After much ado, the Heisman Trophy was finally given to Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. He had 3,998 yards passing for 36 touchdowns to just six interceptions on the year, which made him the most efficient quarterback since at least 2007—there are no readily available statistics before that.
He also ran for 644 yards and nine touchdowns.
But what about the rest of the voting? Did the voters get second through fifth place right?
Here are some of the things that we loved and hated about the Heisman voting.
Griffin was the best player in college football this year without a doubt. With next to no help from his defense, he guided Baylor to a 9-3 record including wins over three teams ranked in the final BCS standings. Without him, none of that would have happened.
Looking at the other candidates, no one truly excelled in the spectacular way that RG3 did this season and at the end of the day, that won out over a team’s ranking or preseason hype. That is great for the Heisman and for college football.
There were only two running backs who were finalists for the Heisman and there was really no competition as to who had the better year. One had more yards per game, more touchdowns and a better yards-per-carry average.
That running back was Montee Ball, who finished fourth behind Trent Richardson with 630 fewer votes.
The Heisman may have gotten over its trend of naming the best player on the best team the recipient of this award, but there is clearly still some bias in that regard.
One of the biggest snubs this season was Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson. He was only .71 away from holding the passing efficiency record that Griffin now has while also competing against Montee Ball for the Heisman. His team was also two Hail Mary plays away from competing for the national championship
Thankfully he got voted into the top 10 in the voting in ninth place. USC’s Matt Barkley, who was also snubbed, was voted sixth.
Without the preseason hype, Andrew Luck may have not even been invited to New York this year. He finished fifth in passing efficiency, had more interceptions than any quarterback in the top 10 and his team's only really valuable win was over USC.
He may turn out to be a great NFL quarterback, but the Heisman is supposed to be solely about a player’s college season.
The Honey Badger was voted perfectly this year—he received an invitation to New York but finished last out of the finalists. His big-play ability was unparalleled with the exception of Robert Griffin, but his off-field issues and suspension factored heavily into the voters’ decision.
The Heisman should be awarded to players who are exemplary on and off the field but one mistake should not ruin everything a person has worked for.