The 2023 Heisman Trophy ceremony presentation starts at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN. Four finalists - quarterbacks Jayden Daniels (LSU), Bo Nix (Oregon), and Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) as well as Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. - will be at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room in New York City for the ceremony.
It's been an exciting season for the Heisman Trophy in 2023. Heisman odds and rankings have fluctuated at the top with Daniels, Nix, Penix Jr., and defending Heisman winner Caleb Williams all taking turns as the favorite for college football's highest individual award.
Heisman voting closed on Monday night and, given how much the favorite has changed in 2023, it could be a close contest. Here's a look at some of the closest Heisman Trophy races in recent history as well as all-time, with voting records from Sports Reference:
In the last decade, there haven't been many close Heisman Trophy contests. The winners won by at least 600 points in eight of the last 10 years. Since 2013, the Heisman Trophy winner's taken the award by an average of 957 points over the runner-up.
The biggest margin of victory goes to Joe Burrow in 2019. The LSU quarterback set the single-season total yards record en route to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy by a 1,846-point margin over Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts.
The closest Heisman Trophy race of the last decade happened in 2015 between two future NFL All-Pro running backs. Alabama's Derrick Henry won by 293 points over Stanford's Christian McCaffrey. Another relatively tight race happened in 2018, when Oklahoma's Kyler Murray won by 296 points over Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa.
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If you look beyond the past decade, the races get closer. The average margin of victory goes down to 660 points when looking at Heisman Trophy winners since 2000. Five races were decided by less than 200 points, all between 2000 and 2009.
In 2009, the Heisman Trophy was a very close contest. The top three candidates - Alabama running back Mark Ingram, Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy - were separated by just 159 points. Ingram ended up the winner by 28 points that year thanks to five more first-place votes and 11 more second-place votes than Gerhart.
The 2000s started off with consecutive close Heisman Trophy contests. Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke won in 2000 by just 76 points over Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel and a year later Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch won the Heisman Trophy by 62 points over Florida quarterback Rex Grossman.
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Ingram's win over Gerhart in 2009 is the closest Heisman Trophy vote of all-time. That point margin broke the record set by the 1985 Heisman Trophy race, which saw Auburn running back Bo Jackson win by just 45 points over Iowa quarterback Chuck Long.
Prior to 2000, nine Heisman Trophy awards were decided by less than 100 points, 1985 included. Here are the other eight:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The closest Heisman races: How votes broke down in years with slimmest margins2023-12-09T17:07:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd