Tyrann Mathieu Deserves the Heisman

A couple weeks ago, my esteemed colleague Joe Simmons asked, “Does anyone really deserve the Heisman this year?”

Well Saturday, we got our answer … and that answer is LSU cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu.

As LSU fell behind and not only trailed at halftime, but didn’t even have a single first down, it was the sophomore do-it-all corner/return man who turned the tide and catapulted the Tigers to the eventual 42-10 annihilation.

First, it was his electrifying 62-yard punt return for a touchdown to finally put a dormant LSU attack on the board.

Then he damn near did it again, with perhaps an even more spectacular return that he failed to take to the house.

In all, the Honey Badger finished with 119 yards on four punt returns in the SEC title game, finishing with more all-purpose yards than anyone else on the field. He also added a fumble recovery and four tackles, and Mathieu was, without question, the best player on the field.

Sure, he may have had a DeSean Jackson moment, but he also was the man who propelled LSU to remain undefeated and set the stage for a rematch with Alabama in the BCS title game.


It was a Heisman moment if ever there was one and, truthfully, Mathieu has imposed his will more this season than any of the other Heisman candidates announced last night. In just his second season, Mathieu has already set the all-time record for forced fumbles for LSU. This season, he’s forced five of them … and he’s added two interceptions and four touchdowns to boot. Oh, the standout cornerback that’s picked up right where Patrick Peterson left off also just so happened to start at safety in the final regular-season game against Arkansas in place of the injured Eric Reid, a game in which he returned a punt 92 yards for a score. Not only is he talented, he’s versatile as well.

Plain and simple, Tyrann Mathieu has been the best player on the best team all season long, and he’s made more high-impact big plays in key moments than anyone else in the nation. That includes Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson … and yes, even Robert Griffin III. With Saturday’s impressive performance, he proved he deserves the Heisman.

Of course, we all know Mathieu won’t win it. There are a number of reasons for that. For starters, I find it hard to believe that any of the Heisman voters will endorse a guy who was suspended for failing a drug test. Then, there’s the infatuation of demanding the trophy go to either a quarterback or running back. And, of course, the incredible bias against defensive players. Just as Ndamukong Suh was the best player in college football but came away from the Maxwell Club empty-handed, so will Mathieu.

But Saturday — all season long, really — Tyrann Mathieu showed the world he deserves the Heisman Trophy as much, if not more, than anyone.

13 Replies to “Tyrann Mathieu Deserves the Heisman”

  1. I tend to agree that he is the best player on the best team but there is a reason why the Heisman trophy has a man with a football in his hands. It is going to the players who have the ball the most. Quarterbacks and running backs are going to be the primary recipients. There have been a lot of defensive players who should have won the coveted trophy and the Honeybadger ranks right up thete with the best of them. It’s a shame it won’t happen but he has had a year to remember.

  2. Chuck Chillout aka @CoolBlack06 aka The Franchise #MoneyTeam aka Claude Thibadeaux [of French Guyana] aka The M.I.L.F. Whisperer aka The 5th Horseman [WHOOOOOOOO!] says:

    HONEY BADGER DON’T CARE ABOUT A !@#$^%$#^%$#^@% HEISMAN TROPHY!!!

  3. From what I gathered, the Heisman Trophy is “awarded annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football”. Nothing against the guys who have won it in this last decade, but it’s about time the Heisman Trust adds “..whose team will be playing in the national championship game; unless it’s Tim Tebow (coz we adore him).”

  4. The Heisman Memorial Trophy mission states that the trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player who pursues excellence with INTEGRITY.

    Mathieu was suspended from his team & this will probably cost him a real shot at the trophy. I fear he was only added as a finalist to include a name from one the potential BCS championship winning teams. RG3 will win.

    1. Couple of things…Mathieu isn’t gonna win the Heisman because he has too much ground to make up. He wouldn’t have “lost” the Heisman because he bought some synthetic weed and got caught on a non-NCAA drug test. If cats are gonna take away the Heisman from him for that then you didn’t want him to win anyway.

        1. Meaning, that from where he was from the beginning of the season (where he stood in comparison to other Heisman contenders) to where he is now….he got his name up in the top 5. As dynamic as he was, it wasn’t enough to get him to actually WIN the Heisman. Unlike a Cam Newton who also came out of nowhere, but played a high profile position and every single week performed at a supremely high level.

          1. Ridiculous.

            Robert Griffin plays at BAYLOR and he’s found his way into the Heisman race. If Griffin, someone who plays for a team (they’re, by no means, a program) can conjure up enough momentum to get in the race, then so can Mathieu.

            Bottom line is Mathieu, as good as his season has been, hasn’t had enough of an impact to win the Heisman, period. He plays at LSU, is on national TV every week and had ample opportunities to win it. He hasn’t done enough and the weed smoke certainly didn’t help.

  5. Should he win? Absolutely. But unless Les Miles has dirt on half the voters it’s not going down and Andrew Luck will unfortunately take the trophy home. I personally believe that if Tyrann doesn’t win, then RG3 should. Hands down. If for no other reason that he has made Baylor relevant in something other than basketball.

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