A quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy each of the last five years and 13 times dating back to 2000. The game of college football has evolved to see quarterbacks pile up stats and gather plenty of notoriety during the course of the season, so it may not be a surprise to see the Heisman Trophy slant in favor of high-profile quarterbacks winning the award with regularity.
On Saturday night, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota continued that trend by running away with the 2014 Heisman Trophy. Mariota pulled away from the nation’s best wide receiver, Alabama’s Amari Cooper, and the nation’s leading rusher, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. Gordon not winning the award did not seem to sit well with another former Badgers running back, another Heisman Trophy finalist.
Montee Ball, a 2011 Heisman finalist after rushing for 1,759 yards and 32 touchdowns, shared his reaction to his Wisconsin successor getting passed over for another quarterback.
— Montee Ball (@ballrb28) December 14, 2014
Ball finished fourth in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting. That year’s award went to Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. Stanford’s Andrew Luck finished second, followed by Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
This was a strong year for running backs, but Mariota entered the year as a Heisman favorite and did nothing this season to detract from his Heisman track. Is the Heisman Trophy a quarterback award, or did the voters get it right this year?