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Heisman Trophy 2011: Did Tyrann Mathieu's Suspension Cost Him?

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03:  Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after earning the MVP trophy in their 42-10 win over the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2011 SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Alex CallosCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2011

Before the Heisman results were announced last night, it was evident that LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was not going to win the award.

While he finished a distant fifth in the voting, the fact that a defensive player finished in the Top 5 is something to take note of.

But one has to wonder whether or not Mathieu would have finished higher had it not been for the suspension.

Mathieu along with LSU running back Spencer Ware were suspended for the Auburn game.

While this was nearly two months ago, Mathieu and others cannot do anything but wonder how many more votes he would have gotten had the suspension not taken place.

Some voters likely do not look too much at off-the-field issues, but some certainly do and the fact of the matter is Mathieu would have likely finished higher had it not been for the incident.

His 34 first-place votes were higher than Montee Ball who finished with 22, but was ahead of Mathieu overall.

The suspension likely cost Mathieu one spot in the Heisman results, but certainly did not cost him anything else.

He received only 327 points, and while Ball had 348, the next closest was Trent Richardson at 978 points.

That was clearly too much ground to make up for Mathieu, suspension or not.

He had perhaps the best season of anybody in college football, and being suspended in the middle of the season clearly did not help. But with the way the voting went, Mathieu should not have expected to finish any higher than fourth, suspension or not.

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