1975 Heisman Trophy Race

1. Archie Griffin – Ohio State RB: To this day still the only 2 time Heisman Trophy winner. His production actually dropped off in 1975 from 1974, but he still rushed for 1,450 yards. Griffin came at the right time allowing him to play as a true freshman which allowed him to break the all time rushing record with 5,559 yards which lasted all of one year when Tony Dorsett smashed it the following season. Griffin is one of 2 players of all time to start in 4 Rose Bowls, the other being Brian Cushing of USC. As great as Archie Griffin was in college, that never archie griffin vs michtranslated well to the NFL. He was drafted in the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals where he played 7 seasons and managed to rush for 2,808 yards.

2. Chuck Muncie – California RB: Muncie had a little success his first two seasons as a starter, but then he exploded as a senior when he ran for 1,460. Muncie was a big back at 6-3, 227 and had good speed and was drafted with the 3rd pick of the 1st round by the New Orleans Saints where he would play for 5 seasons. He teamed with 2nd round pick Tony Galbreath from Missouri to form one of the better NFL backfields of all time. Muncie ran for 6,702 yards in his NFL career. At one point, he developed a cocaine addiction but got over it. Chuck Muncie died of a heart attack in 2013.

3. Ricky Bell – USC RB: Shocking that Ricky Bell did not win the Heisman Trophy in 1975 playing at USC and because he ran for 1,957 yards and 13 Touchdowns. In spite of Ricky Bell’s huge season, the Trojans struggled in 1975 and finished 8 – 4. Bell was a junior in 1975 and had another good season in 1976 before becoming the very first pick in the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bell played 6 seasons in the NFL and ran for just over 3,000 total before retiring. Bell died of heart failure in 1984.

4. Tony Dorsett – Pittsburgh RB: Dorsett was a junior at Pittsburgh in 1975 and ran for 1,686 yards

and 13 Touchdowns. Dorsett was the best player on this list and went on to win the Heisman in 1976 while winning the national championship and breaking the all time NCAA rushing record. Dorsett was picked by the Dallas Cowboys and after winning the college championship in 1976, he would be an important cog in the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl during his rookie season as he was rookie of the year. Dorsett ran for well over 12,000 yards in the NFL and is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

5. Joe Washington – Oklahoma RB: Washington was a fantastic player, but he was much more prolific as a sophomore and junior when he rushed for over 1,100 and 1,300 yards respectively. During his senior season, Washington only ran for over 800 yards as a senior, but helped his Sooners to an 11 – 1 finish and a win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl. Washington, from Port Arthur, Texas ran for around 4,000 yards at Oklahoma and was picked with the 4th pick of the 1st round by the San Diego Chargers. Washington bounced around the NFL for a few years and ran for nearly 5,000 yards in 10 years.

6. Jimmy DuBose – Florida RB: The Florida Gators ran the Wishbone Offense in those years under head coach Doug Dickey and DuBose was their Fullback. In 1975, DuBose ran for 1,402 yards and 6 Touchdowns. DuBose was a 2nd round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but his NFL career was a letdown and he only played 3 seasons and ran for about 700 career yards. Dubose had been traded from the Bucs to the Miami Dolphins and then was cut by Don Shula because he was too small to replace Larry Csonka. The Dolphins didn’t know his size when they traded players to obtain DuBose? Fans wonder why their teams don’t maintain greatness.

7. John Sciarra – UCLA QB: Sciarra was the Consensus All American Quarterback for 1975 after passing for just over 1.300 yards and 8 Touchdowns and running for nearly 800 yards and 14 more

Touchdowns. Different times and Quarterbacks just didn’t put up the numbers that they do today. But, Sciarra was an athlete and a team leader. Sciarra was only 5 – 11, 185 and was drafted by the Chicago Bears for other positions, but decided on the Canadian Football League. He was rookie of the year in the CFL as a Quarterback. His college coach, Dick Vermeil, had taken the Philadelphia Eagles job and Sciarra played 6 years for Vermeil at Philly at Defensive Back and Punt Returner.

8. Gordon Bell – Michigan RB: Gordon Bell helped Michigan to an 8 -2 -2 finish in 1975 finishing behind the Buckeyes. They lost their rivalry game with the Buckeyes 21 – 14 but Bell outplayed Heisman winner Archie Griffin in that game. Bell ran for 1,390 yards on the season with 13 Touchdowns. He also had to share running responsibilities with junior Rob Lytle who played Fullback and he had 1,040 of his own rushing yards and none of the other top backs had thousand yard backfield mates. The senior Bell was drafted by the New York Giants in the 4th round but only played there 2 seasons before moving to the St Louis Cardinals for a season and then gave up football. He was also a good kick returner in college and in the NFL.

9. Leroy Selmon – Oklahoma DT: The youngest of the famous Oklahoma Selmon brothers, Leroy was also the best of the bunch. He was a consensus All American in 1975 and would become the very first pick in the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Selmon was as good as advertised and played in the league for 9 seasons and made the Pro Bowl during 6 of those years. Sports Illustrated named Leroy Selmon to it’s All Century team in 1999. He really was that good on every level.  While a back injury ended his NFL career, he still made it to the NFL Hall of Fame. Not bad for a guy from tiny Eufaula, Oklahoma. Sadly, Leroy Selmon died from a stroke in 2011.

10. Gene Swick – Toledo QB: Swick played his last 2 years of high school ball in Hebron, Ohio. Being an Ohio kid, he was recruited as a Quarterback by Woody Hayes of Ohio State but said he didn’t want to just hand the ball off to a Running Back. He instead chose Toledo where he broke a lot of NCAA passing records. Swick led the nation in total yards in 1975 and threw for 2,487 which is not a lot compared to today’s standards, but these were different times.

Swick was drafted in the 4th round by the Cleveland Browns but was cut.

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  1. Pingback: Archie Griffin Ohio State Legend | College Football Crazy

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