Most Undeserving Heisman Winner?

DP Show had a decent topic I’d love to hear input on from everyone here.

Without looking at the video, I have two:

Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan 1997. He had three TDs on offense, one on kick and punt returns and 7 INTs. Seven INTs is impressive. But did that deserve a Heisman over Peyton Manning AND Ryan Leaf?

Gino Torretta, QB, Miami, 1992. A 56.7% completion rate and 7.6 yards per attempt, 19 TDs and 7 INTs.

Over Garrison Hearst, RB, Georgia: 1,547 yds., 6.8 YPC, 19 Rushing TDs.

And Marshall Faulk, RB, SD State: 1,630 yds and 15 TDs.


Woodson was pretty clutch that year. Payton has the chance to ice his heisman trophy but he couldn’t beat Florida that year again

Woodson showed up the biggest in the biggest games. Even playing some on offense

Leaf? No


I went with what I consider the most undeserving, not necessarily the worst Heisman winner . If I was using that as the criteria then it could very well be Gino Torretta for me as well.
But the most undeserving in my opinion was Paul Hornung, Notre Dame 1956
over Johnny Majors, Tennessee
AND Jim Brown, Syracuse

The Vols finished 10-0 while the Fighting Irish finished 2-8. Majors clearly had a better impact on his team than Hornung did on Notre Dame, and this one was a landslide

This season is simply defined by highway robbery in every way possible for the Tennessee Vols football team. For starters, they should have been named national champions after their 10-0 undefeated season.

That record included wins over No. 2 ranked Georgia Tech and No. 19 ranked Ole Miss, and five victories overall against teams with winning records. Meanwhile, the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners played one ranked team all year, the No. 18 ranked Colorado Buffaloes. The Vols clearly had the better resume and should have won the title.

But on top of being screwed there, they were also screwed of a Heisman Trophy that rightfully belonged to future Tennessee head coach Johnny Majors.

Majors lost the trophy to Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Paul Hornung. Hornung had 420 rushing yards and 917 passing yards with nine total touchdowns. He also had 13 interceptions.

Majors, meanwhile, had 549 rushing yards and 552 passing yards to go with 12 total touchdowns and only three interceptions.
The Vols finished 10-0 while the Fighting Irish finished 2-8.


Without watching the video (will do later), the name that sticks out the most in my mind is Gino T (already mentioned). In my lifetime it was the clearest case of just looking at the best team and just arbitrarily giving the QB of that team an award.


Not going to argue with Hornung or Torreta, but I would add Jason White and Eric Crouch to the list.

Also, Vince Young was robbed by Reggie Bush. Though at least Bush had a Heisman worthy season, Young was just better.


Leaf, no?

He passed for a tick under 4,000 yards and 34 TDs at Washington State that season.


Jason White threw 40 TDs that year

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Ryan Leaf never won the Heisman trophy He was one of the four finalists in 1997; the year Woodson edged out Peyton Manning.
Randy Moss was the other finalist of the four that year.

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And should have lost the Heisman to Fitzgerald

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No he shouldn’t have. Jason White deserves that award. Let’s not conflate being the most talented player with being the most outstanding player.

WRs without return exploits haven’t won the award anyhow. Which leads me to my pick:

Don McPherson of Syracuse should’ve won the ‘87 award over Tim Brown. Brown leveraged some high profile punt returns into the award for a meh ND team while McPherson led Syracuse to it’s best season in modern history. Brown didn’t have the unreal TD production that Desmond Howard did but instead (IMO) was able to take advantage of the Television situation back in 1987.

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Correct. But he made it sound like the idea of giving Ryan Leaf the Heisman that year was out of the question. It wasn’t at all.

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Gotcha. I misunderstood and thought you were mistakenly thinking that leaf was a Heisman winner. My apologies kind sir :slight_smile:


Calm down or I’ll ban you. There’s no need for such excessive profanity! :wink:

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George Bell.

Yes, it’s actually the AL MVP over Trammell in 87, but I’m still extra salty, more so even this week after Whitaker got screwed by the Veterans Committee HOF vote.


Tim Tebow, nowhere near the best player on his own team let alone a good player.


Haha. Well I didn’t mean the ‘no’ to say Leaf shouldn’t have been part of the Heisman conversation. But both Manning and Woodson were more deserving

Some can argue that Manning should have won over Woodson, and I wouldn’t disagree. But anyone who argues that Leaf should have beat out those two will always get a ‘no’

And to be more precise, the title of this thread is ‘undeserving Heisman winner’ I wouldn’t call Woodson undeserving at all. I remember his name being bandied about as a pre-season possibility and all he did all season was come though in clutch situations. The leaping int against MSU when the QB was just trying to throw it away pretty cemented his status as a front runner. Especially when Manning couldn’t get the Vols past the Gators again

Definitely disagree on Faulk, he was one of the best college runners I’ve ever seen. Had a monster year.

Torretta seems like the right answer here. Pedestrian numbers on a great Miami team, propped up primarily because he was on the best team. He then got exposed by Alabama in the NC game.

As of right now, Torretta will always be my answer during my lifetime. I understand why the committee did it. Even thought Gino was ordinary, they were crediting him with Miami’s tremendous win streak because at the time…they were not aware that Miami’s talent level was at epic levels. Damn near any average competent QB could have won those games. I believe they self corrected later when they didn’t keep handing it to Miami QBs.

I’m not seeing this huge gap between Leaf and the rest of the guys. Leaf basically had the same record, led his team to a Rose Bowl and had nearly identical stats to Peyton Manning on the year. Its almost like you are injecting NFL success into the equation. And while I realize the bowl games were not part of the equation (just our hindsight), remember that Ryan Leaf barely lost to the #1 team in the country. That team (and I’m a Sparty, so fuk those guys) was supposed to be THE national champs that year. You know who opened the door for the committee to give Nebraska a goodbye kiss to their old coach? Frickin Peyton Manning. He got absolutely curb stomped against Nebraska in his bowl game.

Ken Dorsey was legit though. The 2001 Miami team was arguably the most talented of all time but man, Dorsey was a great and I mean GREAT college QB.