LSU quarterback Joe Burrow won the 85th Heisman Trophy as expected on Saturday night during the annual Heisman ceremony in Times Square.
Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts finished second in this year’s voting ahead of Ohio State QB Justin Fields and Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young.
Hurts and Burrow meet on Dec. 28 in the Peach Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal. It’s not as though Hurts and the Sooners require any additional motivation to drive him to beat the Tigers, but now they have some.
Hurts was hoping to become the Sooners’ third consecutive Heisman winner behind Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018. OU was already the first school to produce back-to-back Heisman-winning quarterbacks.
Instead, Burrow shattered multiple Heisman record for voting margin (see charts below), including largest margin of victory (1,846 points, beating O.J. Simpson’s 1968 mark of 1,750), highest percentage of first-place votes (90.7 percent, beating Troy Smith’s 2006 mark of 86.7 percent), highest percentage of possible points (93.8 percent, beating Smith’s record of 91.6 percent) and percentage named on all ballots (95.5 percent, beating Marcus Mariota’s 2014 record of 95.2 percent).
Heisman votes are awarded 3 points for a first-place vote, 2 points for second and one point for third.
Burrow received 841 first-place votes and finished with 2,608 points, while Hurts got only 12 first-place votes and narrowly edged out Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, 762 points to 747. Fields received the second-most first-place votes with 20.
Hurts finished third in first-place votes, second in second-place votes, but he received by far the most third-place votes, which provided the necessary margin to finish ahead of Fields.
Hurts became the Sooners’ sixth Heisman runner-up.
Burrow and Hurts share the national lead for most total touchdowns with 51. Burrow has 48 passing and three rushing while Hurts has 32 passing, 18 rushing and one receiving.
Burrow leads college football with a .779 completion percentage and ranks second nationally in passer efficiency rating (.779), passing yards (4,715) and total offense (384.9 yards per game).
Hurts leads the nation in yards per completion (16.37) and yards per attempt (11.76) and is third nationally in total offense (3,634 passing, 1,255 rushing) and passer efficiency (200.3) and ranks fourth in completion percentage (.718).
Fields has thrown for 2,953 yards and has accounted for 50 touchdowns, including 10 rushing. He also set an all-time TD-INT ratio record this season with 40 touchdown passes and just one interception.
Young leads the nation with 16 ½ quarterback sacks despite missing two games while serving an NCAA suspension.
All three Heisman finalist QBs were transfers. Burrow transferred to LSU (13-0) from Ohio State, Hurts transferred to OU (12-1) from Alabama, and Fields transferred to Ohio State (13-0) from Georgia.
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Here is how I voted on this year’s Heisman ballot:
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And here’s how I assessed the top candidates in this year’s field (listed by how I ranked them after the championship games):
- Joe Burrow, LSU: Burrow’s raw numbers, big play results, analytics, efficiency and undefeated season made him a no-brainer. His first season in Baton Rouge was a largely pedestrian season for Burrow, but the addition of Broyles Award winner Joe Brady to the coaching staff opened up the LSU offense and allowed him to have one of the best seasons in FBS history.
- Jalen Hurts, OU: Hurts and Burrow were virtually neck and neck on my season-long legal pad midway through October, but Hurts’ turnover troubles in November took him down a peg. Like Oklahoma’s CFP opponents, I kept waiting for Burrow to stumble down the stretch and open the door for Hurts, but he never did.
- Justin Fields, Ohio State: Fields rocketed up my list toward the end of the season because he delivered big performances against tough teams. Fields’ September and October were fine, but for the most part he put up routine numbers against mediocre teams. His “Heisman moment” play came against Michigan, when he came off the bench from a knee injury to throw a clinching TD pass.
- J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State: Dobbins ran for 1,829 yards and scored 22 touchdowns this season and surpassed 150 yards in a game seven times. Some of his best work came against the Buckeyes’ best competition (193 against Indiana, 172 against Michigan State, 163 against Wisconsin, 157 against Penn State, 211 against Michigan and 172 against Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game).
- Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State: Hubbard was the best running back in the country for more than two months and led the nation with 1,936 yards. But then WR Tylan Wallace got hurt, and Hubbard’s numbers withered: he averaged just 4.5 yards per carry and 110 yards per game with three touchdowns in his last three games. That’s why we don’t vote on the Heisman until all the games are over.
- Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin: While Hubbard’s numbers faded in November, Taylor surged with 900 yards in his final five games (1,909 total) — averaging 180 yards per game and 7.3 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns against the likes of Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State. (For the record, I’d have voted for Hubbard ahead of Taylor for any postseason awards, but the stretch run obviously matters.)
- Trevor Lawrence, Clemson: Although Lawrence finished the season as strong as anyone — 20 TDs, no INTs, a .755 completion percentage in his final six games — he couldn’t overcome a painfully slow start: five INTs in his first three games and eight in his first seven. He also didn’t have elite stats, partly because Clemson blew out a lousy schedule and he seldom played late or was needed to make plays.
- Travis Etienne, Clemson: Etienne averaged 8.2 yards per carry, rushed for 1,500 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. Now imagine what he could have done if the Tigers had needed him in the second half of games.
