The Heisman Trophy is an award given each year to the best college football player. It is supposed to identify the player whose performance best exhibits excellence and integrity. However, we have seen in recent years the latter seems to be of less and less importance.

The award was created in 1935 by the Downtown Athletic Club. The Club’s athletic Director, John Heisman passed away and the award was name in his honor.

Originally it was an award only for players east of the Mississippi River. Not to long after it was broadened to include players from across the country.

Find out which players are candidates to take home the award this season by checking out the current Heisman odds. You might also want to take a peak at which teams are expected to a factor with our national championship odds.

Should You Bet On/Against Teams With Heisman Trophy Winner?

Most sports wait to hand out the awards until the season is completely over. That includes postseason play. That’s not how it works on the college gridiron. The winners are announced in early December. That includes a special ceremony for the Heisman.

The winner of this prestigious award is often the best player on one of the best teams in the country. Though that’s not always the case. I decided to take a look back over recent years and see how the winners perform in their bowl game. Both individually and as a team (ability to win game and whether they cover the spread).

Note that with the new playoff system (started with 2014 season), there’s now the potential for the Heisman to play two games.

SU & ATS Records Since 2002:

  • Straight Up: 10-9 (52.6%)
  • Against the Spread: 9-10 (47.4%)

Look Back at How Heisman Winners Have Performed in Bowls

2018 – Kyler Murray (QB – Oklahoma)

Another Oklahoma quarterback won the award in 2018, as Kyler Murray narrowly edged Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It just so happened the two faced off in the semifinals of the playoffs. Much like Mayfield the year before, Murray was not the reason the Sooners came up short in a 34-45 defeat. Murray threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 109 yards and a score.

2017 – Baker Mayfield (QB – Oklahoma)

It certainly looked like Baker Mayfield was going to lead his team to a win over Georgia in the college football playoffs, but in the end the Sooners suffered a heartbreaking 48-54 double-overtime loss. Many of you might recall Oklahoma jumped out to a 31-14 lead in the 1st half, but just a couple minutes into the 4th quarter were trailing 31-38. Mayfield was not to blame for the loss as he went 23 of 35 for 287 yards and 2 scores.

2016 – Lamar Jackson (QB – Louisville)

There’s no denying Jackson was the best player in college football during the 2016 season. He was so good, he had the award wrapped up basically half-way through the year. Unfortunately for Jackson it didn’t end well. The Cardinals were embarrassed by 20-points in a 29-9 defeat to LSU. Jackson couldn’t get anything going against a stingy Tigers defense. He was just 10 of 27 for 153 yards threw the air and rushed for a mere 33 yards on 26 attempts.

2015 – Derrick Henry (RB – Alabama)

Henry became the first player to win the award and help his team cash in a championship in the playoff format. Henry didn’t get off to a great start. While he scored twice in the Tide’s 38-0 win over Michigan State in the semis, he only had 75 yards aon 20 carries (3.8 yards/attempt). He made up for the poor showing with a huge performance in the title game against Clemson, rushing for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns.

2014 – Marcus Mariota (QB – Oregon)

Mariota was the first winner to play twice in postseason play. He shined in the Ducks 59-20 blowout win over the Seminoles in the semifinals. He threw for 338 yards and 2 scores and rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown. He put up similar numbers (333 yards, 2 TDs) in the title game against the Buckyes, but Oregon fell 20-42. The star of that game was Ohio State’s Exekiel Elliott, who rushed for 246 yards and 4 scores.

2013 – Jameis Winston (QB – Florida St)

Winston didn’t put up huge numbers, but his performance will be remembered in Tallahasse. FSU fell behind Auburn 21-3 early in the title game. They would rally to take a 27-24 lead with 4:31 to play in the 4th quarter. Next thing you know, the Tigers retook the lead 31-27 with 1:19 left on the clock. Winston didn’t panic and took the Seminoles 80 yards in just over a minute for a game-winning TD. He finished the contest with 237 yards and 2 scores on 20 of 35 passing.

2012 – Johnny Manziel (QB – Texas A&M)

Johnny “Football” Manziel was the talk of the nation after becoming the first freshman to win the award. He lived up to the hype in the Cotton Bowl against No. 11 Oklahoma.  He led the No. 9 ranked Aggies to a 41-13 blowout win. Manziel completed 22 of 34 pass attempts for 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.  He also led the team in rushing with 17 carries for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

2011 – Robert Griffin III (QB – Baylor)

RGIII and the Bears offense did their part, as No. 12 Baylor won a 67-56 shootout over unranked Washingon.  Griffin finished 24 of 33 for 295 yards and a touchdown with no picks.  He also had 55 yards on the ground, adding a third touchdown for the game. Cetainly not a bad performance, but RB Terrance Ganaway stole the spotlight with 200 yards and 5 touchdowns on 21 rushing attempts.

