MIAMI, FL - FILE: Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates after he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Virginai Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Andrew Luck was picked first overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
It's Heisman time again. Think about all the Heisman winners over the years and realize that there are two players, sometimes more that made the trip to New York but didn't win. Sometimes the winner is so crystal clear that there is little argument for the runner up. On the other hand there have been more than a few worthy Heisman candidates that could make a compelling argument and a few in very recent memory.
With that in mind, here's my top five Heisman candidates that didn't make the final cut into college football immortality.
Sometimes you peak to early. Thomas Robinson is probably a recent Kansas example of that from the college basketball world, Luck is an example of that last year in college football. Heading into the season Luck was the front runner. He put up great numbers, his team performed well on the field but he didn't explode due to the nature of the Stanford system. That allowed Robert Griffin to sneak up and ride the wave of momentum late in the year to win the Heisman trophy. Luck would finish as a runner up for the second consecutive year.
Maybe it was his performance in the National Championship game. Maybe it's the fact that Reggie Bush has had to give it all back. Either way Vince Young was Heisman worthy and he lost out to an electric player who would later basically lose all of his accolades surrounding college sports. The Heisman trophy doesn't 're-gift' the award to Young is left empty handed. Had Young's professional career and post Texas behavior not left such a stain on his image, this would be an even more obvious snub.
Oklahoma was at the beginning of their resurgence as a National powerhouse and Heupel led the Sooners to a National Title while Chris Weinke won the Heisman. Weinke certainly had a good argument, but perhaps this is just an example of why we should maybe wait to award this honor until after the entire season is over. Bowl games, national championships, the whole deal.
It could be Big 8 bias, it could be that Tommie Frazier was one of the best players I can remember watching in my youth. Eddie George won the Heisman and he was an animal in the Big 10 so he was certainly deserving. But again, Fraizer wins runner up in a year where he carries his team to a National title and saves his best performance for the biggest stage.
Orlando Pace and Ndamukong Suh
The award has pretty much turned into a QB/RB award at this point. Charles Woodson is the last winner that wasn't from these two positions and he was technically a WR/DB. Pace and Suh are the two highest finishers from the o-line/d-line crew in a long time and while Suh had some stiff competition, Pace really was in a league of his own and both players deserved more serious consideration.
Who are your top Heisman snubs? And maybe snub is the wrong word here because many of the winners were very deserving, but some of the those finishing in the runner up position have been just as deserving as well.
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