2009: Greatest Heisman race ever?
We wrote about the amazing 2009 Heisman Trophy race in the Sunday Oklahoman. It’s an historic year. Never before have two Heisman winners returned to a college football season.
Tim Tebow won in 2007 and Sam Bradford in 2008. Now both are back, with ’08 runnerup Colt McCoy a hot contender as well. Back in the day, rarely did a junior win the Heisman, and now if a junior wins, he almost always turns pro.
To have two returning Heisman winners, a series of unlikely events have to occur: 1) a sophomore has to win; 2) that sophomore has to return for his junior AND senior years; 3) the year following the sophomore victory, either another sophomore has to win or a junior who doesn’t turn pro. Barring a total longshot, that’s the recipe, and the stars have to align just right.
And the stars have aligned in 2009.
This is a star-studded campaign unlike anything we’ve seen. This harks back to presidential campaigns that were loaded with big names. In fact, twice in history, we’ve had presidential races that matched men who had already inhabited the White House.
A warning: neither presidential race foreshadows a Sam Bradford victory.
The Tebow Model: In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland won the White House. In 1888, incumbent Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison. Then in 1892, the battle royale was staged. Cleveland vs. Harrison. It was as if George Bush I ran against Bill Clinton in 1996. Or Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan in 1984. Anyway, Cleveland regained the Oval Office. Hurray for Tebow.
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