Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffin III: Who Really Should Have Won?

Dr. SECAnalyst IIDecember 10, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  (L-R) Coach Art Briles and Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears poses with the trophy after being named the 77th Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winner during a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Heisman Trophy winner was announced just a few minutes ago, and Robert Griffin III was the victor. He had a great season and the Baylor Bears finished the regular season 9-3. However, should he have been the winner? 

Of the five finalist, only three should have garnered serious Heisman consideration. Those three players are Griffin III, Trent Richardson and Montee Ball. Yes, Tyrann Mathieu and Andrew Luck had very good seasons, but they were not Heisman seasons. 

Mathieu had several Heisman moments. However, his suspension during the Auburn game and his struggles during the following two games all but eliminated him. He deserved an invitation but was not a serious contender. 

Luck had a very good season and led the Stanford Cardinal to an 11-1 record. He completed 261 of 373 passes for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. 

However, as I have stated before, he was very good in every game but rarely great. Did he deserve a Heisman invitation? Without a doubt. Did he deserve to finish No.2 in the Heisman voted? Absolutely not. 

That leaves three players—Ball, Richardson, and Griffin III. 

Ball has 2,014 total offensive yards and 38 total touchdowns and the fact that he only finished fourth is an injustice and proof that the voters are not watching enough game film. 

I will admit that I once discounted his success but after watching more game film I realized that this guy, at worse, deserved a third place vote. Ball’s stats are second to none but somehow he only managed a minimal amount of votes. 

Trent Richardson compiled some impressive stats as well with 1,910 offensive yards and 23 touchdowns. These numbers are impressive standing on their own merit. However, when you consider that Alabama had a first-year starter at quarterback and mediocre wide receivers, it makes it more impressive.

However, were either of these players more impressive than Griffin III? Griffin completed 267 of 369 passes for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns to only six interceptions. Baylor finished the regular season 9-3. For that football program it's like being undefeated. In the three games that the Bears lost, Griffin was still great. He averaged over 400 yards passing and had nine touchdowns even in his three defeats. 

How can anyone forget his performance versus No. 5 Oklahoma where he passed for 479 yards and four touchdowns with the final one being a game winner with eight seconds remaining. 

When comparing the resumes, any of the three mentioned players are worthy of serious consideration. Initially I gave Richardson the nod because he has had to carry the burden all season long. 

However, after further consideration Griffin III closed the gap. The defining issue for me was this: If you take each player off of their current team, how does it alter their season? 

In the case of Richardson, the Tide would still be national contenders. It is the defense that has carried the Tide.

With Baylor, they would have been fortunate to win six games.

So did the Heisman voters get it right? Well, Ball and Richardson are deserving. But they certainly did not get it wrong.