It wasn't entirely unexpected, but Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon ended up as a runner-up to Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting announced Saturday night in New York. Really, the only surprise was just how much Mariota won by.
Mariota ended up finishing first on over 90 percent of the ballots and cruised to a comfortable victory by 1,293 points over Gordon. Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper also ended up with more first-place votes than Gordon. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett ended up finishing fifth and Indiana running back Tevin Coleman finished seventh.
|2014 Heisman Trophy voting (Max. possible points: 2,787)|
|1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota||2,534||788|
|2. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon||1,250||37|
|3. Alabama WR Amari Cooper||1,023||49|
|4. TCU QB Trevone Boykin||218||8|
|5.Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett||78||0|
|6. Florida State QB Jameis Winston||51||4|
|7. Indiana RB Tevin Coleman||44||2|
|8. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott||42||2|
|9. Arizona LB Scooby Wright III||21||0|
|10. Baylor QB Bryce Petty||13||1|
If you're surprised, don't be. It's a quarterback-centric award and Mariota is a great player. Fifty-three total touchdowns against two interceptions was going to be tough to overcome even if 59-0 didn't exist. And the sourness of the voting doesn't deny the specialness of the Gordon season. He was the first back since Nebraska's Mike Rozier in 1982-83 to average 7 yards per carry in consecutive seasons with over 200 carries. Barring some kind of residual problems from the Big Ten title game, Gordon will have at least the third-most rushing yards of all time in a single season. He will also end the year with at least 30 touchdowns.
The media might not give Gordon's season the respect it deserved, but that doesn't take away from just how special he's been. And if you're one of those silver lining people, the Heisman Trophy has been a consistent millstone around the necks of the winners.