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Ranking the Heisman Winners, No. 51 to 79
Florida QB Steve Spurrier
Florida QB Steve Spurrier
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 15, 2013


What would happen if you took all of the Heisman winners and tried to figure out which ones had the best of the best seasons? ... No. 51 to 78


The All-Time Heisman Rankings

The Winners from No. 51 to 79

By Pete Fiutak 

What If The Heisman Voting Was Done After The Bowls? 
- 2000 to 2012 | 1990 to 1999 | 1980 to 1989 | 1970 to 1979

Ranking the All-Time Winners

- The 25 Greatest Heisman Winners | No. 26 to 50 | No. 51 to 79
 
Heisman Winners - Top 5 Races, Player to Not Win, and More
- 2010 to Present | 2000 to 2009 | 1990 to 1999 | 1980 to 1989
- 1970 to 1979 | 1960 to 1969 | 1950 to 1959 | 1940 to 1949 | 1930 to 1935

51. 1950 Vic Janowicz, RB Ohio State 
runner-up:
Kyle Rote, RB SMU

Not just a great running back, Janowicz was one of the nation's best defensive backs and kickers. He threw four touchdown passes, ran for two scores and kicked ten extra points in a 83-21 win over Iowa.

52. 1989 Andre Ware, QB Houston 
runner-up:
Anthony Thompson, RB Indiana

Before there was Mike Leach's Texas Tech attack, there was Houston. Ware completed 64% of his passes for 4,299 yards and 44 touchdowns. 

53. 1962 Terry Baker, QB Oregon State 
runner-up:
Jerry Stovall, HB LSU

Baker led the nation in total offense and was the first Heisman winner to come from the West Coast.

54. 2012 Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M 
runner-up:
Manti Te'o, LB Notre Dame 

The first freshman to ever win the Heisman set the SEC record for total offense with 3,419 yards and 24 touchdown passes with 1,181 rushing yards and 19 scores. While he was magical in the road win over Alabama, he struggled in a loss to LSU and couldn't come through in a loss to Florida. Only four of the wins came against bowl bound teams.

55. 1969 Steve Owens, RB Oklahoma 
runner-up:
Mike Phipps, QB Purdue 

Owens only averaged 4.3 yards per carry, but he was a workhorse and a touchdown machine with 1,523 yards and 23 touchdowns. However, his Sooners only went 6-4.

56. 1994 Rashaan Salaam, RB Colorado 
runner-up:
Ki-Jana Carter, RB Penn State

Salaam ran for more yards, but many think Carter was the better player in 1994. Salaam's highlight was a 317-yard day against Texas. He ran for 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns in 1994 leading the Buffaloes to an 11-1 season.

57. 1937 Clint Frank, QB Yale 
runner-up:
Byron White, RB Colorado

One of the best combinations of speed out of the backfield and passing accuracy, Frank also was one of the nation's top defensive players in 1937. 

58. 1948 Doak Walker, RB SMU 
runner-up:
Charlie Justice, RB North Carolina

Walker won the Heisman as a junior leading the Mustangs to the Cotton Bowl rushing for 532 yards and eight touchdowns.

59. 1936 Larry Kelley, E Yale 
runner-up:
Sam Francis, FB Nebraska

How many linemen are also home-run hitting receivers? Kelley, not only the nation's best offensive lineman but also the team's top receiver with 54 and 46-yard touchdown grabs, was the star of a great Yale team that finished 7-1.

60. 1972 Johnny Rodgers, WR Nebraska 
runner-up:
Greg Pruitt, RB Oklahoma

While he didn't have quite the season he had in 1971, Rodgers was still an electrifying all-purpose star as Nebraska went 9-2-1 with an Orange Bowl win.

61. 1949 Leon Hart, E Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Charlie Justice, RB North Carolina

Hart was the star on one of Notre Dame's most dominant teams as an offensive lineman, pass catcher, top pass rusher and bruising fullback.

62. 1966 Steve Spurrier, QB Florida 
runner-up:
Bob Griese, QB Purdue

The young Ball Coach actually could throw a little bit and was a better runner than most of the stars he has coached. He led the Gators to a 9-2 record.

63. 2003 Jason White, QB Oklahoma 
runner-up:
Larry Fitzgerald, WR Pittsburgh

White had a great year, but unfortunately he'll mostly be remembered for his end-of-the-year collapse than his phenomenal 3,846-yard, 40 touchdown pass performance. 

64. 1987 Tim Brown, WR Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Don McPherson, QB Syracuse

Brown was the star just before Lou Holtz's Irish teams became special. In his Heisman winning season, Brown was the ultimate game-changer with his kick returns as well as his pass catching and rushing skills.

65. 1943 Angelo Bertelli, QB Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Bob Odell, HB Penn

How do you possibly judge Bertelli's Heisman season? He threw ten touchdown passes as Notre Dame won its first six games by a combined score of 261 to 31, but his season was cut short thanks to a petty little annoyance called World War II. Bertelli was drafted into the Army, but he still won the Heisman. 

