CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

Despite its record, Georgia Tech poses problems for USC

The trophy wasn't named "Heisman" until the second year, and the telegram informing Berwanger he won noted he had been named "most valuable football player east of the Mississippi."

What were players west of the Mississippi … chopped liver?

Monk Meyer of Army finished second, and in third place was Notre Dame's William Shakespeare, whose famous quote, "To tee or not to tee," would be coined by field goal kickers for generations to come.

Seriously, the Heisman goes to the best player that particular year, so in that context I have no problem with this year's field.

I still can't believe Andrew Luck didn't win a Heisman at Stanford, but last year he ran into a more dynamic candidate in Baylor's Robert Griffin III.

Eric Crouch and Gino Torretta won Heismans, but John Elway and Peyton Manning did not.

Elway finished second behind Herschel Walker in 1982; Crouch's competition in 2001 was Rex Grossman.

Manning fended off Randy Moss in 1997, but not Charles Woodson.

Matt Barkley or Geno Smith could have made this a very impressive Heisman crew had both quarterbacks not become fizzle sticks.

Is Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M the best quarterback in the nation? Maybe not, but he did amass 4,600 total yards and had a tremendous game in upsetting then-No. 1 Alabama.

Manti Te'o may not be America's best defensive player, but he is the best defensive player on a team that is going to the BCS title game.

Collin Klein, the third finalist, would have won the award had his Kansas State team won at Baylor, but that's the way the Heisman goes.

Q: "Heisman" is a franchise, no? Why not award a separate "Heisman" for defense?

Kurt Linn

A: That's actually not a half-bad idea.

Q: I can't believe you ranked Stanford behind Georgia … remind me how many ranked teams the Bulldogs beat?

David Thom

A: It's a legitimate point, and one my Stanford wife repeatedly makes as she hands me dinner on the back porch.

There is no doubt Stanford played a tougher schedule than Georgia and that both schools ended up with 11-2 records.

Here's where the argument falls apart like USC's defense. The Stanford Cardinal lost this year at Washington, which lost to Washington State, which lost to Colorado. That's a direct loss link to Colorado, arguably the worst team in Division I.

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