Stanford’s Andrew Luck is the presumptive Heisman front runner for 2011 in large part because he finished second in the race last season.
But how have Heisman runners up fared historically in the Heisman vote the following year? Prior to Luck, only 14 runners up in Heisman history have returned to play more seasons of college football and here’s where they finished in the final vote:
2008 Runner Up–Colt McCoy, 3rd in 2009
2006 Runner Up–Darren McFadden, 2nd in 2007
2004 Runner Up–Adrian Peterson, did not place in 2005
2001 Runner Up–Rex Grossman, did not place in 2002
1992 Runner Up–Marshall Faulk, 4th in 1993
1984 Runner Up–Keith Byars, did not place in 1985
1981 Runner Up–Herschel Walker, won the Heisman in 1982
1967 Runner Up–O.J. Simpson, won the Heisman in 1968
1955 Runner Up–Jim Swink, did not place in 1956
1948 Runner Up–Charlie Justice, 2nd in 1949
1945 Runner Up–Glenn Davis, won the Heisman in 1946
1944 Runner Up–Glenn Davis, 2nd in 1945
1941 Runner Up–Angelo Bertelli, 6th in 1942
1939 Runner Up–Tom Harmon, won the Heisman in 1940
As you can see, only four Heisman runners up have gone on to win the Heisman the following year and it hasn’t happened since Herschel Walker did it in 1982, although Colt McCoy and Darren McFadden made solid runs at it.
Anyway, something to think about when assessing Luck’s Heisman hopes.