Postelection analysis revealed that the usual regional chauvinism was absent; Plunkett topped the ballot in four sections and tied Manning in the South. On the other hand, the voting reinforced the widespread belief that the Heisman is an award for the nation's best offensive back. Of the top 14 vote-getters, only one—Ohio State's Jack Tatum—is a defensive player and he finished a well-beaten seventh. No interior offensive linemen were listed, and Air Force's Ernie Jennings and Notre Dame's Tom Gatewood were the only receivers.
There are too many offensive backs partly because there are too many voters. Many of the latter see very little football; obviously their list of candidates begins and ends with the glamour positions. A few hundred selectors, or better, a few dozen—men actually on the beat—would vote more judiciously. Another thing: the ballots are cast too early. This season many were in before Plunkett's last two games, both losses. Obviously the outcome might be different if the voting took place after the season.
But for all their inadequacies and their unseemly haste, the Heisman voters have named a deserving winner. Plunkett has set many game, school and national records, the most impressive being his NCAA career mark for total offense—7.887 yards. And he made big plays in big games—against Southern Cal, Arkansas and UCLA. Now, of course, there is one more challenge for Plunkett before he joins the pros, possibly as the No. 1 draft choice. He faces Tatum and the rest of Ohio State's murderous defense in the Rose Bowl.