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Rohde: Can Bradford buck the trend of Heisman winners losing their bowl game?

By John Rohde Modified: December 14, 2008 at 8:31 am •  Published: December 13, 2008
The good news? That's easy.

Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.

The bad news?

Heisman winners are a combined 2-9 in bowl games involving No. 1 vs. No. 2.

In bowl games between No. 1 vs. No. 2 in The Associated Press poll, Heisman winners are 2-7.

In national title games involving teams ranked 1-2 in the BCS standings, Heisman winners are 0-2.

All told, Heisman winners have won 22 bowl games and lost 26. They have lost three straight and six of the last eight.

That's no concern of Bradford, who said he doesn’t believe there's a Heisman curse.

"I don't think it says a whole lot. That's history," Bradford said. "The track record isn't great, but you can't let that affect the outcome of the national championship game, based on who wins the Heisman."

Bradford will try to become the third Heisman winner to be victorious when OU faces Florida on Jan. 8 in the BCS national championship game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Previous Heisman winners to lose a bowl game involving No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the AP poll are Navy's Roger Staubach (1963), USC's O.J. Simpson (1968), Georgia's Herschel Walker (1982), Miami's Vinny Testaverde (1986), Miami's Gino Torretta (1992), USC's Reggie Bush (2005) and Ohio State's Troy Smith (2006).

In BCS championship matchups involving No. 1 vs. No. 2, Florida State's Chris Weinke (2000) lost 13-2 to OU in the Orange Bowl and Sooners quarterback Jason White (2003) lost 21-14 to LSU in the Sugar Bowl.

The lone Heisman winners in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 bowl game are Florida State's Charlie Ward (1993) and USC's Matt Leinart (2004) against Oklahoma.

Heisman winners have not gone to a bowl 25 times, but they have played in a game after receiving the award.

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