Marcus Mariota Heisman Margin Puts Him in Bad Company


This was never going to be a question. Marcus Mariota won the 2014 College Football Heisman Trophy in a landslide Saturday night, taking home 90.9 percent of the possible points in the Heisman voting.

As you can see in the results and the story here, that puts him second only to Troy Smith in the largest margin ever.

But here’s the catch: It may not be such a good omen.

Let’s analyze the six other Heisman winners who won the Heisman in what could be considered a landslide, starting with the only other player to get more than 90 percent of the possible points.

As the quarterback for Ohio State, Troy Smith had 91.6 percent of the possible points in 2006. All that happened after that was a blowout at the hands of Florida in the national championship game. Quick, somebody raise their hand and name an accomplishment Smith has had in the NFL. You can’t? Well, that’s because there isn’t one. Like so many Heisman winners, he was never going to be an NFL starting quarterback.

Let’s continue down the list.

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Ricky Williams had the third largest landslide in 1998. It’s safe to say he had a pretty good career in the NFL. But remember that this guy was crazy enough to retire from the league because he couldn’t put down the weed and had to return to get the money. Now, we look at Williams and only think about what could have been.

Next on the list is Charlie Ward. He had to abandon his football career after college, but at least he became a successful NBA star. Does Mariota play another sport? Nope, and if he does, it’s not one that anybody cares about. So football is it.

Finally, we’re down to Cam Newton. He’s had a pretty decent NFL career. But remember that during his Heisman year he was rocked by a scandal that he had to play through, and there seems to be a black cat that has been running around him throughout his NFL years, including the turmoil with the Carolina Panthers and now the freak car accident. The jury is still out on him.

Next up is OJ Simpson. Great NFL career. Do we need to really bring up why this is bad company, though?

And finally, we’re down to Jameis Winston. The jury is still out on his NFL career. But once again, he’s been rocked with his own scandals and humiliation.

So when you get down to it, the most clear-cut Heisman winners all turned out to be NFL busts or rocked by some type of scandal. Mariota hasn’t had any scandals yet.

But this is still bad company to be in.

Okay, now for reality.

Of course this is all a coincidence. Mariota seems to be very smart and disciplined. He comes across as humble and having a great head on his shoulders.

And his numbers don’t lie. When you have 38 passing touchdowns and another 14 rushing to only 2 interceptions with more than 4,400 total yards while getting your team to 12-1 with a conference championship and spot in the College Football Playoff, you’ve done more than enough to earn the Heisman Trophy.

No disrespect to Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon because both guys are great, but the Heisman was well-deserved by Mariota.

All this article is trying to point out is that you can’t read anything into whether or not a guy wins the Heisman or how much he wins by. Neither will assure a great career in the future.

We’re just going to have to wait and see.

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