’ll hand it to the Heisman voters. Usually, they pick the right man to walk that aisle at the Downtown Athletic Club and hoist college football’s most coveted honor.
But sometimes, they don’t get it right. In hindsight, there are 10 instances when the voters handed the trophy to the wrong man. Today, we will be looking at three more of those instances.
7. Larry Kelley over Sammy Baugh (1936): Yale end Larry Kelley was the nation’s premier pass-catcher in 1936, averaging better than 21 yards per reception. His victory, though, can be more attributed to his familiarity to the Eastern media establishment, which dominated the award’s voting in its early years, than his status as the nation’s top college player. TCU’s “Slingin” Sammy Baugh, who finished fourth in the vote, was not only the nation’s best passer in 1936. He was also an All-American as a punter and a top-notch defensive back.
6. Archie Griffin over Ricky Bell (1975): Ohio State back Archie Griffin followed up his 1974 Heisman campaign with another strong outing in 1975, gaining 1450 yards but only scoring 4 touchdowns. USC’s Ricky Bell should have added another Heisman Trophy to the Trojans’ trophy case that year. Bell posted the new single-season rushing mark at USC that season, posting 1957 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
5. Eddie George over Tommie Frazier (1995): Eddie George had a superb season for Ohio State, rumbling for nearly 2000 rushing yards. Runner-up Tommie Frazier, both by land and by air, put together one of the most exciting and explosive single-season campaigns in college history. The Nebraska quarterback’s dynamic plays were made for Sports Center, then at its peak.