Congratulations to the 77th Heisman Trophy winner in Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. He was easily the most electrifying player this year, a Cam Newton-lite if you will. It may have been a benefit Newton didn’t win it last year. Although he was swirled amidst off field allegations, had he won it last year the voters may have looked to give the award to another type of player this year or position. However if you look at Griffin III’s season in a vacuum, he deserved it hands down.
All he did was lead perennial doormat Baylor into the National spotlight completing 267 of 369, for 3,998 yards, 36TDs to only 6 interceptions. He was also a threat on the ground where he ran for 649 yards and another 9 touchdowns. He’s just 353 yards away from a 5,000 yard season against stellar competition and still has an Alamo Bowl showdown with Washington to pad his stats further.
Statistics don’t tell half the story. It was this electrifying talent that led his teammates to believe they could play with anyone. It started with his destruction of #14 TCU’s highly ranked defense, to the tune of 359 yards passing and 5 touchdowns in building a 47-21 lead. After the Bears offense grew cold, Griffin proved his mettle driving the Bears to the winning field goal 50-48 and a collegiate star was born. This was the first great early game of the season and talk of Griffin III’s exploits were showcased on national television.
Then really grew steam when he performed the coup de gras against Oklahoma. His Baylor Bears were ranked 22nd and were taking on media darling Bob Stoops and his #5 ranked Sooners. You have to understand the Bears were 3 weeks removed from losing badly to ranked #4 Oklahoma St. (59-24) and #23 Texas A & M (55-28). Their confidence was shaken as a team going into this game and it was do or die to find out if they were for real. Griffin, who passed and ran his team to a 38-24 fourth quarter lead in one of the game’s of the year, dazzled early. Once their momentum crested, the high powered Sooners sprang to life and rallied to tie the score 38-38, with 2:38 to go.
With Oklahoma holding all three time outs, the Bears came out conservative and ran a dive showing they were content to go to overtime. Stoops called the first of his timeouts, which showed the Sooners wanted to force the Bears to punt the ball back and give the Sooners a chance to win it in regulation. Baylor’s body english looked defeated and Waco was completely silent. Armed with the knowledge of what Oklahoma intended to do, it was Griffin III who charged back to the huddle to breathe life in his team. He completed two strikes in the heart of the Sooner’s zone to put Baylor in field goal range reversing the momentum. Instead of waiting to kick the winning field goal, on first down he scrambled to his left and fired a 34 yard touchdown to Terrance Williams with :08 left. BALLGAME!!
By the time he engineered a 48-24 trouncing of the 22nd ranked Texas Longhorns, it was obvious this was the best player in all of college football. He led the Bears to a 4-2 record over top 25 teams. In the aforementioned games with Oklahoma and Texas how’d he do?? Against Oklahoma Griffin III ran for 98 yards while throwing for 479 yards and 4 touchdowns. Then you had him toast up the Longhorns rushing for 36 yards and 2 TDs, while throwing for 320 yards and 2 more scores.
Buoyed by these three signature games, it was impossible to hand the Heisman to another player. He carried his team into national prominence and backed up the press clippings with performance. The Baylor Bears went 9-3 with him at the helm and had their best record since 1986. Now further that distinction with bringing the school it’s first ever Heisman winner. So what does he do as an encore?? We suspect a 500 yard performance (rushing and passing) and a high draft status in April. With the Colts eyeing a pure drop back passer in Andrew Luck, it looks like many teams would vie for his services. Right now, the Cleveland Browns are on the clock.
For if he’s Cam Newton-lite, he may be just as deadly in his rookie year. We’ll have time for that later. As for right now, congratulations Robert Griffin III. You deserved your Heisman with a performance for the ages.
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