In my lifetime I have never had the pleasure of watching a Georgia Bulldog win a Heisman Trophy. As an overly “homer” fan I believe several past Georgia players have deserved it, and this year I think is probably the school’s best chance at having its first winner since Herschel Walker in 1982. The problem is I just don’t care if Todd Gurley wins the Heisman.
I feel I must say that I believe Todd Gurley is the best player in college football and absolutely should win the Heisman if he does what he is capable of doing. But this offseason I’ve had to a lot to think about, and it just doesn’t matter at all if Gurley does win the Heisman Trophy.
The Heisman is supposed to be awarded to the best college football player, but with the rise of media (especially that of social media) the trophy seems to go more to whoever is trending more on twitter and less to who actually deserves the award.
Now being the best player in college doesn’t always translate to being the best (or even a mediocre) player in the NFL. There’s nothing in the Heisman charge that says “and you will go on to an impressive NFL career”, but in choosing the best player in the nation, you’d think that one would follow the other.
Trophies are nice, but a long and successful career making lots of money in the pros is probably a lot nicer.
To prove my point I am going to recap the past winners since 2000 and their accomplishments since winning the Heisman. Clearly after seeing this list, you’ll have to agree that while the “Heisman Hype” is great for a player’s ego and a school’s booster account, rarely does it seem to translate into being remembered for anything more than winning a Heisman.
Chris Weinke (2000)- This one is hard for me as he was coached by Mark Richt, but can we agree that he had one of the most unimpressive pro careers of all time? I mean the guy only won 2 games in his ENTIRE NFL career. Not to say his college run was not impressive, but it could have also been that he was playing with kids 10 years younger than him. Chris Weinke was unfortunately a bust in the NFL.
Eric Crouch (2001) – Well this guy had an impressive NFL career am I right?! Wrong. After being shuffled around the league Crouch finally found his calling in Canada for the CFL. Again, so glad he was at one point considered the best player in college football yet could not compete against players who he was supposedly better than the previous year. Bust.
Carson Palmer (2002) – Carson is a little different than the previous two as he did have a somewhat successful NFL career…and I use the word successful loosely. With 2 Pro Bowl appearances I definitely believe Palmer to be talented, but I think his downfall was mainly making bad career choices and his history of injury. Nevertheless, Palmer did not live up to his full potential. Partial bust.
Jason White (2003) – LOL! I mean seriously. This guy was the best that college football had to offer in 2003 yet not ONE single team drafted him or even offered him a try out right off the bat. When he finally did get a try out the Chiefs did not sign him. How can you be the best and not even wanted as a backup? Fail.
Matt Leinart (2004) – Always a back up…never a starter. That is the slogan for Matt Leinart’s career. I honestly do think the guy has talent, but he seems to always be on the wrong team at the wrong time. Nevertheless, he has done little to nothing since his college days except warm the bench.
Reggie Bush (2005)-
Troy Smith (2006) – I think any player that takes money from a booster and or is arrested should not be eligible to win the Heisman. Smith broke team and NCAA rules by accepting money from a booster and having to sit out 2 games (one of which being a bowl game). With knowing how Ohio State likes to cover stuff up I can only imagine what else he did. Also, you are honestly telling me this guy beat Darren McFadden?! After having an unimpressive NFL career Smith left to go to the CFL. Another Heisman great!
Tim Tebow (2007) – It is not easy for me to say nice things about Gators, but Tim Tebow was impressive in college. As a Georgia fan I counted down the days until he was no longer eligible to compete in college football. Even with his successful college career Tebow could not seem to find his rhythm in the pros and is still currently looking for a team to take a chance on him. Add him to the list of Heisman winners I would not draft on my fantasy team.
Sam Bradford (2008) – What is that you say? A successful Heisman winner?! Sam Bradford is the only person in this list who gives the trophy a little of it’s integrity back. He was a great choice and probably the only one I fully agree with. But he’s still yet to guide the St. Louis Rams to a playoff game.
Mark Ingram (2009) – I really had high hopes for Ingram and when he won the Heisman I did agree with the choice. I do not know if there is some type of Heisman curse or what, but if there is Ingram has it. 11 touchdowns in 3 years is not what I expected from him. If Ingram can begin to find his rhythm he could possibly join Sam Bradford on this list of people that actually deserved a Heisman.
Cam Newton (2010) – Again I do not think players that have investigations against them for accepting money for boosters or who have been arrested should be eligible to win the Heisman. Cam Newton is accused of both. He got kicked off the team from the University of Florida for stealing another students laptop. Think about that for a second. He got kicked off the team at Florida…they take any ole criminal so that in itself is bad. Not only was he kicked off one team, but then there were allegations of his father shopping him around for upwards of $180,000 dollars. Do I think Cam Newton was the best college football player in 2010? Yes. Do I think we should reward such behaviors with honors and trophies? No.
Robert Griffin III (2011) – I still think I am being punk’d when I realize we gave a Heisman to RG3. This was the first time I really think social media and ESPN teamed up with the sole intention of making me sick to my stomach. I am sorry if you do not play any good teams any one can put up the numbers he did. Put Aaron Murray on Baylor and you would have had to give him 4 consecutive Heismans. Sorry RG3 you were in no way the best college football had to offer that year.
Johnny Manziel (2012)- Well I can’t talk about his pro career as he was just drafted (to the Browns so I can already make my own assumptions on how he will do). Was he talented? Yes. I am going to be picky and say I would have not voted him as a winner if I could vote. (Don’t worry Manziel fans…I will probably never be given the honor of Heisman voting especially after this article). Manziel is not only a cocky-ass, but also has allegations of charging for autograph sessions. Keeping the trophy classy.
Jameis Winston (2013) – I really did love this kid…then his criminal history started surfacing. He was definitely the lesser of three evils in Heisman voting (and I do not understand how McCarron was an option over Murray, but again that is me being a homer). If Winston can get his possible kleptomania under control and learn that no means no he has the potential to be great. For now I can also say I agree with him winning last year.
After looking at the 14 (well 13 not counting Bush) I have to question the integrity of voting. With ESPN and other sports agencies pushing agendas of “Cinderella stories” I don’t know if I will ever care about who wins it again. The point of college football is to build a foundation for a successful pro career and few of recent winners have done that. Quick stat- excluding Bush who had his Heisman stripped from him none of the other players listed have a super bowl ring…yet.
Will I be on cloud nine if Gurley wins? Absolutely. I cannot lie and say I would not be proud, but regardless of whether or not he does he will for sure have the most successful NFL career of any current player. That is what I always want for the boys in red and black.