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If The Heisman Came After The Bowls - 1970s
Ohio State RB Archie Griffin
Ohio State RB Archie Griffin
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 7, 2012


What if the Heisman Trophy was awarded after the bowls, not before? Here's what might have happened in the 1970 to 1979 races.

Post-Bowl Heisman Voting

The 1970s

By Pete Fiutak 

What If The Heisman Voting Was Done After The Bowls? 
- 2000 to 2011 | 1990 to 1999 | 1980 to 1989 | 1970 to 1979

Ranking the All-Time Winners

- The 25 Greatest Heisman Winners | No. 25 to 50 | No. 51 to 77
 
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

1979 Charles White, RB USC
The Final Three Were ... 1) White, 2) Billy Sims, RB Oklahoma, 3) Marc Wilson, QB BYU
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Charles White, RB USC
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) White, 2) Sims, 3) Wilson

Charles White won in a surprising landslide over Billy Sims, and it would've easily held up after tearing through Ohio State for 242 yards and a touchdown. Sims ran for 164 yards and a touchdown in the 24-7 win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl to solidify the No. 2 spot. Marc Wilson would've stayed at three after throwing for 380 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions in a 38-37 loss to Indiana in the Holiday Bowl.

1978 Billy Sims, RB Oklahoma
The Final Three Were ... 1) Sims, 2) Chuck Fusina, QB Penn State, 3) Rick Leach, QB Michigan
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Billy Sims, RB Oklahoma
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Sims, 2) Charles White, RB USC 3) Fusina

One of the closest races ever would've been a wide open blowout after the 1978 bowl season. Billy Sims, who averaged 7.6 yards per carry with 1,762 yards, ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns in s 31-24 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Chuck Fusina only completed 15 of 30 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions in the classic 14-7 loss to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Rick Leach had an awful Rose Bowl in a 17-10 loss to USC thanks to Charles White. The Trojan junior finished fourth in the Heisman voting, but he would've easily been moved up to second after the bowls after rushing for 99 yards and a score.

1977 Earl Campbell, RB Texas
The Final Three Were ... 1) Campbell, 2) Terry Miller, RB Oklahoma State, 3) Ken MacAfee, TE Notre Dame
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Earl Campbell, RB Texas
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Campbell, 2) Miller, 3) MacAfee

Terry Miller was a machine for Oklahoma State as the star runner who'd be the measuring stick for Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas several years later, but he wasn't Earl Campbell. Despite losing to Notre Dame 38-10 in the Cotton Bowl, Campbell would've still won the Heisman after running for 116 yards. Ken MacAfee only caught four passes for 45 yards.

1976 Tony Dorsett, RB Pitt
The Final Three Were ... 1) Dorsett, 2) Rickey Bell, USC, 3) Rob Lytle, RB Michigan
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Tony Dorsett, RB Pitt
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Dorsett, 2) Bell, 3) Lytle

Tony Dorsett won with ease, and it would've been an even bigger slam-dunk after running for 202 yards and a touchdown in the 27- 3 win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to take the national title. Ricky Bell and Rob Lytle would've been the easy two and three with no one else remotely in the picture.

1975 Archie Griffin, RB Ohio State
The Final Three Were ... 1) Griffin, 2) Chuck Muncie, RB California, 3) Ricky Bell, RB USC
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Archie Griffin, RB Ohio State
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Griffin, 2) Tony Dorsett, RB Pitt, 3) Muncie

This would be one of the more debatable years. Archie Griffin won in a landslide, and even though his No. 1 Buckeyes gagged away the Rose Bowl in a 23-10 loss to UCLA, he wasn't bad with 93 yards on 17 carries. Pitt's Tony Dorsett finished fourth, and he might have had a legitimate shot at winning the award after rushing for 142 yards and two touchdowns in a Sun Bowl win over Kansas. Cal and Chuck Muncie didn't go to a bowl.

1974 Archie Griffin, RB Ohio State
The Final Three Were ... 1) Griffin, 2) Anthony Davis, RB USC, 3) Joe Washington, RB Oklahoma
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Archie Griffin, RB Ohio State
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Griffin, 2) Davis, 3) Washington

Archie Griffin won relatively easily, and he would've still been the pick after the bowls despite an 18-17 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl. While he was held in check, running for 75 yards on 20 carries, it wasn't like Anthony Davis, who finished second in the voting, went nuts with 67 yards on 13 carries. No one else was really in the picture.

1973 John Cappelletti, RB Penn State
The Final Three Were ... 1) Cappelletti, 2) John Hicks, OT Ohio State, 3) Roosevelt Leaks, RB Texas
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... John Cappelletti, RB Penn State
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Cappelletti, 2) Hicks, 3) Anthony Davis, RB USC

John Cappelletti was held in check by LSU running for 50 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, but Penn State won 16-9. More importantly, there was no one else remotely worthy of winning even after John Hicks' Ohio State smacked USC 42-21 in the Rose Bowl. USC's Anthony Davis ran wild on the Buckeyes with 157 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and would've gone from not even being in the top ten to number three after Roosevelt Leaks and Texas were stuffed by Nebraska 19-3 in the Cotton Bowl.

1972 Johnny Rodgers, RB Nebraska
The Final Three Were ... 1) Rodgers, 2) Greg Pruitt, RB Oklahoma, 3) Rich Glover, NG Nebraska
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Johnny Rodgers, HB Nebraska
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Rodgers, 2) Pruitt, 3) Glover

This is an easy call. Johnny Rodgers basically won for what he did in 1971, but he proved he deserved the honor by running 15 times for 81 yards and three touchdowns, and catching three passes for 71 yards and a score, in one of the all-time great bowl performances beating Notre Dame 40-6 in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Greg Pruitt was fine, but nothing special, in a 14-0 Sugar Bowl win over Penn State running 21 times for 66 yards.

1971 Pat Sullivan, QB Auburn
The Final Three Were ... 1) Sullivan, 2) Ed Marinaro, RB Cornell, 3) Greg Pruitt, RB Oklahoma
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Ed Marinaro, RB Cornell
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Marinaro, 2) Jack Mildren, QB Oklahoma, 3) Sullivan

This one's tough. Ed Marinaro was in the mix because he put up huge historical numbers for a mediocre Cornell team. Sullivan was no big deal, but was the best of a bad Heisman lot before a lousy 40-22 Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma. He completed 20-of-44 for 250 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Sooner QB Jack Mildren, who finished sixth in the final voting but was lumped in a group of six players who all got about the same number of voting points, ran 30 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns. He likely would've passed Sullivan, Penn State's Lydell Mitchell, Alabama's Johnny Musso, and Pruitt, who ran for 95 yards and a score, into the number two spot.

1970 Jim Plunkett, QB Stanford
The Final Three Were ... 1) Plunkett, 2) Joe Theismann, QB Notre Dame, 3) Archie Manning, QB Ole Miss
The Likely Winner After The Bowls Would’ve Been ... Jim Plunkett, RB Stanford
The Final Three Likely Would’ve Been ... 1) Plunkett, 2) Theismann, 3) Manning

Jim Plunkett pulled off one of the all-time Rose Bowl completing 20-of-30 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown with an interception in the 27-17 win over Ohio State, so yeah, he would've won the Heisman easily after the bowls. Notre Dame beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl, and Manning was terrific in the loss to Auburn in the Gator Bowl, so the regular season results would've held up.