Where Does Cam Newton Rank Among Last 25 Heisman Winners?

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterDecember 12, 2010

Where Does Cam Newton Rank Among Last 25 Heisman Winners?

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11:  Cam Newton, quarterback of the Auburn University Tigers, poses with the 2010 Heisman Memorial Trophy Award on December 11, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The 2010 Heisman Trophy ceremonies are over, and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has officially come away with the award.

    Newton becomes just the third Auburn player to win the award, following Pat Sullivan in 1971 and Bo Jackson in 1985. He is also the eighth quarterback to win the award in the last 10 years.

    But where does Newton rank among Heisman winners from the last quarter-century. Well, that's what we're going to discuss.

    Start the slideshow to see where Newton stands among the last 25 Heisman Trophy winners.

25. Reggie Bush, 2005

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10:  Running back Reggie Bush #5 of the USC Trojans poses with the 2005 Heisman trophy after winning the award at the 71st Annual Heisman Ceremony on December 10, 2005 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
    Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

    Reggie Bush had one of the finest season's in college football history in 2005. He rushed for 1,740 yards on just 200 carries and scored 16 touchdowns.

    The Trojans also made it to the BCS National Championship Game, where they lost a thriller to the Texas Longhorns.

    So why is Bush bringing up the rear on our countdown?

    Well, because he doesn't have trophy any more. You may have heard about that.

24. Eric Crouch, 2001

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    Eric Crouch was the epitome of an option quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2001 with a season in which he passed for 1,510 yards and rushed for 1,261 yards. All combined, he produced 25 touchdowns.

    He won the Heisman in the closest race since 1985, just barely edging out Florida's Rex Grossman and Miami's Ken Dorsey.

    The Cornhuskers would later get beat by Dorsey's Hurricanes in the Rose Bowl, which served as the national championship game that year.

23. Chris Weinke, 2000

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    Chris Weinke gave up on his struggling baseball career in 1996 to attend Florida State, a move that landed the Seminoles with a 25-year-old quarterback.

    In his senior season in 2000, Weinke led the country with 4,167 yards passing. He also threw 33 touchdown passes and led the Seminoles to the Orange Bowl and their third straight national championship game.

    At 28 years old, Weinke was the oldest player to ever win the Heisman.

22. Vinny Testaverde, 1986

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    1986:  Quarterback Vinny Testaverde of the Miami Hurricanes prepares to pass the ball. Mandatory Credit: Allsport  /Allsport
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Vinny Testaverde became Miami's all-time leading in career touchdown passes with 48, a mark he set with just two seasons of work.

    Testaverde's 1986 season saw him pass for 2,557 yards and 26 touchdowns, with just nine interceptions. He easily beat out Temple's Paul Palmer and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh for the award.

21. Gino Torretta, 1992

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    Gene Sweeney/Getty Images

    Torretta had a very strong season as the quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes in 1992. En route to a spot in the national championship game, he threw for 3,060 yards and 19 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions.

    For that, he was able to beat out San Diego State's Marshall Faulk and Georgia's Garrison Hearst.

    The Canes did, however, lose to Alabama in the championship game.

20. Troy Smith, 2006

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 09: Quarterback Troy Smith of Ohio State University wins the Heisman Trophy on December 9, 2006 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Troy Smith was the man for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2006.

    He passed for 2,542 yards and 30 touchdowns, leading the Buckeyes to the BCS National Championship Game in the process. He is tied with Charlie Ward for the second-largest margin of victory with a difference of 1,662 points.

    The Buckeyes would lose that game to Florida, and Smith is now remember as one of the more underwhelming Heisman winners in recent memory.

19. Jason White, 2003

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    NEW YORK CITY - DECEMBER 13:  Jason White of the University of  Oklahoma Sooners wins the 2003 Heisman Trophy voting on December 13, 2003 at the Yale Club in New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Jason White was the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2003, when he threw 40 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in his first year as a starter.

    Interesting to note is the fact that White suffered ACL tears in both knees in the 2001 and 2002 seasons, which makes his 2003 comeback worthy of some style points.

    His Sooners would nevertheless go on to lose to LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.

18. Mark Ingram, 2009

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12:  Running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide poses with the Heisman Trophy during a press conference after being named the 75th Heisman Trophy winner at the Marriott Marquis on December 12, 2009 in New York City.  (Pho
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Mark Ingram had a season for the record books for the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2009. He rushed for 1,658 yards on 271 carries, scoring a total of 20 touchdowns.

    Those 1,658 yards broke Bobby Humphrey's Alabama record. Ingram also played a key role in the Tide's win over Texas in the BCS title game, rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns and earning the game's Offensive MVP Award.

