Having the best player in college football on your side is always a good thing, especially when betting bowl games.
The bowl team claiming that season’s Heisman winner has won and covered in four straight years, but that hasn’t always been the case. While Heisman Trophy holders are 4-0 SU/ATS since 2009, their teams were a dismal 2-6 SU and ATS in the eight years previous.
Will 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston lead Florida State to a BCS Championship and - even more importantly – a cover as an 8.5-point favorite over Auburn on January 6? That’s the big question with this two-sided trend.
Here’s a look at Heisman winners since 2001 and how their teams made out in that season’s bowl game:
2012 – Jonny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (won 41-13 over Oklahoma at -3) – “Johnny Football” lived up to being the first freshman to win the Heisman with a legendary performance in the Cotton Bowl. Manziel passed for 287 yards and two TDs while adding another 229 yards and two scores on the ground, giving the Aggies a one-sided victory over Oklahoma.
2011 - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (won 67-56 over Washington at -9.5) – The total of 80 points didn’t stand a chance in this game. Griffin threw for 295 yards with one rushing and one passing TD but Terrance Gannaway stole the show with five rushing TDs.
2010 - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn (won 22-19 over Oregon as -1) - Newton won himself and his Tigers a National Championship as time expired – and covered the spread. Newton completed 20-of-34 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and ran 22 times for 64 yards.
2009 - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama (won 37-21 over Texas at -3.5) – Ingram had 116 yards rushing on just 22 carries with two touchdowns. He was named offensive MVP of the game.
2008 - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma (lost 24-14 to Florida at +4.5) - Bradford was only mediocre, completing 26-of-41 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also picked off twice. The lackluster effort from the star was a big reason why the Sooners lost that national champ game.
2007 - Tim Tebow, QB, Florida (lost 41-35 to Michigan at -10) – The Gators went just 9-3 in ’07 and Tebow capped it a great effort in a losing bid in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan in Lloyd Carr’s last game on the sidelines. Tebow completed 17-of-33 for 154 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 57 more and another score.
2006 -Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State (lost 41-14 to Florida at -7) – This was a complete disaster for Smith. He completed just 4-of-14 passes for a pathetic 35 yards and he added both an interception and a fumble.
2005 - Reggie Bush, RB, USC (lost 41-38 to Texas at -7) – Bush has given back his Heisman now, as everyone knows, but he had 279 all-purpose yards in this game - 82 on the ground, 95 through the air, and 102 on kicks, and he scored once.
2004 - Matt Leinart, QB, USC (won 55-19 over Oklahoma at -1) - Leinart was brilliant in this national title game. He only completed 18-of-35 passes, but he made them count — he threw for 332 yards and five touchdowns.
2003 - Jason White, QB, Oklahoma White (lost 21-14 to LSU at -6.5) - The blame for this loss fell on White, who went just 13-of-37 for 102 yards and he threw two interceptions. He was also sacked seven times.
2002 - Carson Palmer, QB, USC (won 38-17 over Iowa at -4.5) - Palmer was solid in the win, with 303 passing yards on 21-of-31 passing with a touchdown in this Rose Bowl game.
2001 - Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska (lost 37-14 to Miami at +8.5) - Crouch ran 22 times for 114 yards, but completed just 5-of-16 passes for 62 yards.