SEC Football by the Numbers: Alabama’s Heisman history

 al.com  12/8/2018 1:00:00 AM   Mark Inabinett | minabinett@al.com

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa is one of three finalists for the 2018 Heisman Memorial Trophy Award, which will be presented on Saturday night. The other finalists are Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. The 84th annual Heisman Trophy presentation will be televised at 7 p.m. CST Saturday by ESPN. A look at Alabama’s Heisman history:

1 Alabama player has finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting – QB AJ McCarron in 2013. McCarron finished behind Florida State QB Jameis Winston.

1 Alabama player has been listed among the top Heisman Trophy finishers twice – QB Harry Gilmer, who came in fifth in 1945 and 1947. In 1945, Gilmer led the nation with 13 TD passes, then ran for 116 yards and a TD and threw a scoring pass as the Crimson Tide capped an undefeated season with a 34-14 victory over Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. In 1946, Gilmer led the nation in interceptions and punt-return yards, but didn’t crack the top 10 of the Heisman vote as Alabama finished 7-4, sixth in the SEC and out of the bowl picture. In 1947, Gilmer led Alabama to seven straight wins after the Tide started the regular season at 1-2, leading to a Sugar Bowl berth.

1 School has produced three different players who finished in the top three of the Heisman balloting in three consecutive years – Alabama. Crimson Tide QB AJ McCarron was the runner-up for the 2013 trophy, WR Amari Cooper placed third in the 2014 voting and RB Derrick Henry won the award in 2015.

2 Alabama players have won the Heisman Trophy – RB Mark Ingram in 2009 and RB Derrick Henry in 2015.

3 Alabama players have finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting – WR David Palmer in 1993, RB Trent Richardson in 2011 and WR Amari Cooper in 2014. Palmer finished behind Florida State QB Charlie Ward and Tennessee QB Heath Shuler. Richardson finished behind Baylor QB Robert Griffin III and Stanford QB Andrew Luck. Cooper finished behind Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon.

4 Schools have produced more different players who have finished in the top three of the Heisman Trophy balloting than Alabama has, although the Crimson Tide’s seven (including this year's results) is the most from an SEC program. Seventeen different players from Notre Dame have finished in the top three for a Heisman Trophy. Oklahoma has had 13 different players, Ohio State 11 and Southern Cal 10. Michigan also has had seven different players place in the top three.

4 Future College Football Hall of Fame members finished ahead of Alabama HB Joe Kilgrow in the balloting for the third Heisman Trophy. Yale HB Clint Frank won the 1937 Heisman Trophy, finishing ahead of Colorado HB (and future U.S. Supreme Court justice) Byron "Whizzer" White, Pittsburgh HB Marshall Goldberg and Fordham C Alex Wojciechowicz. Kilgrow, who finished fifth as the first Alabama player to appear in the published results, is not in the College Football Hall of Fame.

4 Alabama players have finished in the top three of the Heisman Trophy balloting without winning the award, and a quarterback won the trophy in each of those seasons. WR David Palmer finished third to Florida State QB Charlie Ward in 1993, RB Trent Richardson finished third to Baylor QB Robert Griffin III in 2011, QB AJ McCarron finished second to Florida State QB Jameis Winston in 2013 and WR Amari Cooper finished third to Oregon QB Marcus Mariota in 2014.

5 More finishes in the top three of the Heisman Trophy balloting in the past 10 years for Alabama players than the Crimson Tide had in the first 74 years of the award’s existence. QB Tua Tagovailoa joins RB Mark Ingram, RB Trent Richardson, QB AJ McCarron, WR Amari Cooper and Derrick Henry as top three finishers for Alabama in the past 10 Heisman votes. Before Ingram won the 2009 Heisman, only one Tide player had finished in the top three – WR David Palmer in 1993.

