Jameis Winston did what football fans look for in their Heisman Trophy winners, playing like the best player in the country with the highest stakes on the line Monday night.
His touchdown pass with 13 seconds left gave Florida State a 34-31 national championship win over Auburn, a dramatic example of Heisman winners excelling on the biggest college stage.
Since the 2003-04 season, seven Heisman winners have led teams into the national championship game, and four have won. Here’s what happened during that decade in title games featuring that season’s Heisman Trophy winner:
2011: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton shone similarly – if less dramatically – in leading the Tigers over Oregon 22-19. He passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 64 yards.
2010: Alabama running back Mark Ingram rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns as the Tide beat Texas 37-21.
2007: Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith had one of the worst big-game performances, completing 4 of 14 passes for 35 yards and an interception in OSU’s 41-14 loss to Florida.
2006: USC running back Reggie Bush (13 carries, 82 yards, one touchdown) wasn’t bad in the Trojans’ 41-38 Rose Bowl loss to Texas, he just wasn’t enough.
2005: Quarterback Matt Leinart led USC over Oklahoma 55-19, throwing five touchdown passes in the Orange Bowl.
2004: Oklahoma quarterback Jason White was overmatched by LSU’s defense, completing just 13 of 37 passes for 102 yards and two interceptions in a 21-14 Sugar Bowl loss.
– Brian Blomster
What to watch
Baseball, Hall of Fame announcement, 9 a.m., MLB: Will former Giants slugger Barry Bonds be elected?
Will Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner ?
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Who’s the 49ers’ best pass catcher?
• Anquan Boldin: 51%
• Michael Crabtree: 33%
• Vernon Davis: 16%
Total votes: 153