The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in college football. Every year, college football players compete to be named the winner of the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the best overall player in college football. This article will explore the schools that have produced the most Heisman Trophy winners, as well as examine the impact that winning a Heisman has had on those schools.
An Overview of the Top Schools with the Most Heisman Trophy Winners
There are several schools that have produced multiple Heisman Trophy winners. The University of Southern California (USC) leads the way with seven Heisman Trophy winners. USC’s list of Heisman winners includes O.J. Simpson (1968), Mike Garrett (1965), Matt Leinart (2004), Carson Palmer (2002), Charles White (1979), Reggie Bush (2005), and Marcus Allen (1981).
Notre Dame has also had a long history of producing Heisman Trophy winners. The Fighting Irish have six winners, including Tim Brown (1987), John Huarte (1964), Paul Hornung (1956), Angelo Bertelli (1943), Leon Hart (1949), and John Lattner (1953).
Ohio State and Oklahoma each have five Heisman Trophy winners. Ohio State’s list of winners includes Troy Smith (2006), Eddie George (1995), Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975), Howard “Hopalong” Cassady (1955), and Vic Janowicz (1950). Oklahoma’s list of winners includes Jason White (2003), Billy Sims (1978), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Vessels (1952), and Lee Roy Selmon (1975).
Texas and Florida are tied for fourth on the list with four Heisman Trophy winners. Texas’ list of winners includes Ricky Williams (1998), Earl Campbell (1977), Jim Plunkett (1970), and Doak Walker (1948). Florida’s list of winners includes Danny Wuerffel (1996), Steve Spurrier (1966), Tim Tebow (2007), and Gino Torretta (1992).
The History of Heisman Trophy Winners at Each School
USC’s history of Heisman Trophy winners began with O.J. Simpson in 1968. Simpson was an electrifying runner who set numerous records for the Trojans during his time at USC. His success on the field earned him the nickname “Juice” and he was named the winner of the 1968 Heisman Trophy.
Mike Garrett followed in Simpson’s footsteps in 1965 by becoming the second USC player to win the Heisman Trophy. Garrett was an all-around athlete who excelled at running, passing, and catching the ball. He was a two-time All-American and led USC to two Rose Bowl victories.
Matt Leinart joined the list of USC Heisman winners in 2004 after leading the Trojans to a perfect 13-0 season and a national championship. Leinart was a three-time All-American and set numerous records for USC, including the record for most touchdown passes in a single season.
Notre Dame’s first Heisman Trophy winner was John Huarte in 1964. Huarte was a standout quarterback for the Fighting Irish and led them to an 8-2 record and a #5 ranking in the final AP poll. Huarte was a two-time All-American and also won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best overall player.
Paul Hornung became the second Notre Dame Heisman winner in 1956. Hornung was a triple threat who could run, pass, and kick. He was a two-time All-American and led the Fighting Irish to a 9-1 record and a #2 ranking in the final AP poll. He also won the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award.
A Comparison of the Schools That Have Produced the Most Heisman Trophy Winners
One noticeable difference between the schools that have produced the most Heisman Trophy winners is the style of play. USC and Notre Dame have traditionally been more of a pro-style offense, while Oklahoma and Ohio State have been more of a spread offense. This can be seen in the types of players that have won Heismans from each school. For example, USC has had quarterbacks such as O.J. Simpson, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart who have all been pocket passers. Meanwhile, Oklahoma and Ohio State have had quarterbacks such as Jason White and Troy Smith who have been more mobile and adept at running the spread offense.
Despite these differences, there are some commonalities among the players who have won Heismans from each school. Most notably, they all possess outstanding leadership qualities and the ability to make plays in big moments. They also have a knack for making their teammates better and elevating the play of their teams.
Ranking the Schools by Number of Heisman Trophy Winners
As mentioned earlier, USC leads the way with seven Heisman Trophy winners. Notre Dame and Ohio State are tied for second with six winners each, while Oklahoma and Texas are tied for fourth with four winners apiece.
When it comes to the schools with the highest number of Heisman Trophy winners, USC stands out as the clear leader. The Trojans have produced seven winners, including two-time winner O.J. Simpson and three-time winner Matt Leinart. USC also has the distinction of being the only school to have two consecutive winners in Carson Palmer (2002) and Matt Leinart (2004).
Notre Dame and Ohio State both have six winners, but the Fighting Irish have a slight edge due to their higher number of two-time winners. In addition to John Huarte (1964) and Paul Hornung (1956), Notre Dame also has Leon Hart (1949) and Angelo Bertelli (1943) as two-time winners. Ohio State has just one two-time winner in Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975).
Examining the Players Who Have Won Heismans from Each School
When examining the players who have won Heismans from each school, there are some common characteristics that stand out. All of the winners have been outstanding leaders who have inspired their teammates and elevated the play of their teams. They have also been exceptional athletes who have been able to make plays in big moments.
In addition to these common characteristics, there are some notable players who have won Heismans from each school. From USC, O.J. Simpson stands out as one of the most iconic Heisman Trophy winners of all time. From Notre Dame, Tim Brown is one of the most decorated players in college football history. From Ohio State, Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman winner in the history of the award. From Oklahoma, Jason White is the only quarterback to ever win back-to-back Heismans. And from Texas, Earl Campbell is one of the greatest running backs of all time.
Exploring the Impact of Heisman Trophy Winners on Their Schools
Winning a Heisman Trophy can have a profound impact on a school. It can bring increased recognition and prestige to the program, as well as generate more interest in the team and school. Winning a Heisman can also lead to increased donations and financial support for the school.
However, there can also be some negative consequences of winning a Heisman. The winner can become too much of a focal point, which can lead to issues with team chemistry and morale. There can also be increased pressure on the school to duplicate the success of the previous winner.
The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in college football and has been won by players from some of the top programs in the country. USC leads the way with seven Heisman Trophy winners, followed by Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas with six, five, four, and four winners respectively. These schools have produced some of the most iconic players in college football history, including O.J. Simpson, Tim Brown, Archie Griffin, Jason White, and Earl Campbell. Winning a Heisman can have both positive and negative impacts on a school, but it is undeniable that it can bring increased recognition and prestige to the program.