Part 2 of the EA NCAA 13 is to take a look at what we feel are the biggest Heisman snubs.
This one is a challenging topic. As a Gopher fan there really has been no Heisman snubbery in recent memory. We have had some outstanding running backs in the last couple decades, Darrell Thompson, Chris Darkins, Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney. All were excellent and greatly feared in the Big Ten, but none had a season worthy of legitimate Heisman consideration.
If we go way back I could argue that Sandy Stephens, Big Ten MVP, deserved it in 1961, but he finished 4th behind Ernie Davis of Syracuse. But it isn't a very strong argument, one based solely on being a Gopher fan. I could go back one year to 1960 when Golden Gopher, Tom Brown lost out to Navy running back, Joe Bellino who rushed for a grand total of 834 yards and won the Heisman. But Brown was an offensive lineman, so again, not a very strong argument.
The one player who I think would have won the Heisman, were he playing for a larger school is Randy Moss in 1997. He would have had to have passed Charles Woodson, who won it that year and Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. But the Marshall product put up some astounding numbers. 90 receptions, 1,647 yards, 25 TDs and an 18.3 yards per catch average. Less than 1 out of every 4 balls that he caught went for a touchdown. If only the Thundering Herd would have implemented some sort of a Randy-ratio, imagine what they could have done.
But I get it. He went to a 1AA school and was facing 1AA defenses. And it wasn't exactly a weak Heisman class in 1997. To even finish 4th is quite a remarkable accomplishment. So in all fairness, it isn't exactly a real Heisman snub. So Moss is another name I've typed that is not my Heisman snub.
But I am going with another receiver who put up numbers nearly as good as Moss's but they were for a BCS level school.
In 2003, caught 92 balls for 1,672 yards and 22 TDs with an 18.2 yards per catch average. Unbelievable numbers and like Moss he did it as a sophomore! Fitzgerald finished 2nd in the Heisman balloting that season, losing to OU's Jason White. White put up some really big numbers as a QB for the team that ended up losing to LSU in the BCS Title game. But those numbers Fitzgerald put up deserved the Heisman. White's numbers are as good as most QBs who have won the award, better than most. 40 TDs to just 10 INTs and over 3,800 yards are really good numbers. But they don't stand out amongst some of the greats at his position in recent memory. Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow and even Chris Weinke all put up very similar numbers. But I think Fitzgerald put up numbers that stand out, numbers that are rarely seen from a WR.
won the award as a receiver in 1991 with under 1,000 yards receiving and 19 TDs. He was also a great return man, which aided his Heisman candidacy. But Fitzgerald dwarfed his numbers. White was very good, but Fitzgerald's sophomore season was special
Looking over the years at who was truly snubbed, my vote goes to Larry Fitzgerald.
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