Heisman voting: where is love for Luke Falk?

LUKE FALK, THE master of the two-minute drill, came up short Saturday in his up-start bid to crack the top 10 in Heisman Trophy balloting. Had he made it, he would have become the ninth Cougar in the 80-year history of college football's biggest award to place in the top 10.

The winner was Alabama running back Derrick Henry. Stanford running back/return man Christian McCaffrey was second and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson third.

Falk finished the 2015 regular season No. 1 in the nation in passing yards per game, No. 2 in completion percentage, No. 3 in total offense per game, No. 4 in passing TDs and No. 4 in points responsible for per game.

The fourth through tenth finishers were Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Keenan Reynolds of Navy, Leonard Fournette of LSU, Dalvin Cook of Florida State, Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State, and Connor Cook of Michigan State and Trevor Boykin of TCU who tied for ninth.

Last week Falk was named first-team All-Pac-12 and last month he was named one of 15 “Players to Watch” for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2015 Player of the Year award. He's led the Cougars to an 8-4 record -- their best season since 2003 -- and engineered four nail biting comeback victories.

RYAN LEAF THE, Pac-10's Offensive Player of the Year in 1997, was WSU's highest-ever Heisman finisher when he placed third that year behind Michigan's Charles Woodson and Tennessee's Peyton Manning. Until Marcus Mariota won the Heisman last season, Leaf's showing was the second-highest ever by a player from the Pacific Northwest, bested at the time only by Oregon State's Terry Baker who won the 1962 Heisman.


Gesser: No. 7 in 2002

The Cougars who have placed in the top 10 in Heisman balloting are:

• Senior RB Jerome Harrison (ninth in 2005);
• Senior QB Jason Gesser (seventh in 2002);
• Junior QB Ryan Leaf (third in 1997);
• Junior QB Drew Bledsoe (eighth in 1993);
• Junior QB Timm Rosenbach (seventh in 1988);
• Junior RB Rueben Mayes (tenth in 1984);
• Senior QB Jack Thompson (ninth in 1978), and
• Senior QB Ed Goddard (records unclear; eighth, ninth or tenth in 1936).

For the record, the Heisman winners in those years were, respectively, Reggie Bush (USC), Carson Palmer (USC), Charles Woodson (Michigan), Charlie Ward (Florida State), Barry Sanders (Oklahoma), Doug Flutie (Boston College), Billy Sims (Oklahoma) and Larry Kelley (Yale).

The uncertainty over Goddard's finish stems from the fact records for 1936 only show a top seven. Given the fact he was the second-highest vote getter in the Western region behind winner Kelley, and that Goddard subsequently became the second overall player taken in the NFL draft, odds are good he landed between eighth and tenth in overall balloting.

NOTABLE: This year there were 929 Heisman voters this year: 870 media members, 58 former winners, and one fan vote via Nissan's online poll. Ballots were mailed Nov. 23 and had to be turned in by Dec. 7. Voters are instructed to pick a winner, a runner-up and a third-place finisher. Contenders receive three points for a first-place vote, two for a second and one for a third.


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