5. Too often, the winner really isn't a great player, or a particularly good guy
The list of winners includes a serial murderer and an avowed cheater, a quarterback whose father conducted an auction for his recruitment, a counterfeiter and an accused rapist. Last year's winner went on a rampage of debauchery and self-indulgent behavior, made a tour of the country making an ass of himself, signing autographs for a memorabilia dealer (allegedly). Most of the winners have been busts in the NFL. A couple wound up selling their trophy.
Some really mediocre players have won because they were quarterbacks on very good teams from big-name schools, really forgettable players who offered very little in terms of flair, electricity or excitement. Some years it should be renamed the "Quarterback on a Football Team That Won a Decent Number of Games and Amassed Stats in a Year No One Did Anything Particularly Great" Award
4. There's an impossible regional bias.
The last West Coast player to win, other than a USC Trojan, was Jim Plunkett of Stanford in 1970, 43 years ago. The only player to win from the Northwest was Terry Baker, in 1962.
3. It's too heavily influenced by ESPN.
The World Wide Leader promotes certain guys and trashes others. They hype candidates from their former schools and saturate the market with highlights that trump up the flavor of the month. Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow all got huge boosts from ESPN love-fests. They may have won anyway, but the marketing campaign from the talking heads of the WWL was unseemly.
2. Nobody wins but quarterbacks
11 of the last 13 winners have been quarterbacks, and the other two were running backs. The only defensive player to win was Charles Woodson in 1992, a cornerback/punt returner. In the last 50 years, Desmond Howard, Tim Brown and Johnny Rodgers were the only non-offensive backfield players to win, all three receivers and returners, although Rodgers was a forerunner to De'Anthony Thomas, a slotback/receiver/running back/returner hybrid.
1. There's too much "this player was in/now he's out" hype
Teddy Bridgewater, Jordan Lynch, Tajh Boyd, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr and A.J. McCarron are all fine football players and exceptional representatives of their sport. Yet each was somehow disqualified when their team lost a game. Mariota went from frontrunner to nobody while playing with an injured knee. Meanwhile, ESPN media darling Johnny Manziel has lost 4, and thrown 13 picks, and he's still among the frontrunners for a seat at the New York ceremony.
In 78 years, only five Heisman winners have made it to the NFL Hall of Fame. Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma and Ohio State have nearly a third of all the Heisman Trophies ever awarded.
This year's campaign was the worst. Players were so routinely elevated and then trashed that now no one really seems like a legitimate candidate. Nobody outside the state of Florida feels good about giving the trophy to Winston.
Chris Elsberry of the Connecticut Post points out that on its website, the Heisman Trophy mission statement is this: "The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work."
Pretty hard to say that the ideals of the Heisman match the reality, when the last two winners are Manziel and Winston. Hard to invest much in an award that espouses integrity and diligence when these two have one and Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota don't.
Have you ever heard in the HISTORY of the Heisman a QB with 13 interceptions and 4 Losses even still being considered with the TOP 5 , and yet Marcus Mariota who by what NFL anylysts are saying would be the BEST QB out of any of them listed ahead of him, and regardless of what happened this year his STATs are still as good as the top 2 in the Voting, I mean considering FSU really only played 2 Real Teams, and both those Teams would of been 6-5 in the PAC this year, and besides when those allegations came out about this kid, He never once denied those claims against him, which says to me " Guilty " and you can get away with Murder in Tallahasee if your a FSU Heasman QB and your about to be 13-0 and going to Pasadena. ESPN, I can't stand, that has to be the worst sports station in the History of sports and they are making it a MOKERY, just like the Heisman, Johnny Football should not be in the TOP 30, He SUCKS this year and I'm tired of the Heisman and all the crap that it brings with it, and what all of the crap that people thought that Marcus actually should want it, when we were all HOPING that this Team was FOCUSED ON that Crystal FOOTBALL, the one that we've missed out on and came so close so many times, I just don't know if its going to happen now with this 4 Team Playoff now, because the way this Team regresses lately in November, 1 loss will kill your chances to get there now. With all the S*** from the BCS at least we were always so close, but lets be real, doesn't it somehow feel like this 4 Team Playoff came about by the South Eastern Conference and that every year there will be 2 Teams and maybe 3 sometimes and we have to put up with this for 14 years. This is as LAME as the Heisman and almost makes me tired of College Football now. I almost cannot stomach watching it, especially another year of Nic Aliotti's bend but don't break Defense. What is the U/O somehow MARRIED to this man and there's no way out of this MARRIAGE, while there's men out there like ED Oregeron that Phil Knight could go out and Hire right now and Heck pay him 2.5 Million to be our new DC, because I guarantee you next year this Defense would be better than this year and NO Teams woulsd ever run on us like Stanford, Arizona, and Especially the worst run Team in almost all of College Football OSU, that right there would of gotten most DCs fired right there when your Team was ranked NO.2 in the Country and most people had pegged to the National Championship.Sorry Oregon you should not spend all that Money and the way you have got this Team to the Top to just BLOW it by letting this Defense play Bend but don't break every year, Its getting old, and then to watch a sweet looking Defense like MSU stop Ohio Sts Offense like it did, and was the NO.1 Defense all year long and I will say they beat Stanford in the Rose Bowl and I hope they do, because I'm pissed that our Best most Talented Team lost to a 1 Dimensional Offense that 90% of the Sports world predicted we'd beat and actually got beat worse than last year. UGLY, UGLY, UGLY, I'm not getting any younger to keep waiting for next year, COME ON uncle Phil its your Team, do something!
Agree, Heisman is ho-hum these days, maybe always has been. Besides, like other individual awards, esp. when they are debated/predicted ad nauseum in the surreptitiously self-hyping media throughout the season, they tend to divert from 'team' toward ego. Rarely, if ever, does one player win a 60-minute game, even with overtime, which is earned after those 60 minutes. And a whole season? Never. I like the position wards, or character wards, but best football player when it's almost always the spotlight players QB, RB or WR. What a distraction this spectacle for advertising has become.
It's only value anymore is as scrap metal. ESPN has taken it over completely and turned it into a media circus.
Thanks for writing this one up. I totally agree. I have not felt that Marcus Mariota let any pressure get to him other than the pressure of being injured. Johnny Manziel is a joke as a spokesman for the Heisman, an athlete with no character or integrity.
@DougMai The Florida Gators were 9-4 when Tim Tebow won in 2007, and he had 6 picks, but yeah, it's pretty unusal. Manziel gets a lot of extra points for flair. I think Orgeron wants to be a head coach somewhere. Ducks have to let all the what-ifs go now and focus on the Alamo Bowl game with Texas. It's an exhibition, but it's a great game on national TV versus a storied opponent, and an opportunity for Josh Huff, Bralon Addison and Chance Allen to play in their home state. The Amoako brothers are from San Antonio and new recruit Arrion Springs hails from there also.
@rgyle This year's Heisman race was the worst in memory for fickle "hot lists" and "his stock has dropped" declarations.
@duckified It has been a circus, and a sordid one as well. ESPN sets the agenda and the narrative, and it's become a tired dog-and-pony show.
@SonomaDuck "The pressure of being injured" (a great phrase) was apparently enough to get him completely knocked out of the race.