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Weinke edges Heupel, becomes oldest Heisman winner
Posted: Saturday December 09, 2000 9:00 PM
2000 Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke. AP
NEW YORK (SportsTicker) -- Round One goes to Chris Weinke.
Weinke, who has moved Florida State to within one victory of its
second straight national title, overcame any prejudices about
his age and tonight was named the winner of the 66th Heisman
Trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club.
At 28, Weinke easily became the oldest Heisman Trophy winner.
The previous oldest was Oklahoma running back Billy Sims, who
was 23 when he was honored in 1978.
|2000 Heisman Trophy voting|
Click here for complete top 10 voting results.
| || |
In a close race, Weinke earned 369 first-place votes and 1,628
votes to edge fellow quarterback Josh Heupel of Oklahoma for the
most coveted individual honor in college football.
Weinke finished 76 points ahead of Heupel -- the seventh closest
vote in history and the narrowest margin since quarterback Andre
Ware won by 70 points over running back Anthony Thompson in
1989. A total of 922 votes were cast, primarily by the media and
|Click the image to launch the clip|
Heisman winner Chris Weinke shares with CNNSI.com's Mark Morgan his reflections on winning the prize. Start
| Closer Look |
A vote free of controversy? Don't even think about it. LaDainian Tomlinson says his distant fourth-place finish shows there's no respect for TCU football, writes CNNSI.com's Albert Lin.
| || |
"I don't think I've ever been this nervous before a game,"
Weinke said of the vote. "My heart was pounding."
Purdue quarterback Drew Brees was a distant third in the voting
with 619 points. TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson was
fourth with 566.
Florida State can claim at least a share of the
national championship when it faces Heupel and top-ranked
Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on January 3.
"This is a huge honor. But the individual award is not that
important. Winning a national championship is what it's all
about," said Weinke as he looked toward Heupel. "Josh, it's
going to be a battle."
Weinke, who played baseball in the Toronto Blue Bays system
before coming to the Seminoles. Those voters claim the
quarterback has an unfair advantage playing against those up to
10 years his junior.
But in the end, Weinke's achievements were just too much to
ignore. Weinke was 266-of-431 for a national-best 4,167 yards
and 33 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. The Seminoles
suffered their only loss to Miami, but it was no fault of
Weinke, who threw for 496 yards and three scores that afternoon
in the Orange Bowl.
|Regional Vote Breakdown|
1, Chris Weinke, 305. 2, Josh Heupel 263. 3, LaDainian Tomlinson, 111. 4, Drew Brees, 94.
1, Chris Weinke, 308. 2, Josh Heupel 240. 3, LaDainian Tomlinson, 87. 4, Drew Brees, 83.
1, Chris Weinke, 310. 2, Josh Heupel 255. 3, LaDainian Tomlinson, 97. 4, Drew Brees, 84.
1, Josh Heupel, 330. 2, Chris Weinke 231. 3, LaDainian Tomlinson, 129. 4, Drew Brees, 83.
1, Chris Weinke, 246. 2, Josh Heupel 220. 3, Drew Brees, 171. 4, LaDainian Tomlinson, 55.
1, Josh Heupel, 244. 2, Chris Weinke 228. 3, Drew Brees, 104. 3, LaDainian Tomlinson, 87.
| || |
"I heard that some voters were going to leave me off the ballot
entirely because of my age," said Weinke, who overcame a serious
neck injury suffered in 1998. "If you are going to leave me off
the ballot because you don't think I'm one of the top three
players, that's fine. It shouldn't be because of my age. But in
the end, the voters were fair."
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said this week that it would
have been a "travesty" if Weinke had not been selected because
of his age.
"I'm very proud of him and wish I could have been there," Bowden
said tonight from Tallahassee.
A native of Minnesota, Weinke became the second Seminole to win
a Heisman Trophy, joining quarterback Charlie Ward, the 1993
recipient who currently plays basketball a few blocks north of
the Downtown Athletic Club with the New York Knicks.
Weinke is the 23rd quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy and the
fourth straight from the state of Florida, joining Danny
Wuerffel of Florida, Ward and Gino Torretta of Miami.
Weinke received most of his votes from the Northeast,
Mid-Atlantic and South, picking up at least 300 votes in each
region. Heupel received his strongest support in the Southwest,
gaining 330 of the first-place votes compared to 231 for Heupel.
Tonight added to Weinke's stash of hardware. He won the Davey
O'Brien Award, given to the nation's best quarterback, on
Thursday and previously was honored with the Johnny Unitas
Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation's top senior
The narrowest margin of victory was in 1985, when Bo Jackson of
Auburn edged Chuck Long of Iowa by a mere 45 votes. Long,
ironically, is now the quarterback coach of the Sooners.
"We didn't really talk about it much," Heupel said. "Chuck just
told me to enjoy the experience. I would tell everyone in
Oklahoma (who is disappointed) to just put a smile on their face
and get ready for Miami."
Heupel, a 22-year-old senior from Aberdeen, South Dakota,
completed 259-of-389 passes this season for 3,172 yards and 18
touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He has thrown at least one TD
pass in all 24 of his games for the Sooners, going over the
300-yard mark in 14 of them.
In leading Purdue to its first Rose Bowl appearance since
January 1967, Brees, also a Heisman finalist in 1999, completed
286-of-473 attempts for 3,393 yards and 24 TDs, double his
"It was great to just be back here again," Brees said. "Not many
people can say that."
Tomlinson led the nation in rushing for the second straight
season with 2,158 yards and 22 touchdowns on 369 carries.
|Closest Heisman Votes|
|1985 - 45, Bo Jackson, Auburn, over Chuck Long, Iowa, 1509-1464.
1961 - 53, Ernie Davis, Syracuse, over Bob Ferguson, Ohio State,
1953 - 56, John Lattner, Notre Dame, over Paul Giel, Minnesota,
1989 - 70, Andre Ware, Houston, over Anthony Thompson, Indiana,
1956 - 72, Paul Hornung, Notre Dame, over John Majors,
1964 - 74, John Huarte, Notre Dame, over Jerry Rhome, Tulsa,
2000 - 76, Chris Weinke, Florida St., over Josh Heupel,
1978 - 77, Billy Sims, Oklahoma, over Chuck Fusina, Penn State,
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