17. Carson Palmer, 2002

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 14:  Carson Palmer of the University of Southern California speaks with the press after winning the 68th annual Heisman Trophy Award at The Yale Club December 14, 2002 in New York City. The USC quarterback became the first west coast p
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Carson Palmer was the quarterback for the USC Trojans in 2002, a season in which he ended up passing for 3,942 yards and 33 touchdowns.

    He led the Trojans to a victory over Iowa in the Orange Bowl and would later be the No. 1 overall pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

16. Matt Leinart, 2004

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11:  Quarterback Matt Leinart of the University of Southern California Trojans wins the 2004 Heisman Trophy on December 11, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Matt Leinart was the quarterback for 2004 USC Trojans, which is widely considered one of the most talented teams in college football history.

    Leinart did his part in leading the Trojans to the BCS National Championship Game by throwing for 3,322 yards and 33 touchdowns.

    He ended up throwing five touchdown passes in the BCS title game, leading the Trojans to a 55-19 stomping of Oklahoma.

    His NFL career may be crap, but there's no mistaking that 2004 was one heck of a season for Leinart.

15. Charlie Ward, 1993

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Charlie Ward was the man under center for Florida State's run to their first-ever national championship in 1993, and it was obviously largely thanks to him that they were able to get it.

    Ward passed for 3,032 yards that season, with 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions. His Heisman victory is also tied with Troy Smith for the second-largest margin of victory in the trophy's history, bettered only by O.J. Simpson's win in 1968.

    Ward was also an excellent baseball and basketball player. He was drafted by two different Major League teams in 1993 and 1994, and would go on to play in the NBA from 1994 to 2005 with three different teams.

14. Desmond Howard, 1991

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    1991:  Desmond Howard #21 of the Michigan Wolverines runs makes the 'Heisman' pose right after making a 93 yard touchdown against Ohio State circa 1991 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Wolverines won 31 -3. (Photo by Getty Images)
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Desmond Howard is probably one of the more iconic players to ever win the Heisman Trophy.

    To be sure, we can talk all we want Howard's brilliant season from a statistical season, which included a Big Ten-best 138 points. And then there's the fact that he has the third-highest margin of victory in the history of the award.

    But let's be honest with ourselves: we remember Howard for one reason and one reason only: the pose.

    And for that, we are forever grateful.

13. Danny Wuerffel, 1996

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    As far as Heisman winners are concerned, Danny Wuerffel is pretty unique.

    At the time, he was just the second Florida player to win the award after Steve Spurrier in 1966. Spurrier was also his head coach at the time.

    Secondly, he is also the only Heisman winner to also be awarded the Draddy Trophy, which is awarded to the top scholar-athlete.

    And naturally, 1996 was a good year for Wuerffel. He passed for 3,625 yards and 39 touchdowns en route to a Sugar Bowl victory over Florida State.

12. Eddie George, 1995

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    30 Sep 1995:  Tailback Eddie George of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs down the field during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  Ohio State won the game 45-26. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons  /Allsport
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Eddie George set an Ohio State record in his senior season in 1995 with 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns. He averaged better than 152 yards a game and totaled three games with more than 200 yards rushing.

    He won the Heisman in what was the closest vote in the award's history at the time, barely beating out Nebraska's Tommie Frazier.

    He ended his career as the Buckeyes' all-time rushing leader.

11. Ron Dayne, 1999

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    2 Oct 1999: Ron Dayne #33 of the Wisconsin Badgers carries the ball during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Badgers defeated the Buckeyes 42-17. Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck  /Allsport
    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    Ricky Williams set the record for career rushing yards in 1998. But it was broken just a year later by Ron Dayne of the Wisconsin Badgers.

    The man they called "The Great Dayne" rushed for 1,834 yards in 1999, pushing his overall total to 6,397 yards. And that doesn't include yards he gained in four bowl games, which included 246 and 200, respectively, in Wisconsin's back-to-back Rose Bowl wins in 1999 and 2000.

10. Rashaan Salaam, 1994

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    In his junior season with the Colorado Buffaloes, Salaam had one of the best seasons ever by a running back.

    He set the school rushing record with 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns, which included a stretch of four straight 200-yard games. The Buffaloes finished the season 11-1, capping things with a big win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

    However, we perhaps best remember Salaam for being one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

9. Andre Ware, 1989

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    2 Dec 1989: Quarterback Andre Ware #11 of the Houston Cougars in action during a game against the Rice Owls in Houston, Texas. The Houston Cougars won the game 64-0.
    Joe Patronite/Getty Images

    Andre Ware has the distinction of being the first black quarterback to ever win the Heisman Trophy.

    And it was well deserved. As a junior for the University of Houston, Ware passed for 4,699 yards and 44 touchdowns. He also broke 36 NCAA records along the way.

