Baylor's Robert Griffin III deserved the Heisman this year, and few can dispute it.
First and foremost, his numbers were gaudy this season. Griffin completed more than 70 percent of his pass attempts when opponents blitzed him with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. He completed 50 percent of passes more than 25-yards . . . for touchdowns. . . 20 of them to be exact.
For the Texas fan that needs reminding, you may recall the second play from scrimmage when the Longhorns rolled into Waco this season. Griffin threw a 59-yard bomb to Kendall Wright that was so perfectly placed, even the Baylor fans seemed to yawn.
Second, people will say that winning matters, and that Trent Richardson, Alabama's bruising back, had both the wins and the stats to earn himself the trophy. But the award is meant to go to the best player in the nation, the player the best lifts the talent around him. All season, Griffin gift-wrapped highlights for his wide receivers, Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams. He shelled out touchdown after touchdown, and rarely ever turned the ball over, all things that make his team look good.
But I'd say the biggest reason he won the Heisman is because of the grand trajectory of his college career and how he transformed the Baylor program.
"This is unbelievably believable," Griffin said during his acceptance speech. "It's unbelievable because in the moment we're all amazed when great things happen. But it's believable because great things don't happen without hard work."
Griffin shared the stage with four incredible collegiate football players. But for someone who took a program as obscure and unimpressive as Baylor's and turned it into one of the country's strongest, even if just for a few years, the decision to honor him as the nation's best seemed like a no-brainer. The program only has a few memorable season's to its name, and even less memorable players. The Bears are 540-539-44 since 1846, their first year to field a team. They haven't finished a season ranked since 1986, and the last time they won a conference championship was in 1994 with a sad 7-5 record in the old Southwest Conference.
This year the team is ranked 12th, its got a 9-3 record and it beat Oklahoma for the first time in school history.
"Everybody associated with Baylor has a reason to celebrate tonight," he said.
He's right. Every Baylor Bear should celebrate. Griffin has done more for the program than any athlete at that school has since former Bear quarterback and current NFL assistant coach Mike Singletary did in the late 1970's and then some. And while they party out there in Waco-town, they'll likely beg the junior to come back for one more season. Don't count on it happening Baylor-nation.