Alabama Crimson Tide: Measuring Bama dominance by Heismans

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) /

There are many ways to measure Alabama Crimson Tide dominance. The most popular one for Alabama fans is National Championships. Team and individual records are others, along with Tide players drafted by the NFL.

A fairly recent measurement that applies to only the Nick Saban era is Heisman Trophy winners. Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant coached one Heisman winner, but not in Tuscaloosa. He was John David Crow, who won it as a Texas A&M Aggie in 1957.

Breaking the glass ceiling for the Crimson Tide was Mark Ingram in 2009. A trio of Tide winners flooded into college football history with Heismans won by Derrick Henry in 2015, DeVonta Smith in 2020 and Bryce Young in 2021.

Bryce Young has a good chance for a repeat in 2022. That has only happened once with Ohio State’s Archie Griffin winning in 1974 and 1975. If Bryce pulls off the repeat, it would propel the Alabama Crimson Tide into an all-time Heisman record. More on that below. If Bryce does not win a second, a just as deserving Will Anderson Jr. could win the next Heisman.

In the complete history of the college game, only 19 college football programs have had multiple Heisman winners. Of the 19, just 11 programs have had three or more winners.

The 11 programs are listed below, with the most winners first. The top three, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma State are tied with seven winners each.

  • Ohio State (7 winners) -Les Horvath (1944); Vic Janowicz (1950); Howard Cassady (1955); Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975); Eddie George (1995) and Troy Smith (2006)
  • Oklahoma (7 winners) – Billy Vessels (1952); Steve Owens (1969); Billy Sims (1978); Jason White (2003); Sam Bradford (2008); Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018)
  • Notre Dame (7 winners) – Angelo Bertelli (1943); Johnny Lujack (1947); Leon Hart (1949); Johnny Lattner (1953); Paul Hornung (1956); John Huarte (1964) and Tim Brown (1987)
  • Southern Cal (6 winners) – Mike Garrett (1965); O.J. Simpson (1968); Charles White (1979); Marcus Allen (1981); Carson Palmer (2002) and Matt Leinart (2004). Reggie Bush won in 2005 but NCAA action caused the award to be forfeited.
  • Alabama Crimson Tide (4 winners) – Mark Ingram (2009); Derrick Henry (2015); DeVonta Smith (2020) and Bryce Young (2021)
  • Army (3 winners) – Doc Blanchard (1945); Glenn Davis (1946) and Pete Dawkins (1958)
  • Auburn (3 winners) – Pat Sullivan (1971); Bo Jackson 1985) and Cam Newton (2010)
  • Florida (3 winners) – Steve Spurrier (1966); Danny Wuerffel (1996) annd Tim Tebow (2007)
  • Florida State (3 winners) – Charlie Ward (1993); Chris Weinke (2000) and Jameis Winston (2013)
  • Michigan (3 winners) – Tom Harmon (1940); Desmond Howard (1991) and Charles Woodson (1997)
  • Nebraska (3 winners) – Johnny Rodgers (1972); Mike Rozier (1983) and Eric Crouch (2001)

 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide

The Irish and the Tide share an amazing stat that shows the dominance of the programs in their top eras.

Twice in the 1943 through 1956 seasons, three Notre Dame players won Heismans in seven season spans. Alabama equaled that with the three Heismans from 2015-2021. Should Bryce Young or Will Anderson win it in 2022,  it would give the Crimson Tide the most dominant Heisman run in college football history.

How much of an accomplishment are three Heismans in a seven-season span? The shortest span for Oklahoma is 11 seasons and it is 12 seasons for Ohio State. It took the Auburn program 40 seasons to win three Heismans; others are 42 seasons for Florida and 58 seasons for Michigan.

The other SEC schools with multiple Heisman winners are Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU, with two each, and South Carolina with one.

Next. The Crimson Tide is best against top competition. dark

Seven SEC schools have never had a player win a Heisman Trophy.

Note: A full list of Heisman winners is available here.

More details of Heisman winners are available from the NCAA here.