10 Oct 1992: UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI QUARTERBACK GINO TORRETTA LOOKS TO HAND OFF DURING THE HURRICANES 17-14 WIN OVER THE PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS AT BEAVER STADIUM IN UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA

4 Biggest Heisman Trophy Upsets in History

As the 2018 Heisman Trophy presentation approaches tonight, it's time to consider the times in which some unlikely contestants took home the award in upset fashion just in case we're in for something similar this time around.


These four winners all had fine seasons, but there's just no excuse for them taking top honors over far more deserving candidates.

4. Matt Leinart Over Adrian Peterson, 2004

Adrian Peterson was by far the best college player in 2004, as he had 1,937 total yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman. Those numbers clearly weren't good enough, as the award was given to USC quarterback Matt Leinart, who passed for 3,332 yards and 33 touchdowns. 


They aren't terrible numbers by any means, but he was 15th nationally in passing yards and 12th in completion percentage for a stacked Trojans team full to the brim with NFL-level talent. Peterson led the nation in carries and finished third in yards, but the Heisman voters clearly weren't ready to let a freshman win an award that still hadn't even been won by a sophomore.

3. Gino Torretta Over Marshall Faulk, 1992

San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk finished the 1992 season with 1,758 yards from scrimmage, 15 total touchdowns and 1,630 rushing yards, which led the nation. For good measure, he went on to become one of the best running backs in NFL history.


Gino Torretta, quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes, ended up shocking everyone and winning the award anyway. His 56.7 completion percentage didn't even find him in the top 25 in the country, and his 7.6 yards per attempt finished in a tie for 16th. To this day, he's still one of the most underwhelming winners there ever was.

2. Archie Griffin Over Chuck Muncie, 1975

Muncie: 1,852 yards from scrimmage, 6.9 yards per touch, 15 touchdowns 


Griffin: 1,620 yards from scrimmage, 5.9 yards per touch, four touchdowns. 


The guy with the visibly clear worse stats was given the Heisman. Guys like Chuck Muncie, Ricky Bell and Tony Dorsett all had better seasons than Archie Griffin, yet the Buckeye running back took home the award in true upset fashion.

1. Jason White Over Larry Fitzgerald, 2003

In a season where Larry Fitzgerald was by far the best wide receiver in the country and the single biggest matchup nightmare in the game, Oklahoma quarterback Jason White shocked the nation and took home the trophy all the same. 


Fitzgerald's 1,622 receiving yards were 168 more than anybody else had despite playing for a humble Pitt Panthers team that went 8-5 and beat only one ranked opponent. White? He finished seventh in passing yards, 20th in completion percentage and 14th in yards per attempt for an absolutely loaded Sooners squad.


Fitz was absolutely robbed in quite possibly the biggest upset in Heisman history.