heisman Trophy is a disgusting lie. It claims to be an award given to the most outstanding player in collegiate football, yet rarely gives the award to the most outstanding player.
The Heisman Trophy actually goes to the most outstanding quarterback/running back/wide receiver in collegiate football who touches the football, because there have been many years that dominant defensive players have been ignored in favor of guys who touch the ball. Mostly quarterbacks.
Though the Davey O'Brien Award is supposed to go to the most outstanding collegiate quarterback, the Doak Walker Award goes to the best collegiate running back and the Fred Belitnikoff Award goes to the best collegiate wide receiver, the Heisman has now become all three of those awards rolled up into one.
The Maxwell Award can also be accused of falling into the love-fest trap. While several defensive players once won their award—one that claims to go to the best football player in the United States—Hugh Green was the last defensive player to win it in 1980.
While the 2010 awards only dispute comes down to the honesty of their front runner, a quarterback of course, there have been many seasons in the past inferior players were given this trophy instead of the most outstanding player in collegiate football.
Here is a look back at the Heisman Trophy Awards disrespect to college football and the players who participated in it.
2009 : Ndamukong Suh
The Heisman Trophy officially became a piece of sell-out garbage when Alabama running back Mark Ingram Jr. was selected over Suh. Not only was Suh far and away the best player in college football, but Ingram wasn't even the best player on his own team.
Though it was the closest vote in the 75-year history of the Heisman, every person who selected Ingram over Suh should never be allowed to vote again. It is clear they know nothing about the game of football and only watch the guys running around with the ball in their hands.
2002 : Terrell Suggs
In his junior year, Suggs went crazy on the football field. He had a NCAA record 22 sacks and set a PAC- 10 Conference record with 29.5 tackles for losses.
"Terrell Suggs is the most dominant player I have seen on film this year," said Oregon coach Mike Belotti.
"Terrell Suggs was unstoppable," said Washington coach Rick Neuheisel.
Yet the Heisman voters HAD to give it to a quarterback, so they chose Carson Palmer of USC.
Never mind the fact PAC-10 coaches—the conference Palmer also played in—all said Suggs was the best player in the conference. The Heisman voters decided Palmer was the best in all of college football.
1980 : Hugh Green
Green was so great in college football, one could say he deserved the Heisman all four of his years with Pittsburgh University. His teams lost just eight times over that period.
1980 was perhaps his finest. Not only was his team on top of the polls much of the year, he was so great that his school retired his uniform at halftime of his final home game.
He won the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, the Lombardi Award, was the Sporting News Player of the Year and won the UPI Player of the Year Award, but finished second in the Heisman to halfback George Rogers and over 1,700 rushing yards.
Green had 277 tackles in his 48 career games, 52 for loss of yardage, 24 forced fumbles, 53 sacks and 76 hurries. His senior year saw him get 17 sacks, force seven fumbles and recover four fumbles.
Though it is hard to hate the selection of Rogers that year, it was clear to all Green deserved the award most. He finished second in the vote, which was the best a defensive specialist had ever attained until Charles Woodson won the award in 1997. Woodson was used as a wide receiver and punt returner often that year, which helped his cause greatly in the offensive-minded Heisman voters eyes.
USC coaching legend John McKay said Green was the most productive player at his position he had ever seen in college football.
1972 : Brad Van Pelt
Van Pelt is not a sexy pick here, but it is clear Johnny Rogers won the Heisman that year yet deserved it more the season before.
The reason Rogers did not win it in 1971 is because he got convicted of robbing a gas station, so the Heisman voters gave the award to an average quarterback named Pat Sullivan. Rogers had a great 1972 season, but it was not nearly as great as the one he played the year before.
Van Pelt became the second linebacker to win the Maxwell Award that year. Maybe he wasn't the right pick for the Heisman that year, but he is easily as worthy as Rogers as far as being the most outstanding collegiate player in 1972.
1969 : Mike Reid
Steve Owens, a running back at Oklahoma, won the award that year after a great career. Reid, however, had a great year in 1969.
He won the Maxwell and Outland Awards that year, but only finished fifth in the Heisman voting.
Just another example of a football player being ignored in favor of a guy who touches the ball.
1966 : Alan Page
Another example of a defensive lineman getting no love or respect. This was also seen by the Maxwell Award going to Page's teammate, linebacker Jim Lynch.
Page, maybe the greatest defensive lineman in Notre Dame history, was utterly dominant that year. He did not get the recognition he deserved for several reason, the most obvious one is because he toiled as a defensive tackle. Even so, his play sparked the Fighting Irish to their first national title in 17 years in 1966.
Of course the Heisman went to a quarterback. Steve Spurrier had a nice season, but he probably won the award by waving off his teams place kicker before booting the 40-yard kick himself.
1965 : Tommy Nobis
Maybe the biggest snub in Heisman history.
Nobis, who averaged over an amazing 20 tackles a game in his entire career, won the Maxwell, Knute Rockne, and Outland Awards in 1965. He was a two-way player his entire career who was also an outstanding offensive guard for the Longhorns of Texas University. Texas would often run behind him when they needed a touchdown.
Nobis was more than a Texas Legend who graced the covers of several major publications his senior year, he made one of the most famous tackles in the history of college football. While ahead 21-17 over top-ranked Alabama in the Orange Bowl, the Crimson Tide had the ball fourth-and-inches late in the fourth quarter. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath tried to run for the first down, but was halted by Nobis as Texas prevailed.
The Heisman voters somehow had Nobis finish seventh in their voting, showing once again their knowledge and intelligence. They chose USC halfback Mike Garrett, who won it with a paltry 926 votes. Only two winners, Billy Sims and Eric Crouch, have won the award with less votes than Garrett since.
Nobis disrespect didn't stop with the Heisman voters. Despite a record setting NFL career, he has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.