McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

December 12, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: The pros, cons of playing a Heisman winner


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma will face the Heisman Trophy winner — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel — in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. It’s either a good or bad thing depending on what historical trend you want to zero in on.

Heisman Trophy winners are 24-27 in bowl games. Twenty-six of the 77 winners played on teams that did not go to bowl games. That includes OU’s Steve Owens (1968) and Billy Vessels (1952).

The Sooners are 2-1 against Heisman Trophy winners in bowl games. USC’s Matt Leinart threw for five touchdowns in OU’s 55-19 loss to the Trojans in the 2004 national championship game.

They fared much better against Florida State’s Chris Weinke in the 2000 national championship game. The Sooners intercepted Weinke twice en route to a 13-2 victory.

Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan threw for 250 yards and ran for a touchdown when he met OU in the Sugar Bowl four weeks after winning the Heisman Trophy in 1971. The Sooners still rolled to a 40-22 victory.

However, the most-recent  trend goes against OU. The last three Heisman winners — Baylor’s Robert Griffin III (2011), Auburn’s Cam Newton (2010) and Alabama’s Mark Ingram (2009) — all won their bowl games. The last to lose was OU’s Sam Bradford in 2008.