66. 2002 Carson Palmer, QB USC 
runner-up:
Brad Banks, QB Iowa

Palmer was terrific in 2002 throwing for 3,942 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions leading the Trojans to the Orange Bowl. He'd be higher if USC had played for the national title or had even won the Pac 10 title outright (USC lost to Jason Gesser and Washington State).

67. 2009 Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
runner-up: Toby Gerhart, RB Alabama

Ingram finished 11th in the nation in rushing with 1,658 yards and 17 scores, but he came through in the biggest games running for 113 yards and three scores, and catching two passes for 76 yards, in the SEC Championship win over Florida, and he tore off 246 yards against South Carolina and 144 yards against LSU. Call this an MVP award as he helped take Alabama to a national title.

68. 1975 Archie Griffin, RB Ohio State 
runner-up:
Chuck Muncie, RB California

One of the great Heisman debates, Griffin won his second straight Award despite only rushing for only four touchdowns (Pete Johnson took carries and stats away rushing for 1,059 yards and 26 touchdowns) while Cal's Chuck Muncie ran for 1,460 yards averaging 6.4 yards per carry with 13 touchdowns. Worse yet, Griffin had his only non-100-yard day against Michigan with a 46-yard performance. The Buckeyes still won and went off to the Rose Bowl where they lost to UCLA. Griffin ran for 93 yards.

69. 1957 John David Crow, RB Texas A&M 
runner-up:
Alex Karras, DT Iowa

Crow had a good year, but not a sensational one for a Heisman winner playing in only seven games due to injuries and rushing for 562 yards with six touchdowns. However, he picked off five passes as A&M won its first eight games before losing the final three by a total of six points.

70. 1964 John Huarte, QB Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Jerry Rhome, QB Tulsa

Huarte had a good season leading the Irish to a 9-1 record, but it was nothing special only completing 57% of his passes for 2,062 yards and 16 touchdowns.

71. 1959 Billy Cannon, HB LSU 
runner-up:
Rich Lucas, QB Penn State

Cannon was the heart and soul of the 11-0 LSU team ... in 1958. He was good in 1959, remembered for a legendary performance in a 7-3 win over Ole Miss, but he won the Award off the year before. Had he won it in 1958, Cannon would be much, much higher on this list.

72. 1958 Pete Dawkins, RB Army 
runner-up:
Randy Duncan, QB Iowa

Dawkins was the leader of a mighty Army team that went 8-0-1. He ran for 12 touchdowns and was a decent kick returner, but he primarily won the Heisman for being the American ideal. He was smart, good-looking, and the top player for Army.

73. 1971 Pat Sullivan, QB Auburn 
runner-up:
Ed Marinaro, RB Cornell

Sullivan was a fine passer, but he was known more for being a great winner getting Auburn to a 9-0 start. However, he had his worst game in the biggest game of the year throwing for only 121 yards with two interceptions in a 31-7 loss to Alabama.

74. 1947 Johnny Lujack, QB Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Bob Chappus, HB Michigan

Sort of the early version of Gino Torretta, Lujack won the Heisman as the best player on a ridiculously talented team. Along with being one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the first half of the 20th Century, he was also known for being a top tackler.

75. 1956 Paul Hornung, QB Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Johnny Majors, RB Tennessee

Either you could say Hornung won because of the Notre Dame name, or you can just call him a victim of circumstance as he was a great player on a lousy team. The only Heisman winner from a losing team, he only ran for 420 yards and racked up 1,337 yards of total offense. However, stats don't measure quite how good he was.

76. 1992 Gino Torretta, QB Miami 
runner-up:
Marshall Faulk, RB San Diego State

Torretta's name has become the term for players who win the Heisman when voters can't decide on a candidate. He threw for a decent 3,060 yards and 19 touchdowns with seven interceptions before the Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama.

77. 2001 Eric Crouch, QB Nebraska 
runner-up:
Rex Grossman, QB Florida

Had Florida's Rex Grossman been a senior and Nebraska's Eric Crouch been a sophomore, and not the other way around, it would've been a Grossman landslide. Crouch had a great year rushing, but his claim to the honor was a touchdown catch to seal a win over Oklahoma. Grossman threw for fewer than 300 yards once, 290 in the win over Florida State, and in the team's biggest games he threw for 362 against Tennessee, 464 against LSU and 407 against Georgia.

78. 1953 Johnny Lattner, HB Notre Dame 
runner-up:
Paul Giel, HB Minnesota

Call this one for the Notre Dame hype machine. Lattner didn't even lead the Irish in passing, rushing, receiving or scoring. He was a great all-purpose player and a fantastic defensive back, but his close win over Minnesota's Paul Giel is among Heisman historians' all-time arguments.

798. 1967 Gary Beban, QB UCLA 
runner-up:
O.J. Simpson, RB USC

The strangest of all Heisman victories, Beban only threw for 1,359 yards with eight touchdown passes and eight interceptions. His one shining moment came on national television completing 16 of 24 passes for 301 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against USC. There was one problem ... UCLA lost thanks to a scintillating performance from Trojan star RB O.J. Simpson. Simpson led his team to the national title thanks to a historic 64-yard touchdown run against the Bruins to finish with 1,543 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns. Beban did run for 11 scores on the season, but he only gained 227 yards.