It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s MNC Wednesdays time, as we go back to look at Heisman Trophy winners in the past—and whether or not they truly deserved the award. We have confirmed just 3 winners in the 12 seasons of analysis so far, and that tells us much about … well, many things. We never know in advance what will happen, and that makes it all the more fun!
By the way, here is our mythical national championship analysis from this season, too, for context.
1968 Heisman Trophy winner: O.J. Simpson, RB, USC (original, confirmed)
USC running back O.J. Simpson won the award vote after a senior season where he posted 2,091 scrimmage yards and 23 touchdowns while leading his team to a 9-0-1 regular season on the way to a Rose Bowl berth. It will be hard for anyone else to match the Juice here, as he also won our Heisman nod for the previous season. The Trojans also played a Top 20 schedule, so Simpson was dominant.
Now, as we do, there are other contenders to consider. Here’s our final list of fully vetted Heisman candidates:
- Ron Sellers, WR, Florida State: 1,496 scrimmage yards and 12 TDs (against the 44th-best SOS)
- Bobby Douglass, QB, Kansas: 1,811 total yards with 24 TDs and 6 INTs (against Top 40 SOS)
No RB could match Simpson’s stats/SOS combination, but we have strong candidates at the other skills positions. The Seminoles posted an 8-2 record as an independent, while the Jayhawks tied for the Big 8 title and got the Orange Bowl bid by virtue of a tiebreak. Douglass was a better candidate here than Sellers, but the Juice’s production against a better schedule takes the cake for us here.
This really means that Simpson should have been the first two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy, in truth. Regardless of poor life choices later, he belongs atop the pile of the greatest college football players ever. No one can deny that.
Congratulations to O.J. Simpson, the legitimate Heisman Trophy winner from 1968.