Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why I'm glad Robert Griffin III won the Heisman

When I learned through an email alert on Saturday night that Baylor's Robert Griffin III had won the Heisman Trophy, I was surprised. And happy.

Mind you, I don't know Griffin. In fact, I know none of the five candidates invited to the celebration. Instead, my satisfaction came from seeing the proverbial underdog coming out on top.

Let's face it, when it comes to a discussion about college football, Baylor doesn't belong in the national conversation. For years, it has been -- at best -- a middle-of-the-road program lost in the shadows of its bigger, more successful and more championship-rich Texas neighbors.

This year, Griffin didn't elevate Baylor to the top of the Big 12 Conference, but he did lead the Bears to wins over Oklahoma and Texas. The Bears finished with nine wins and a date in the Alamo Bowl against Washington.

Griffin's fellow finalists were either better known or attend nationally recognized programs. Those schools were Stanford (Andrew Luck finished second in the voting), Alabama (Trent Richardson finished third), Wisconsin (Montee Ball was fourth) and LSU (Tyrann Mathieu was fifth).

I expected Luck or Richardson would win, largely because their reputations, I thought, would influence the voters. I'm happy to admit I was wrong.

So at least for one year, the Heisman Trophy was won by the underdog.


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