College Football: Ohio State’s Smith a favorite for Heisman

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2006

Associated Press NEW YORK — Troy Smith figures to make this contest a rout, too. The Ohio State quarterback is such a heavy favorite to take the Heisman Trophy tonight that the competition could be one of the biggest landslides in history. Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden are the other finalists for college football’s most famous award. But it’ll be a shocker if Smith doesn’t become the sixth Ohio State player to win the Heisman. “For so many years I’ve walked through the atrium and I’ve just looked at Heisman Trophies and took it for granted, not really thinking about the work that those guys had to do to really get there,” Smith said earlier this week. “Now I totally understand how much you have to be a team-oriented guy and how much work you have to put into it to be spoken of as one of the elite players.” Since Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago won the first Heisman in 1935, 14 players have won the bronze statue by a margin of more than 1,000 points. Southern California tailback O.J. Simpson set the standard for landslide Heisman Trophy victories in 1968, receiving 1,750 points more than the runner-up, Purdue running back Leroy Keyes. Then there were 1,200 Heisman voters. The number of voters decreased to 923 in 1988, so simple mathematics makes it difficult for anyone to touch that mark. A first-place vote is worth three points, a second-place vote two and a third one. Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward came closest to Simpson’s mark when he won the ’93 award by 1,622 points over Tennessee’s Heath Shuler. Two years later, Michigan’s Desmond Howard was a 1,574-point winner over Florida State’s Casey Weldon.