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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

2014 Heisman Trophy Award Finalists Announced

On Monday night, the 2014 Heisman Trophy award finalists were announced. In a season where there have been surprises throughout the country, the finalists were expected and came as no shock to anyone.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper were the three finalists announced to take home the 80th edition of the Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in all of sports, college or pro. Over the years the Heisman Trophy has came a long ways, but as the world of media has evolved the award has became sort of a popularity contest. I have been critical about that characteristic of the award, but despite that it still reigns supreme as the greatest trophy in college athletics.

The three candidates this year all are very worthy and most importantly all three are great role models off the field. The last two Heisman Trophy winners, Johnny Manziel in 2012 and Jameis Winston in 2013, both had issues off the field. It put a black eye on both the sport of college football and the Heisman Trophy.

This season the award will go to a great representative of not only their respective school, but also the sport of college football. Mariota, Gordon and Cooper all have had outstanding seasons, but which one will come out on top when the award is handed out?

Marcus Mariota has carried Oregon to the first annual College Football Playoff. He has a total quarterback rating of 91.9, the highest QBR in FBS college football. The previous two quarterbacks that led the nation in quarterback rating won the award.

Mariota has also accounted for over 50 touchdowns this season for Oregon, which is by far the most by a single player for their respective team.

Melvin Gordon helped carry a Wisconsin offense that had issues at the quarterback position and played against defenses designed specifically for him. Gordon led the nation with 2,336 rushing yards. His 2,336 total rushing yards was the 4th most ever in a single season in the history of FBS college football.

He broke the single game rush record this season with 408 total yards against Nebraska. Gordon’s record was broke just a week later, but despite the record falling he still was the unquestionable best running back in the nation this season.

Amari Cooper was the catalyst to an all-time record breaking Alabama offense. Cooper led the FBS with 115 receptions and 1,656 receiving yards. He was the centerpiece of an Alabama offense that was explosive in the pass game for the first time in recent memories.

Cooper would become only the third wide receiver in the history of college football to win the Heisman Trophy award. The previous winners of the award that played wide receiver were Tim Brown from Notre Dame and Desmond Howard for the Michigan Wolverines. Cooper certainly has the talent that rivals those two, but whether he will be the third wide receiver to win the Heisman is yet to be seen.

If we were handicapping the award, I feel Oregon’s Marcus Mariota is the clear frontrunner to take home the award. He has the great qualities you look for in a Heisman Trophy award winner both on and off the field. Mariota represents Oregon and the game of college football with class and respect.

My final finishing order for the 2014 Heisman Trophy award would be Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon in that order. All three are very deserving of the award and will be great representatives of the sport on Heisman Trophy presentation night in New York City.

Mariota has been the best player in the nation from the beginning of the season. He will likely become Oregon’s first Heisman Trophy winner ever and they couldn’t ask for a better person to represent them. It has been an incredible season for all three candidates and we are just days away from finding out which player’s life will change forever.


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