The Heisman Trophy: Style Over Substance

Denard Robison.jpg
Denard Robinson, the next Heisman winner? Yawn.
Reggie Bush gave back his Heisman Trophy. To which I respond: Big friggin' deal.

I know the Heisman is one of the most hyped awards, but - let's be honest - it's also the most meaningless sports trophy this side of the Governor's Cup, Golden Boot and the Iron Skillet.

Here's how it usually works: A university school of medicine's top student goes on to be a successful doctor. The best writer at a college student newspaper matures into a solid, professional reporter at a big-city paper. The hottest sorority girl gets married and becomes a MILF.

There are hiccups, of course. But seems to me they happen more frequently in the transition from college to pro football. More than any individual sports accolade, the Heisman is a flawed indicator of future success.

Granted it's an extremely subjective study and results may vary, but with a little digging and remembering I came to the conclusion that college football's Heisman indeed is far less important than basketball's Naismith Award or college baseball's Golden Spikes Award.

Taking into account their careers as pros - that includes stats, all-star teams, longevity, etc. - I slapped a simple label on a handful of award winners: Win or Loss. For example, the Heisman's Tony Dorsett went on to win a Super Bowl and get enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That's a win. On the other hand, the Naismith's Jay Williams was the NBA's second overall pick in 2002 but suffered major injuries in a motorcycle accident and wound up getting cut by the minor-league Austin Toros before retiring in obscurity. That's a loss.

Get it?

Using that very unscientific formula, the results were shocking.

With a record of 21-11, the Golden Spikes Award is the most accurate fortune teller, followed by the Naismith (22-15) and the Heisman (21-18). That's right, while 65.6 percent of college baseball's best go on to successful careers in Major League Baseball and 59.4 percent of college basketball's best have star-studded NBA legacies, barely half - 53.8 percent - of college football's best produce standout careers in the NFL.

This proves that either I have too much time on my hands or we need to shrug and ignore when this year's breathless Heisman Watch List starts making the rounds.

If you're interested in my breakdowns, jump on ...

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