Joe Burrow’s Heisman win was one for the record books

Joey Kaufman The Columbus Dispatch
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow holds the Heisman Memorial Trophy at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Saturday night. [Brian Ciancio/TNS]

Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow broke multiple voting records when he won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.

Not only did Burrow post the largest margin of victory, by 1,846 points over Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, but he also finished with the highest percentage of first-place votes (90.7 percent), the highest percentage of possible points (93.8 percent) and the highest percentage of ballots appearances (95.5 percent).

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Former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith held previous records for the highest percentage of first-place votes, collecting 86.7 percent when he won the stiff-arm trophy in 2006, and for the highest percentage of possible points at 91.6 percent.

O.J. Simpson remains the record-holder for total first-place votes received as he garnered 855 as the winner in 1968. Burrow took 841 this year. Smith had 801, the only other winner with 800 or more first-place votes.

Simpson took advantage of a larger pool of voters in 1968 as 1,065 ballots were cast. The Heisman Trophy Trust received 893 ballots this year out of pool of 927 eligible voters, including 870 media members and 56 former winners.

To surpass Simpson’s total for first-place votes, Burrow would have needed to finish with nearly 96 percent of all first-place votes.

Below are more notable numbers from this year’s Heisman Trophy voting:

• Burrow, who spent his first three seasons at Ohio State, became the first graduate transfer to win the award. Hurts, the runner-up, was also a graduate transfer after previously playing for Alabama.

• Despite his landslide win and the largest margin of victory ever for a winner, Burrow was still left off 4.5 percent of the ballots.

• Three of Ohio State’s players, including quarterback Justin Fields, defensive end Chase Young and running back J.K. Dobbins, finished third, fourth and sixth, respectively. The last group of teammates to finish in the top-10 was in 1973 when the Buckeyes saw offensive linemen John Hicks, tailback Archie Griffin and linebacker Randy Gradishar end up second, fifth and sixth in the final voting.

• Fields is the second straight Ohio State quarterback to finish in the top-three, following Dwayne Haskins Jr., who was third last season behind other passers, Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama. Rex Kern also finished third in 1969.

• Young's fourth-place finish matched Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh, who was the last defensive lineman invited to the ceremony in 2009.

• While Young finished fourth, he ended up with the second-most first-place votes behind Burrow with 20. Hurts was next with 12 first-place votes, followed by Fields with six.

• Burrow swept all six regions of the country, while Hurts finished in second in four of them, the Far West, Southwest, South and Northeast. Fields was second in the Midwest, which includes seven states, including Ohio and Michigan. Young was second in the Mid-Atlantic, which includes his native Maryland.

• Dobbins received two first-place votes and trailed Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor by 75 points in the voting. Taylor was fifth.

• Two of Clemson’s players wound up in the top-10. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished seventh and running back Travis Etienne was ninth.

• Seven of the top-10 finishers play for teams bound for the College Football Playoff, including all four finalists. In the Playoff era, five of the six winners have played for Playoff teams with the exception of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who won in 2016.


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