    He ended up foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft, where he was selected by the Detroit Lions, pairing him with 1988 Heisman winner Barry Sanders.

    Unfortunately, Ware's NFL career never panned out.

8. Ricky Williams, 1998

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    Ricky Williams ended up setting the NCAA record for career rushing yards in 1998, ending his career with the Texas Longhorns with a grand total of 6,279 yards.

    In that 1998 season, Williams rushed for 2,124 yards and 27 touchdowns. He easily edged out Kansas State's Michael Bishop and UCLA's Cade McNown.

    As you well know, Williams' rushing record would stand for exactly one season before it was broken by Ron Dayne.

7. Tim Brown, 1987

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    SOUTH BEND -1987:  Tim Brown #81 of Notre Dame Fighting Irish waits for the snap during a game in the 1987 season in South Bend, Indiana.  ( Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Tim Brown is easily one of the best wide receivers in the history of the game, so it's only fitting that he would be the first wide receiver to ever win the Heisman Trophy.

    He did that in his senior season at Notre Dame, where he caught 34 passes for 846 yards, returned 34 punts for 401 yards, ran for 144 yards, gained 456 yards on 23 kickoff returns and scored eight touchdowns.

    He also became the second player from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, which is still the only public high school in America to produce two Heisman Trophy winners (the other being Davey O'Brien in 1938).

6. Charles Woodson, 1997

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    Charles Woodson is the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy, as he was a cornerback for the Michigan Wolverines.

    While Woodson was able to accomplish this mainly because he had a knack for the big play, it didn't hurt that he was also a great kick and punt returner.

    His work in 1998 was so impressive, in fact, that it was good enough to edge out the great Peyton Manning. He also led the Wolverines to a share of the national championship.

5. Cam Newton, 2010

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after their 56-17 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 SEC Championship at Georgia Dome on December 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    We come at last to the man of the hour.

    Newton's 2010 season was (and still is) nothing short of astounding. He passed for 2,589 yards, rushed for 1,409 yards and totaled 49 touchdowns. He also became the third player to throw and rush for 20 touchdowns in the same season (ironically, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick accomplished it earlier the same day that Newton did it).

    He also led the Auburn Tigers to a 13-0 record, an SEC championship and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. And he did it under circumstances that would have crushed a weaker-willed man.

    Make no mistake, Cam Newton deserves his Heisman Trophy.

4. Ty Detmer, 1990

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    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    In a word, Ty Detmer's 1990 season was epic. And for the first time in a long time, I'm not using that word in jest.

    In his junior season for the BYU Cougars, Detmer passed for 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns. Along the way, he broke 42 different NCAA records and tied five others.

    In the Holiday Bowl against Penn State, Detmer set a bowl record with 576 yards passing.

    Not bad, sir. Not bad at all.

3. Sam Bradford, 2008

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13:  Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners holds the Heisman Trophy on December 13, 2008 at the Sports Museum of America in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Sam Bradford was the quarterback for an Oklahoma Sooners team in 2008 that ended up breaking Hawaii's record for points in a season, as the Sooners finished with a total of 702.

    Bradford passed for 4,720 yards and an astonishing 50 touchdowns that year, leading the Sooners all the way to the BCS National Championship Game. They would lose to Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators, but Bradford was able to claim the Heisman over his Gator counterpart the previous month.

    He went on to become the No. 1 overall draft of the St. Louis Rams and is already a star in the making.

2. Tim Tebow, 2007

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08:  Quarterback Tim Tebow of the University of Florida poses with the Heisman trophy after winning the 73rd Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award on December 8, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Tim Tebow became easily the biggest star in college football in 2007, his first year as the starting quarterback for Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators.

    He ended up passing for 3,286 yards and rushing for 895 more and scoring a combined 55 touchdowns in the process, which still stands as an NCAA record for a single season. He also became the first player ever to throw 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in the same season.

    Sure, you can argue that Newton's season was better than Tebow's. But I think you have to give Tebow the nod because he basically set the bar for scrambling quarterbacks.

1. Barry Sanders, 1988

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    In 1988, Oklahoma State running back Barry Sanders had what many consider to be the single greatest year in the history of college football.

    A bold statement, to be sure. But also a valid one.

    Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards, gained 3,428 total yards, scored 234 total points, and rushed for an NCAA record 37 touchdowns. He also had four 300-yard games, five straight games with 200 yards rushing, and scored at least two touchdowns in 11 consecutive games. He scored at least three touchdowns nine times.

    He would go onto post 222 yards and five touchdowns in the first three quarters of the Holiday Bowl.

    Indeed, he is the greatest of all time. And his 1988 season is easily the best of the last quarter-century.