NEW YORK — Robert Griffin III beat out preseason favorite Andrew Luck for the Heisman Trophy, dazzling voters with his ability to throw, run and lead Big 12 doormat Baylor into the national rankings.
The quarterback known as RG3 became the first Heisman winner from Baylor tonight by a comfortable margin over the Stanford star.
Griffin started the season on the fringe of the Heisman conversation, a talented and exciting player on a marginal team, while Stanford's Luck was already being touted as a No. 1 NFL draft pick.
Draft day might very well still belong to Luck, but Griffin diverted the Heisman to Waco, Texas, to a school that has never had a player finish better than fourth in the voting - and that was 48 years ago.
Other finalists were Alabama's Trent Richardson, Wisconsin's Montee Ball and Louisiana State University's Tyrann Mathieu.
Griffin and the Bears beat Texas 48-24 last Saturday to finish the regular season 9-3, Baylor's first nine-win season in 25 years. Lifting Baylor from the doldrums – along with passing for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns – is a big part of why Griffin broke a Heisman trend.
Seven of the past eight winners, including Reggie Bush who later vacated the title, played in the BCS national championship game, like Mathieu and Richardson will. The Southeastern Conference rivals meet again Jan. 9 in New Orleans.