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Biggest Heisman Snub: Marshall Faulk in 1992

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College football is one of the most biased sports out there. The bigger schools and bigger conferences get more attention when it comes to rankings, bowl games and awards. Any player from a smaller school faces an uphill battle when trying to gain national recognition. Conference realignment is not helping this situation either. But that is a whole different topic.

This bias certainly applies to Heisman Trophy voting as well. Ty Detmer from BYU is the only player from a non BCS school in the last 50 years. With the voting done by regions it is also easier to break down the geographical bias. If you are a fantastic player but the rest of your team stinks then the media also will not give you much respect. Marshall Faulk had three fantastic seasons at San Diego State but the Aztecs only appeared in one bowl game. That was the Freedom Bowl in his freshmen year. The Aztecs then finished with .500 records in both 1992 and 1993.

Faulk was a Heisman finalist for all three years but he was truly robbed in 1992. That year Gino Torreta of Miami won with 1,400 votes to 1,040 for Faulk.

Faulk was facing a much bigger battle then just Torretta. He also up against overtly bias Southern media and their love affair with all things SEC. Georgia running back Garrison Hearst had a solid year for the Bulldogs in 1992 and he came in third overall in the voting with 982 points. Thanks to SEC writers who don't think college football is played anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line and west of the Mississippi river, Hearst won the South region with 252 points. He was third in every other region that year. If they would have been willing to recognize the better running back it would have helped Faulk immensely.

Here is a breakdown of the voting for the 1992 Heisman.











1st Gino Torretta Miami (Florida) Sr. QB 310 179 112 1,400
2nd Marshall Faulk San Diego State So. RB 164 207 174 1,080
3rd Garrison Hearst Georgia Jr. RB 140 196 170 982

The number of points by region and position within each region are as follows for the top five candidates:








Torretta 235 1 271 1 220 2 248 1 220 1 206 2
Faulk 172 2 143 3 131 3 158 2 190 2 286 1
Hearst 125 3 155 2 252 1 126 3 175 3 149 3

Most often the Heisman goes to the player on a team with the most wins. Torretta was a huge benefactor of playing for a Miami team that was dominant in the early 90's. In 1992 he threw for 3,040 yards, 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Those are solid stats but not overly impressive. Compared to stats from most Heisman winning quarterbacks they are almost laughable. Torretta was a game manager that simply needed to help the Hurricanes score a couple times and let the dominant defense do all the work. The Hurricanes only allowed 13.7 points per game.

Meanwhile Faulk was a one man show for the Aztecs. Teams knew all they had to was stop him and they would easily win. However they couldn't shut him down. Faulk ran for 1,630 yards and 15 touchdowns in just 10 games that year for the Aztecs. He led the nation in rushing for the second straight year. Unfortunately SDSU had no defense and they allowed 30.7 points per game. The Aztecs tied USC 31-31 in the season opener, beat #25 BYU and then lost to #11 UCLA to start the year. They lost three close conference games to Air Force, Wyoming and Fresno State. The Bulldogs had a solid QB in Trent Dilfer.

San Diego State played Miami in the final regular season game of 1992. However Faulk was nursing a sprained knee and did not play. The projeted showcase between the two Heisman favorites turned into a blowout 62-17 win for Miami. Torretta was 19 for 35 with a touchdown. If Faulk would have been healthy, the nation would have finally had a chance to see the two go head to head and seen who was truly the best.

Check out of some these highlights of Faulk.

Major League Baseball recognized that Felix Hernandez was the clearly the best pitcher in the AL in 2010. Despite him only having 13 wins and playing for a team that lost 101 games. Amazing that Felix can win a Cy Young on an awful team but the best college running back, stuck on a bad team can't get his proper respect.

Still I think Faulk is able to sleep a little better at night knowing that he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame while Torretta didn't do jack as a pro.

This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.

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