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December 10, 2012

Is this year's Heisman a slap at Herschel?

Manziel in less happy times.
I have a great deal of respect for T. Kyle King (not to mention awe at the sheer wordiness of his writings). However, I'm not taking such a harsh stand against the Heisman for real and perceived wrongs from 32 years ago as he is. Was Johnny Manziel the most deserving candidate for the Heisman this season, even as a freshman? Yes. Was Herschel Walker the most deserving candidate for Heisman in 1980, even as a freshman? Yes, but it was close.

The real issue is that times have changed. The voters selected an undergraduate for the first time in 2007 and repeated it in 2008 and 2009. I my mind, it was inevitable that a freshman would win the trophy eventually, as the unwritten rule about it being more a career award than individual season had been seemingly stripped away. Interestingly, none of those winners repeated.

On top of having a higher number of voters than there were in 1980, I have a feeling, though completely based on nothing more than hunch, voters are likely younger. Age of the voters alone can explain how the voters can see Herschel's 1980 season and think a senior with more yards and 1 more touchdown is a more worthy candidate. Now, we can say with little doubt that finishing behind Hugh Green in 3rd was absolutely a slap in Herschel's face.

There will be another freshman win the Heisman. However, the real question is will we see another repeat winner? Obviously, Manziel is the only one that can do so right now, but history isn't on his side.


Anonymous said...

The Heisman is a joke anyway and has been for a long time.

Bernie said...

Voters are definitely getting younger. For instance Manziel may get a chance to vote for himself next year just days before he turns 21. :)

But overall they're voting not only as a younger generation but also based on what society puts an emphasis on these days, big moments in largely televised games as much as compiled stats or who the best player is. Therefore a lot of the intrigue is gone as well.

As a result it has lost a lot of us old fogies. I'm much more interested these days in who wins the awards at our team's banquet.

Anonymous said...

If Herschel didn't win it as a freshman, no one should. This award stinks, and has for years. ESPN has too much influence on it. This is the final straw in me caring at all about this award.

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