'NCAA Football 13': What Makes A Heisman Winner?

It's Heisman Trophy snubs week among SB Nation's college sites, thanks to NCAA Football 13. Here's a look at who could've won the award if its criteria had been defined in certain ways over the past decade.

The popular topic among SB Nation's many college blogs this week: Heisman Trophy snubs, as inspired by NCAA Football 13's Heisman mode. Top-five Heisman snubs lists have been debated, cases were made for specific players like Pat White in 2007, and our mid-major sites pondered what the Heisman means for smaller schools. My personal favorite might also be the most Texas document we've yet produced: reassigning the past decade of Heismans to nothing but Longhorns.


NCAA 13 Heisman Fun by Shutdown Fullback

Also, Allen Iverson got a vote.

It's hard for me to say what a Heisman snub is, since it's an award that seeks to encompass so much. Is it given to the player with the best stats, the best team, or the best highlights? We know it doesn't actually go to the best player, since no linemen ever win it (Ndamukong Suh forever, y'all), and that's fine. But even with the criteria we have left over, the annual Heisman debate remains a pileup of at least three different arguments, only one of which can be answered in somewhat concrete fashion.

Below, I've attempted to pick one name for each season based on three totally different Heisman factors, though there are certainly many more elements the average Heisman voter looks for when voting.

Winningness is the only easy one -- just look at who's No. 1 going into bowl season and pick their best player (and even that's not always that easy). The others are totally subjective items that help us decide where the statue goes.

Year Statsiness Winningness Highlightness Winner

2011 Chandler Harnish, NIU QB: 3,216/1,379, 39 TD Tyrann Mathieu, LSU CB: 13-0 Robert Griffin III, Baylor QB Griffin

2010 Cam Newton, Auburn QB: 2,854/1,515, 51 TD Newton: 13-0 Newton Newton

2009 Case Keenum, Houston QB: 5,790, 48 TD Mark Ingram, Alabama RB: 13-0 C.J. Spiller, Clemson RB Ingram

2008 Donald Brown, UConn RB: 2,208, 18 TD Tim Tebow, Florida QB: 12-1 Percy Harvin, Florida WR Sam Bradford, Oklahoma QB

2007 Kevin Smith, UCF RB: 2,809, 30 TD James Laurinaitis, Ohio State LB: 11-1 Pat White, West Virginia QB Tim Tebow, Florida QB

2006 Colt Brennan, Hawai'i QB: 5,549/366, 58 TD Troy Smith, Ohio State QB: 12-0 Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech WR Smith

2005 Reggie Bush, USC RB: 2,218, 19 TD Bush: 12-0 Vince Young, Texas QB Bush

2004 DeAngelo Williams, Memphis RB: 2,158, 23 TD Reggie Bush, USC RB: 12-0 Bush Matt Leinart, USC QB

2003 B.J. Symons, Texas Tech QB: 5,833, 58 TD Matt Leinart, USC QB: 12-1 Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt WR Jason White, Oklahoma QB

2002 Terrell Suggs, Arizona State DE: 24 sacks Willis McGahee, Miami RB: 12-0 Byron Leftwich, Marshall QB Carson Palmer, USC QB

2001 Mewelde Moore, Tulane RB: 2,177, 15 TD Ed Reed, Miami S: 11-0 Antwaan Randle-El, Indiana QB Eric Crouch, Nebraska QB

2000 LaDainian Tomlinsin, TCU RB: 2,198, 22 TD Josh Heupel*, Oklahoma QB: 12-0 Michael Vick, Virginia Tech QB Chris Weinke, FSU QB

* I lobbied hard for J.T. Thatcher, he of the eight interceptions and kick return touchdowns and big hits, but was shouted down.

This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.


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