The Heisman is the annual trophy for the second best player in college football iirc. I've always thought they should have an award for the best. Could call it the Peyton Manning Trophy. Just my 2 cents.
Was there! Peyton beat his Dad's SEC passing record and all ESPN said on TV was how Charles Woodson ran an interception back for a TD. And you wonder why we think ESPN was biased for the heisman. Really!!
If you like offense and are a Vols fan, this is about the best game I can remember. It was so much fun just to watch going up and down the field. I believe in an interview Peyton said, the offense was almost just wanting the defense to let KY score so they could get back out there quicker. Was almost like a basketball game on a football field.
Yep. A ton of non-Tennessee fans have mentioned in passing over the years to me something about "Peyton winning the Heisman." They are always surprised when I come back with "Actually, he never won it."
Woodson sealed it when he ran that punt back for a TD in the Ohio St game that year. He'd had a season of highlight-reel plays leading up to that, and his punt return reversed momentum in a huge end-of-season rivalry game that had national title implications (Michigan was #1, Ohio St was #4). The CFB media landscape back then wasn't what it is today. The Big Ten was the premier conference and got most of the national airtime and attention. If the 1997 football season occurred today, Peyton in all likelihood wins it.
The Heisman has always been a media-driven, hype-based award given to who the media can construct the best story around, rather than who the best player truly is. You can't construct good stories around players at less visible positions and you can't construct good stories around players on teams that aren't in the limelight. In 1997, Michigan absolutely was more in the limelight than Tennessee was, and Peyton had a reputation of a guy who put up huge stats but laid eggs in big games.
Woodson wasnt even the best player on his team. ESPN did everything they could to make sure Manning didn't win the Heisman. I don't know ANYONE that watched football besides Woodson and his family that thought he should have won. Just more evidence that ESPN hates anything to do with TN. They can kiss my Orange Azz.