Heisman Race 2011
December 6, 2011 by staff
Heisman Race 2011, After leading Baylor to a 48-24 victory over Texas on Saturday, typically humble Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III stepped out of character and proclaimed, “I could be wrong, but I think Baylor won its first Heisman Trophy tonight.” Griffin was right on target: He could be wrong.
Although Griffin capped a tremendous season by throwing two touchdown passes and running for two more scores against the Longhorns, this is not the season to make any assumptions about what figures to be an extremely close Heisman vote.
Griffin is one of five finalists announced Monday. The others are Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.
Mathieu, a cornerback and punt returner, could join Michigan’s Charles Woodson as the only primarily defensive players to win the Heisman. Mathieu leads LSU with 70 tackles, and he has two interceptions, seven pass breakups, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries, including two he took back for touchdowns. He also averages 16.2 yards on punt returns, with two scores.
Alas, in a season with so many offensive stars, he still appears to be a long shot.
Consider that Ball has scored 38 touchdowns and is just one short of Barry Sanders’ NCAA single-season record. Luck has been consistently excellent, ranks among the top five in passing efficiency and has guided Stanford to an 11-1 record. Richardson has rushed for 1,583 and 20 touchdowns. Griffin leads the nation in passing efficiency and is second in total offense, and he has guided Baylor, once a perennial doormat, to its first nine-win season since 1986.
“When you judge somebody, you judge them over the long run, not the short run, and his long run has been pretty impressive this season,” Baylor coach Art Briles said.
The victory over Texas was an excellent ending to a phenomenal regular-season campaign.
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