2010 –  Cam Newton (QB – Auburn)

Newton had one heck of a year with the Tigers. Not only was he named the best player in the country, he led Auburn to a BCS Championship. After the defense allowed Oregon to score a  TD and 2-point conversion in the final minutes to tie it at 19-19,  Newton guided them 73 yards on 7 plays to setup the game-winning field goal as time expired. Newton went  20 of 34 pass  for 265 yards and two touchdowns.  He also had one interception, and was second on the team in rushing with 22 carries for 64 yards.

2009 – Mark Ingram (RB – Alabama)

Ingram played a big part of the Crimson Tide’s 37-21 victory over Texas in the title game. He racked up 116 rushing yards on 22 carries, getting in the endzone twice. It certainly wasn’t the passing attack that won it for Alabama. The Tide were a mere 6 of 12 passing for 91 yards on the game.

2008 – Sam Bradford (QB – Oklahoma)

Bradford was faced with the difficult task of taking on Tebow and the No. 2 Gators in the BCS title matchup. It ended in disappointment as the Sooners lost the game 14-24 after rallying late to tie it at 14-14 early in the 4th quarter.  Bradford wasn’t at his best. While he thew for 256 yards and two scores, he also had two interceptions. Both picks were costly. One came in the final seconds of the 1st half with Oklahoma on Florida’s 6-yard line. The other led to a Gator TD in the 4th quarter with the Sooners only trailing 14-17.

2007 – Tim Tebow (QB – Florida)

Tebow is rightfully considered one of the best college players of all-time. The year he won the Heisman his Gators lost 35-41 in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan. Tebow didn’t have his best game, but did enough for the win. While he only threw for 154 yards on 17 of 34 passing, he threw 3 touchdowns. Not to mention he rushed for 57 yards and a score on 16 attempts. It was Florida’s defense that was to blame for the loss, as they allowed the Wolverines to rack up 524 yards, including 397 threw the air.

2006 – Troy Smith (QB – Ohio State)

Smith had one of the most unforgettable performances of any player to win the award in recent memory. Smith and the No. 1 and undefeated Buckeyes got embarrassed in the national championship game, losing 14-41 to No. 2 Florida. Smith was every bit to blame for the loss, as he completed a mere 4 of 14  attempts for 35 yards with an interception.

2005 – Reggie Bush (RB – USC – Award Forfeit)

Bush didn’t have the kind of performance that most expected in the 2005 title game against Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns. USC fell 38-41 in one of the greatest games of our generation. Bush rushed for 82 yards and a TD on 13 attempts, while also catching 6 passes for 95 yards. He would later forfeit the award, but there’s no arguing he was the best player in the country that season.

2004 – Matt Leinart (QB – USC)

Leinart led his USC Trojans to a perfect season.  They finished 13-0, capping off the year with a 55-19 rout over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.  Leinart had what could be described as the game of his career. He threw for 332 yards with five touchdowns (Orange Bowl record at the time).

2003 – Jason White (QB – Oklahoma)

White brought the Heisman Trophy back to Oklahoma. He was the first Sooners’ player to win the award since Billy Simms back in 1978. White didn’t play up to his potential in a 14-21 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl. He completed a mere 13 of his 37 pass attempts for 102 yards and two interceptions.  White also added seven “rushing attempts” for a loss of 46 yards.

2002 – Carson Palmer (QB – USC)

The Trojans finished the 2002 season with an 11-2 record.  That included a 38-17 win in the Orange Bowl over the Iowa Hawkeyes.  Palmer deserved a lot of credit in the win. He was 21 of  31 for 303 yards (1 TD) against the tough Iowa defense.

List of Heisman Winners Who Won National Championship in Same Season

PlayerSchoolYear
Derrick HenryAlabama2015
Jameis WinstonFlorida State2013
Cam NewtonAuburn2010
Mark IngramAlabama2009
Matt LeinartUSC2004
Charles WoodsonMichigan1997
Danny WuerffelFlorida1996
Charlie WardFlorida State1993
Tony DorsetttPittsburgh1976
Leon HartNotre Dame1949
John LujackNotre Dame1947
Glenn DavisArmy1946
Felix “Doc” BlanchardArmy1945
Angelo BertelliNotre Dame1943
Frank SinkwichGeorgia1942
Bruce SmithMinnesota1941
Davey O’BrienTCU1938