Archie Griffin is probably a shade under 5-8, but his shadow looms large over Heisman history. He won the award in 1974 after rushing for a Big Ten-record 1,620 yards and then returned in 1975 as the favorite to become the first two-time winner.
There weren’t a whole lot of established candidates to challenge Griffin in ’75. Going in, his main competition was probably senior running back Joe Washington of Oklahoma, who was coming off a 1,321-yard (8.4 ypc) junior season in which he led the Sooners to a share of the national title. Washington finished third in the 1974 Heisman voting, but he had one major hurdle to face in his quest for the 1975 trophy: The Sooners were on probation and banned from television. As we know, big performances on TV are key in the Heisman race.
Of the top 10 Heisman finalists in 1974, only Griffin and Washington returned in 1975. That paved the way for some up-and-coming names to make a move in the race.