SEC Football by the Numbers: Heisman history

8 Alabama players have been finalists for the Heisman Trophy, tied with Oklahoma for the most players since the award presentation began inviting finalists in 1982. Oklahoma with 10 and Miami (Fla.) with nine have more appearances as Heisman finalists than Alabama, but the Sooners and Hurricanes have players who were invited more than once. Alabama's Heisman finalists have been David Palmer in 1993, Jay Barker in 1994, Mark Ingram in 2009, Trent Richardson in 2011, AJ McCarron in 2013, Amari Cooper in 2014, Derrick Henry in 2015 and QB Tua Tagovailoa in 2018. The current procedure invites the top three vote-getters to the award presentation annually. Whether more are invited is determined by how close the fourth-place finisher's vote total is to the third-place finisher and so on through the voting until a clear demarcation of support is reached.

11 Of the past 13 Heisman Trophies have been won by QBs, including this year's award, which will go to one of three QBs. Alabama RBs Mark Ingram in 2009 and Derrick Henry in 2015 are the exceptions.

13 Alabama players have been the top SEC finisher in the Heisman Trophy voting, including QB Tua Tagovailoa this season. With Tagovailoa, Alabama has produced five of the SEC's past six top finishers. The Crimson Tide has had the SEC's top finisher more times than any other conference member, although in 16 years, the SEC's top finisher is not known because a league player did not show up among the voting leaders. (A top 10 has been released annually since 1951. Before that, the number varied.) Alabama's other SEC Heisman leaders have been HB Harry Gilmer, who finished fifth in 1945; QB Pat Trammell, fifth in 1961; QB Steadman Shealy, 10th in 1979; LB Derrick Thomas, 10th in 1988; QB Jay Barker, fifth in 1994; RB Shaun Alexander, seventh in 1999; RB Mark Ingram, first in 2009; RB Trent Richardson, third in 2011; QB AJ McCarron, second in 2013; WR Amari Cooper, third in 2014; RB Derrick Henry, first in 2015; and DE Jonathan Allen, seventh in 2016.

16 Alabama players have appeared among the Heisman Trophy's leading vote-getters without placing in the top three. Two Alabama players have finished fourth in the voting -- C/LB Lee Roy Jordan in 1962 and RB Johnny Musso in 1971. Five have finished fifth -- HB Joe Kilgrow in 1937, HB Harry Gilmer in 1945 and 1947, QB Pat Trammell in 1961, QB Terry Davis in 1972 and QB Jay Barker in 1994. Three have finished seventh -- LB Cornelius Bennett in 1986, RB Shaun Alexander in 1999 and DE Jonathan Allen in 2016. Two have finished ninth -- QB Walter Lewis in 1983 and DE Eric Curry in 1992. Four have finished 10th -- QB Steve Sloan in 1965, QB Steadman Shealy in 1979, RB Bobby Humphrey in 1987 and LB Derrick Thomas in 1988.

28 More points were garnered by Alabama RB Mark Ingram than by Stanford RB Toby Gerhart at the top of the 2009 Heisman Trophy balloting, the closest finish in the award’s history. Ingram had 227 first-place votes, 236 second-place votes and 151 third-place votes. Gerhart had 222 first-place votes, 225 second-place votes and 160 third-place votes. First-place votes are worth three points, second-place votes two points and third-place votes one point.

31 Tackles were made by LB Lee Roy Jordan in Alabama’s 17-0 victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1963, which came about a month after he finished fourth in the balloting for the 1962 Heisman Trophy. Jordan came closer to the top of the Heisman balloting than any Alabama player who did not win the award — not by place but by points. Jordan finished 386 points behind the winner, Oregon State QB Terry Baker. Jordan's 321 points were 45.4 percent of Baker’s winning total of 707. Alabama's closest non-winner by percentage is RB Trent Richardson in 2011. Richardson's 978 points were 58 percent of the 1,687 of winner Robert Griffin III, Baylor's QB.

280 Second-place votes were cast for Alabama WR Amari Cooper in the 2014 Heisman Trophy balloting -- the most that a Crimson Tide player has collected. Cooper also had the most third-place votes that an Alabama player has collected, with 316 that year. Cooper finished third in the voting behind winner Marcus Mariota, Oregon's QB; and runner-up Melvin Gordon, a Wisconsin RB.

1,832 Points were accumulated in the 2015 Heisman Trophy voting by RB Derrick Henry, the most by an Alabama player. Henry won the award that year, garnering 378 first-place votes, also the most for an Alabama player in the Heisman balloting. First-place votes are worth three points, second-place votes two points and third-place votes one point.

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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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