Heisman trophy winners are forever etched in college football immortality, but there are also several other players who have reached legendary status and were snubbed from winning the award. With a new Heisman winner being announced Saturday night, we're looking back at some of the best players who didn't win the award. Here are the five best college football players that failed to win the Heisman:
5) Rex Grossman, QB, Florida Gators - 2001
Grossman finished second behind Eric Crouch in 2001 by 62 points in a crowded and contested race, but looking back, there was a much better debate for Sexy Rexy than for Crouch. The Gators quarterback passed for 3896 Yds with 34 TD and 12 interceptions that year while Crouch threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (seven). However, his 1,115 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground gave him the award Grossman deserved.
4) O.J. Simpson, RB, USC Trojans - 1967
Simpson won the Heisman the next year in 1968 and looking back, it's probably best that he wasn't the first two-time winner of the award. He ran for 1,543 yards with 13 touchdowns with a 5.3 yards per carry average but lost out to UCLA's Gary Beban, who threw for fewer yards (1,359 yards) and fewer touchdowns (eight). However, 11 rushing touchdowns added to his case, but Simpson should've won.
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3) Herschel Walker, RB, Georgia Bulldogs - 1980
Walker should've been the first freshman to win the award in 1980 when he surprisingly finished third behind South Carolina's George Rogers and Pitt defensive lineman Hugh Green. The biggest reason why he didn't win the award was that many voters were opposed to voting for a freshman, but he led UGA to a win over Rogers' Gamecocks during the season and carried the Bulldogs to their latest national championship game season. He would win the Heisman as a junior in 1982.
2) Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma Sooners - 2004
Another running back that should have won the award as a freshman, he nearly became the first player to do so by running for 1,925 yards and 15 touchdowns on 339 carries, but finished as the runner-up in Heisman voting that season. He led the Sooners to the national championship game, where they ended up losing to USC and Heisman winner Matt Leinart.
1) Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska Cornhuskers - 1995
Ohio State's Eddie George won the award, but Frazier racked up 31 total touchdowns (17 touchdowns, 14 rushing) and led Nebraska to their second-straight undefeated season and national championship. To this day, he's the most accomplished and most successful player to never win the Heisman.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed