Big 12 football fans have been graced with the honor of watching 15 Heisman trophy winners from current or former members of the conference. Not surprisingly the Oklahoma Sooners lead all conference schools with five winners: Billy Vessels in 1952, Steve Owens in 1969, Billy Sims in 1978, Jason White in 2003 and Sam Bradford in 2008.
Former conference mate the Nebraska Cornhuskers have had three winners in Johnny Rodgers (1972), Mike Rozier (1983) and Eric Crouch (2001), while the Texas Longhorns have had two winners: Earl Campbell (1977) and Ricky Williams in 1998. The other five winners have been the lone representatives of their respective schools: TCU Horned Frogs Davey O'Brien won the award in 1938, Texas A&M Aggies John David Crow was the 1957 winner, Barry Sanders won the award for the Oklahoma St. Cowboys in 1988, Rashaan Salaam of the Colorado Buffaloes won in 1994 and the incumbent is Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III.
But aside from these 15, if I had to choose one Heisman trophy winner that I wished played in the Big 12 it would undoubtedly be Eddie George of the Ohio St. Buckeyes.
Not only was George a punishing runner who would have fit in nicely in the ground game that dominated the Big 12 when it formed the year after George took home the prize in 1995, but his community spirit and pro career would have done the conference proud.
Why Eddie? Well, truth be told, this is a homer pick. As has been written a bunch on this site, I was raised in Columbus, OH by two OSU grads and had Buckeyes season tickets my entire life (still do, actually). 1995 was also my first year at Mizzou, so being a bit homesick, I studied and dedicated most of my Autumn Saturdays to George's exploits on the gridiron back home.
My love affair for George actually blossomed when I was looking at schools and decided to visit Michigan State. My mom and I planned our visit around OSU's game in East Lansing and after touring the campus on Friday we sat in the visitor's section for that following Saturday's game between the Spartans and Buckeyes. I knew of Eddie before the game - what college football fan didn't - but it was in that game that George ran for 219 yards, including a career long 79-yard run from scrimmage and my obsession began. It also happened that we were seated directly behind Eddie's mom, and seeing the sheer joy in the sight of her son - a 6-3, 235 lb running back - zip past everyone, including generally fleet of foot defensive backs was something to behold. It solidified how much I loved Eddie and told me that I wouldn't be able to go to another Big 10 school and root against my beloved Buckeyes. (As luck would have it, the Mizzou played OSU twice while I was in college... Corby Jones, meet Andy Katzenmoyer).
Eddie is also the reason I got so into Big 12 basketball. With the dominance that the Buckeyes showed on the gridiron, and my devotion to watching the Scarlet and Grey, I couldn't see myself truly dedicating enough energy to two football conferences, so I decided to watch Big 10 football in the Fall and only Big 12 hoops in the winter. Hence, here I am.
Anyway, enough of the Evan Pfaff bio. If you were to have one Heisman trophy winner from a different team transplanted onto your team, who would it be? Why?
Side Note: Now, why didn't I just attend tOSU, you ask? Well, being 5 miles from campus, I spent most of my formative years exploring the various spots along High Street and felt like I needed to expand my horizons
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