How weak was the 1989 Heisman race?
Well, you had Major Harris, who had a nice season (2,058 passing yards, 936 rushing yards), but for a team that went 8-2-1. There was Tony Rice, who quarterbacked Notre Dame to No. 1 for most of the year (but who didn’t have impressive numbers due to his system). There was Emmitt Smith, who had 1,599 rushing yards for a 7-4 team. There was Anthony Thompson, who rushed for the most unspectacular 1,793 yards you’ll ever see on an Indiana team that went 5-6. And finally there was Andre Ware, who threw for 4,699 yards and 46 touchdowns for a 9-2 Houston team that was on bowl probation. He was the winner.
Here are all five of them on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1989: