Historic football programs have only two Heisman winners
It's just a 13.5inch tall chunk of bronze, but it carries more weight than its 25 pounds UGG Boots UK would suggest. LSU and Alabama will have combined for 17 national titles by the time the BCS championship game is settled. But even with the storied histories of the two teams, there's something less represented the Heisman Trophy.
Rusty Costanza/The TimesPicayuneAlabama running back Mark Ingram hurdles LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson in November 2010. Ingram is the Crimson Tide's sole Heisman Trophy winner.
In the 77year history of the Heisman, 16 schools have had multiple winners. Included in that number is Yale, which had two players voted the best college player in the land. Despite the rich traditions of LSU and Alabama, surprisingly they have to combine histories to match Yale's Heisman success.
Both teams have had their share of stars roaming the campus, but LSU's Billy Cannon and Alabama's Mark Ingram are the only players at each school to take home the honor.
Historically, it was more difficult for a team that didn't play near a major media market to get nationally televised games to showcase its top players for a Heisman candidacy, creating what CBS Sports commentator Tim Brando called, "a regionally biased process."
"Alabama and Louisiana State University are neither in densely populated states, nor do they have in their history major markets within their states to help bring the word to the rest of the world," Brando said. "I think it certainly has changed."
LSU and Alabama had ugg boots outlet Heisman finalists on their rosters this season. Tigers sophomore cornerback Tyrann Mathieu finished fifth and Crimson Tide junior running back Trent Richardson third, behind the winner, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Before Mathieu, the last LSU player to make the Heisman finalist cut was Charles Alexander in 1977.
"I don't really think that Heisman Trophies are necessarily the mark," said LSU Coach Les Miles. "I think it's a tremendous player, and I think that year in and year out guys on a number of teams can win that award."
More than 50 years ago Cannon earned the award for LSU.
The TimesPicayune archiveBilly Cannon's 89yard punt return for a touchdown against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959 still goes down as arguably the signature play in LSU football history, and it launched Cannon toward Heisman fame.
He enjoyed a solid 1959 season, though by today's standards, his 598 yards rushing and five touchdowns wouldn't even merit a glance. But Cannon did have a "Heisman moment."
His 89yard punt return for a touchdown against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959 still goes down as arguably the signature play in LSU football history, and it launched Cannon toward Heisman fame.
Cannon doesn't remember a fullscale Mardi Gras scene when http://cheaperbootsuk.com he returned to Baton Rouge after the ceremony, but he does remember a kind reception.
"All the reporters and a few people were out to meet the plane," Cannon said. "It was a very nice occasion. One that you can't buy, and you can't give away."
As commemoration for the 25th anniversary of the award, Cannon is the only player ever to receive a Heisman Trophy cast in silver.
"Even back in my day, it was a very prestigious award," Cannon said.
Adding to the intrigue, Cannon received the award in New York from Vice President ugg boots uk Richard Nixon, though he had to navigate through some watchful eyes to greet Nixon.
"Well, obviously we passed security," Cannon said. "There were as many secret service agents in the audience when he got up to speak as there were people in the room. It was kind of new to me."
Cannon said he is shocked LSU hasn't had another winner since then. He pointed to the 1962 season, when he believed running back Jerry Stovall should've been the Tigers' second Heisman winner. But Cannon said Stovall's candidacy was done in more so off the field.
Oregon State's Terry Baker won the award in a close race in 1962.
"We ran into something that was unknown (at the time), and it was called a blitz,'" Cannon said. "Every time Terry Baker threw a touchdown pass all the numbers were immediately sent out to all the voters in America."
Stovall, meanwhile, was relying on an antiquated sports information department manned by Ace Higgins and Bud Johnson at LSU to pedal his wares.
"The Sports Information Department was a groundfloor room in north (Tiger) Stadium," Cannon said. "That room consisted of one desk, two chairs, three cabinets and a telephone.
"They used the same desk and they shared the same telephone."
Technological advances have made Heisman candidacy an even playing field, though Cannon believes players now start making their cases a season in advance.
"When Tyrann came back from New York being one of the finalists, someone said, 'Man that's terrible, he didn't win,' " Cannon said. "I said, 'No cheap ugg boots uk he did not win. But he's first in line for next year because everybody else is leaving.'"
The same person asked Cannon why he didn't attend the Heisman ceremony this season, as is customary for previous winners, and he replied, "Because I'm going next year when he wins it."
Mathieu went in as an underdog for the award, but Richardson looked like a favorite heading into the final stretch as he finished with 1,583 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns this season.