USC Football: 8 times a Trojan almost won the Heisman Trophy
Anthony Davis (1974)
While senior bias cost O.J. Simpson in 1967, it was a lack of recency bias that nixed Anthony Davis’s Heisman Trophy bid in 1974.
The Trojan tailback led USC to a national title by doing everything. Davis tallied 18 touchdowns, gained 1,914 all-purpose yards, was tops in the country in kickoff returns, led the Pac-8 in scoring and became the conference’s first-ever rusher to top 1,000 rushing yards in three-straight seasons.
But he became the second player in school history to serve as the Heisman runner-up. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin took the honor after rushing for 1,696 yards and averaging nearly two more yards per carry than Davis.
What keeps USC fans up at night is the role Davis played in the comeback against Notre Dame, and how it couldn’t help his Heisman cause. His 100-yard kickoff return played a major part in a 55-point barrage in 17 minutes to eliminate a 24-0 deficit, with Davis himself scoring four touchdowns.
The only problem? The game came days prior to the voting deadline and a large portion of ballots had already been cast.
“If they had waited a week, everything would’ve been different,” Davis told the LA Times in 2010.