Posts tagged ‘Heisman Trophy’

The Heisman Trophy Charade

This weekend, another Heisman Trophy will be awarded, nominally for the "most outstanding college football player".  This is a joke.  The Heisman is in fact the award for "best college football player at an offensive skill position, preferably running back or quarterback, who plays for a nationally ranked program and has gotten plenty of TV exposure".

In the nearly 70 year history of the award, only 1 defensive player (Charles Woodson) ever won the award, and I think Woodson won only because he was a three-way player and scored a couple of dramatic special teams and receiving touchdowns in the last couple of games of the season.  In fact, of the nearly 350 finalists (the top five vote getters each year) only 20 have ever been defensive players.  In the ESPN highlight era (ie the last decade) no defensive player other than Woodson has cracked the top five in any year.  This belies the "best college football player" facade, since, last I checked, defense was about half the football game, and in many cases the more important half.  Heck, more Princeton and Yale players have won the Heisman (3) than defensive players (1).  And don't even ask about Offensive linemen or tight ends.  Even wide receiver is a bit iffy, with only two wins, so really you need to be a quarterback or a running back.