Sports

Love's second-place showing in Heisman voting a theme

 

Bryce Love finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting, which was announced Saturday following an extravagant lead-in show. This was both expected and disappointing.

Oklahoma's Blake Mayfield won the award and deservedly so but the continuing saga of Stanford players finishing second is also a bit discourging.

Since Toby Gerhart missed out, in the closest margin of victory in Heisman voting history, to Mark Ingram in 2009, a Cardinal has finished second four more times. John Elway, in the early 80s, was also a runner-up in the voting.

Andrew Luck finished second to Cam Newton in 2010 and to Robert Griffin in 2011. Christian McCaffrey was second to Derrick Henry in 2015.

This year, it wasn't close. Mayfield earned 2,398 points to Love's 1,300. Defending Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson finished third with 793 votes.

"It's not just about winning," Stanford coach David Shaw said earlier in the week, "it's about the recognition. To be in the conversation five times in the last nine years says something about the program."

It also says something about the regional voting. With late kickoff times on the west coast, the rest of the country has trouble finding Stanford on television.

USC's Sam Darnold may have been the most affected, as he didn't even get a whiff of the top 10 and he's one of the top quarterback prospects in the country.

Remember Owen Marecic? He finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2010. Marecic's sensational season, in which he played offense and defense, was highlighted when he scored touchdowns on successive plays: an interception return and then on offense as a fullback.

That effort against Notre Dame helped earn him 16 Heisman votes, 15 behind Colin Kaepernick.

Maybe that's why Shaw considers it a win-win situation. After all, only John Elway was in the conversation between Stanford's lone Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett in 1970 and Gerhart in 2009.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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