The Heisman Trophy ceremony Saturday night is more of a formality than an unveiling.
Florida State is going to win its third Heisman Trophy when redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston accepts his award over the weekend. He will join Chris Weinke (2000) and Charlie Ward (1993) in an elite Seminole fraternity — both of which won national titles as well.
Winston will be the second redshirt freshman to win the award and just the fifth underclassman. True sophomore Tim Tebow broke the stiff-armed mold in 2007, paving the way for Sam Bradford (So.), Mark Ingram (So.) and Johnny Manziel (rFr.) to claim the most coveted trophy in sports in either their first or second season on the field.
Winston is deserving. There is no doubt about that. He led the nation in passing efficiency and set an NCAA all-time freshman record with 38 touchdown passes. He led his team to wins in all 13 games by an average margin of six touchdowns and clinched a berth in the BCS National Championship Game.
The only question surrounding Winston’s Heisman is will this be the biggest landslide in voting history?
So before the award is officially given out this weekend, here are the most important and interesting Heisman stats to consider.
2,853: O.J. Simpson's record voting points total
Ohio State’s Howard Cassady was the first Heisman winner to register 2,000 points in the balloting in 1955. Thirteen total players have accumulated at least 2,000 points in the history of the award and Simpson’s 1,750-point margin is still the largest in Heisman history. Simpson set the world on fire with a record-setting campaign in 1968. He rushed for 1,880 yards and 23 touchdowns, setting a new standard for running back success that would be carried on over the next few decades by the likes of Tony Dorsett (2,150 yards), Charles White (2,050), Marcus Allen (2,427) and Mike Rozier (2,148).
86: Record percent of first-place votes for Troy Smith
While Simpson posted the largest margin for a winner in Heisman history, Ohio State’s 2006 winner posted the highest percentage of first-place votes. During Simpson’s year, there were 1,200 voters, so his 855 first-place votes remain the record. But there were only 924 ballots in 2006. Smith landed a record 86 percent (801) of the first-place vote to win the stiff-armed trophy with the second-largest differential (1,662) in voting history. He topped Arkansas’ Darren McFadden, Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn and West Virginia’s Steve Slaton. For the record, there are 928 voters in 2013.
28: Most interceptions by a Heisman Trophy winner
BYU’s Ty Detmer had some huge numbers in his trophy-winning 1990 campaign. He threw for 5,188 yards, 41 touchdowns and 361 completions at a time when only Andre Ware had ever reached those types of benchmarks. In fact, Detmer remains the only Heisman winner with 5,000 yards passing in a season. Strangely enough, he also has the most interceptions by a wide margin of any Heisman winner. He threw an astounding 28 interceptions in ’90, breaking Jim Plunkett’s Heisman INT record of 19 set back in 1970. There is no chance anyone with more than 20 interceptions will ever win the Heisman again. Danny Wuerffel’s 13 picks are the most by any winner since Detmer.
2: High schools to produce more than one Heisman winner
Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas, is the first and only public high school to produce two Heisman winners. Davey O’Brien won the award in 1938 for the TCU Horned Frogs and Tim Brown claimed the trophy for Notre Dame in ’87. Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., is the only other high school to have multiple winners. The private school gave college football John Huarte, who won the award in ’64 for Notre Dame, and Matt Leinart, who earned the honor in 2004 for USC. Fork Union Military also has produced multiple Heisman winners — Vinny Testaverde in 1986 for Miami and Eddie George in '95 for Ohio State. As a prep academy, Fork Union doesn’t technically count as a high school.
8: Heisman winners in the NFL Hall of Fame
There are eight former Heisman Trophy winners currently in the NFL Hall of Fame. Marcus Allen (1981), Earl Campbell (1977), Tony Dorsett (1976), Paul Hornung (1956), Barry Sanders (1988), O.J. Simpson (1968), Roger Staubach (1963), and Doak Walker (1948). Interestingly enough, only one Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback has ever made it to the NFL Hall of Fame and that is Staubach. Additionally, only four Heisman winners have gone on to win Super Bowl MVP honors: Staubach, Allen, Jim Plunkett and Desmond Howard.
2-8: Notre Dame’s record when Paul Hornung won the Heisman
The only player to ever win the Heisman off of a losing team was Paul Hornung in 1956. He threw for 917 yards, three touchdowns and 13 interceptions while rushing 94 times for 420 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. The Irish went 2-8 that year, beating only Indiana and North Carolina. Hornung beat out Tennessee’s Johnny Majors and Oklahoma’s dynamic duo of Tommy McDonald and Jerry Tubbs.
7: Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame winners
The Buckeyes, Trojans and Irish are tied for the most Heismans with seven total trophies each. Ohio State’s awards have been spread out over time, winning at least one in five different decades while USC’s come in bunches. Under Pete Carroll, the Trojans won three Heisman Trophies in four seasons from 2002-05 (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush — yes, I officially count the ’05 trophy even if the Trust does not). The Irish held the Heisman lead for many years, winning six trophies between 1943 and 1964. Tim Brown’s 1987 season is the only Irish Heisman since John Huarte won it in ’64.
0: Games Jay Berwanger played in the NFL
The first Heisman trophy winner in history was a senior running back from the University of Chicago by the name of Jay Berwanger. He was the first pick in the first-ever NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1936. Yet, they traded his rights to the Chicago Bears because they didn’t think they could meet his salary demands (allegedly $1,000 per game). After Olympic tryouts and unsuccessful contract negotiations with George Halas, Berwanger took a job with a Chicago rubber company and never played a down of professional football.
1961: Ernie Davis became the first African-American Heisman winner
It took 27 long years but the voters finally gave the award to an African-American in 1961 when Syracuse’s Ernie Davis topped Ohio State’s Bob Ferguson and Texas’ Jimmy Saxton for the prestigious award. Davis was deserving but his stat line indicates how far the sport has come since the early '60s. He rushed 150 times for 823 yards and 12 touchdowns.
1: Players to have won the Heisman twice
Johnny Manziel has a chance, albeit an extremely outside one, to become just the second player in NCAA history to win a second Heisman Trophy this weekend. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin won back-to-back stiff-armed trophies in 1974 and '75. Many have tried lately — Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Mark Ingram — but all but Griffin have failed to claim a second Heisman award. It may be an unbreakable record — unless, of course, Jameis Winston has two more huge seasons in Tallahassee. One also is the number of times a purely defensive player has won the Heisman, that coming in 1998 from Michigan’s Charles Woodson.