When the announcement came on Saturday night that Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy, one has to wonder what Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was thinking as he watched Murray hoist the coveted honor.
Tagovailoa was extremely gracious in defeat, but you have to wonder if his mind flashed back ever so briefly to the SEC Championship Game when the Crimson Tide were driving for the tying score against the Georgia Bulldogs when he got hurt. Instead of Tagovailoa having his “Heisman Moment”, he stood on the sidelines watching his backup win the SEC title, and ultimately, ending his shot at the Heisman.
In some people’s minds, Tagovailoa’s Heisman run ended because he didn’t have that one signature moment that won the voters over.
Although it has been argued that Tagovailoa’s best moment was him being able to relax at the end of games in the fourth quarter because of Alabama’s dominance this season, sports commentators like Danny Kanell claim that wasn’t enough.
If that’s the case, how many voters based their Heisman votes on the last game of the season and penalized Tagovailoa for not finishing the Georgia game? It sure looks like that’s exactly what happened.
Before championship weekend, Alabama’s quarterback was leading in votes, but by the end, Murray garnered 517 first place votes compared to Tagovailoa’s 299. Don’t get me wrong: Murray, as well as Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, were deserving candidates who put up better overall numbers than Tagovailoa. However, you get the feeling some voters were waiting for Tagovailoa to slip and have a bad game so they could give the Heisman to someone else.
Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News even reported that 13 people left Tagovailoa off of their ballots completely, although some did the same thing to Murray as well.
So what does all this mean? It means that this once prestigious award is losing credibility because voters have brought their own agenda to the Heisman race, and they’re not looking at this objectively for the entire season.
Until the Heisman Trust starts taking itself more seriously, the trophy will continue to be taken less seriously, and eventually could become irrelevant.