- Chase Young, Ohio State: I voted for Young as my national defensive player of the year, and I strongly considered him on my ballot — before he got suspended for two games by the NCAA. (He received a loan, and repaid it, to pay for his girlfriend’s travel to last year’s bowl game.) But what took Young out of the conversation for me was his game against Michigan: zero sacks, zero TFLs, zero tackles. You can’t be schemed off the field in the biggest game of the year and get my Heisman vote.
Formerly co-host of “Further Review” and “The Franchise Drive,” columnist John E. Hoover is a college football insider on The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Hoover co-hosts The Franchise “Inside OU” Podcast with Brady Trantham and Rufus Alexander, and the Locked oN Sooners podcast on the Locked oN Podcast Network. He also covers the Big 12 for Sporting News and Lindy’s magazine and is a feature writer for Sooner Spectator magazine. Visit his YouTube channel at YouTube.com/c/JohnHoover, and his personal page at johnehoover.com.
2019 Heisman Trophy Voting
|Joe Burrow, LSU||841||41||3||2,608|
|Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma||12||231||264||762|
|Justin Fields, Ohio State||6||271||187||747|
|Chase Young, Ohio State||20||205||173||643|
|Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin||6||44||83||189|
|J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State||2||36||36||114|
|Trevor Lawrence, Clemson||3||25||29||88|
|Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State||0||11||46||68|
|Travis Etienne, Clemson||0||7||11||25|
|Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama||1||4||13||24|
Heisman voting records
Most First-Place Votes
These are the raw totals of the Heisman winners who garnered the most first-place votes. However, keep in mind that in some years (1968, 1976) there were more voters than in recent years.
|2006||Troy Smith||Ohio State||801|
|1993||Charlie Ward||Florida State||740|
|1984||Doug Flutie||Boston College||678|
|2013||Jameis Winston||Florida State||668|
Most Points as a Percentage of Possible Points
Because the size of the Heisman electorate has varied over the years, a more accurate way to assess the size of a Heisman victory is to calculate the point total as a percentage of possible points available in that year.
|2019||Joe Burrow, LSU||2,608||927||93.80%|
|2006||Troy Smith, Ohio State||2,540||924||91.63%|
|2014||Marcus Mariota, Oregon||2,534||929||90.92%|
|2017||Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma||2,398||929||86.0%|
|1998||Ricky Williams, Texas||2,355||921||85.23%|
|1993||Charlie Ward, FSU||2,310||919||83.79%|
|2010||Cam Newton, Auburn||2,263||925||81.55%|
|1968||O.J. Simpson, USC||2,903||1,200||80.64%|
|2013||Jameis Winston, FSU||2,205||929||79.12%|
|2018||Kyler Murray, Oklahoma||2,167||929||78%|
|1991||Desmond Howard, Michigan||2,077||917||75.50%|
|1976||Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh||2,357||1,048||74.97%|
|1999||Ron Dayne, Wisconsin||2,042||922||73.83%|
|2012||Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M||2,029||928||72.88%|
Most Ballots Named, as a Percentage of Total Ballots
Largest Margin of Victory
|Year||Winner, School||Points||Runner Up, School||Points||Margin|
|2019||Joe Burrow, LSU||2,608||Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma||762||1,846|
|1968||O.J. Simpson, USC||2,853||Leroy Keyes, Purdue||1,103||1,750|
|2006||Troy Smith, Ohio State||2,540||Darren McFadden, Arkansas||878||1,662|
|1993||Charlie Ward, Florida State||2,310||Heath Shuler, Tennessee||688||1,622|
|1991||Desmond Howard, Michigan||2,077||Casey Weldon, Florida State||503||1,574|
|1998||Ricky Williams, Texas||2,355||Michael Bishop, Kansas State||792||1,563|
|1986||Vinny Testaverde, Miami||2,213||Paul Palmer, Temple||672||1,541|
|2013||Jameis Winston, Florida State||2,205||AJ McCarron, Alabama||704||1,501|
|1955||Howard Cassady, Ohio State||2,219||Jim Swink, TCU||742||1,477|
|1963||Roger Staubach, Navy||1,860||Billy Lothridge, Georgia Tech||504||1,356|
|1951||Dick Kazmaier, Princeton||1,777||Hank Lauricella, Tennessee||424||1,353|
Smallest Margin of Victory
|Year||Winner, School||Points||Runner Up, School||Points||Margin|
|2009||Mark Ingram, Alabama||1,304||Toby Gerhart, Stanford||1,276||28|
|1985||Bo Jackson, Auburn||1,509||Chuck Long, Iowa||1,464||45|
|1961||Ernie Davis, Syracuse||824||Bob Ferguson, Ohio State||771||53|
|1953||John Lattner, Notre Dame||1,850||Paul Giel, Minnesota||1,794||56|
|2001||Eric Crouch, Nebraska||770||Rex Grossman, Florida||708||62|
|1989||Andre Ware, Houston||1,073||Anthony Thompson, Indiana||1,003||70|
|1956||Paul Hornung, Notre Dame||1,066||John Majors, Tennessee||994||72|
|1964||John Huarte, Notre Dame||1,026||Jerry Rhome, Tulsa||952||74|
|2000||Chris Weinke, Florida St.||1,628||Josh Heupel, Oklahoma||1,552||76|
|1978||Billy Sims, Oklahoma||827||Chuck Fusina, Penn State||750||77|
* voting records from Heisman.com