Don't Bank on Heisman Repeat

Many Heisman Trophy winners have tried to repeat earning the top trophy in college sports, but only one succeeded. Archie Griffin successfully defended the Heisman in 1975, but since then four more Heisman winners have returned to school only to come up short.

Tebow is the 17th underclassman to win the award, and the tenth to return to college football the following season. But all things considered I think a repeat is highly unlikely and offer up four major reasons.

Great field of candidates ----- Rarely have we entered a season with more players who have established themselves on the national scene. You start with quarterbacks Pat White of West Virginia, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Graham Harrell of Texas Tech and Missouri's Chase Daniel. Add in running backs Chris Wells of Ohio State and Knowshon Moreno of Georgia and receivers Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech and Jeremy Macklin of Missouri and that's a lot of talent.

Statistical drop off ----- A big part of why Tebow won the Heisman as a sophomore was because of his record breaking numbers. No player had ever passed for more than 30 touchdowns (32) and run for more than 20 scores (23) in the same season. He set the SEC record for rushing touchdowns and combined scores (55), and set a new Florida standard with 4,181 yards total offense. As talented as Tebow is, and dramatically improved situation at running back is almost certain to lower those numbers this year.

Desire for change ----- Voters just tend to gravitate towards an underdog or someone new. Since Tebow already has a Heisman, he'll have to overcome a bit of a voter bias in that regard. Billy Sims, Ty Detmer, Jason White and Matt Leinart all had excellent seasons the year after winning the Heisman and finished in the top three in the final voting, but couldn't repeat.

Just plain luck ----- It's hard to stay healthy and productive all year long, and while Tebow was banged up for the Georgia game last year overall he enjoyed excellent health. It's also hard to avoid disastrous turnovers year after year as much as Tebow handles the ball and one big mistake could sour a number of voters.

Prediction: Oklahoma's Sam Bradford leads the Sooners to a perfect regular season and Big 12 Title game and makes it two straight years with a sophomore hoisting the trophy. He barely edges out Georgia's Moreno for the Heisman with the amazing Crabtree third. Tebow finishes fourth, but will return to win his second Heisman in 2009.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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