Ranking Heisman Trophy winners from 1-40
The Heisman Trophy is the oldest and most respected award in college football. Saturday night, Alabama running back Derrick Henry became the 81st player in the history of the sport to be recognized not only the nation's best player, but as the Heisman Trust states:
The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
SEE ALSO: Roll Henry! Alabama's super-sized running back wins Heisman
Henry not only led the nation with 1,986 rushing yards (which also set a Southeastern Conference record) and 23 touchdowns on 339 carries, he also carried his team to an SEC title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The 6-foot-3, 241-pound Florida native ran over, around and past defenders all season, and then won the race for the legendary bronze statue against stiff competition that included Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
He has now been officially crowned the greatest player of the 2015 season, but how does Henry stack up against the other Heisman winners all-time?
Like the journalists and former winners that vote for the award itself from year to year, there is no scientific formula for ranking every Heisman Trophy winner. Statistics play a large role, though because college football has changed so much from the early days of the award (especially in terms of explosive offensive performances), it would be unfair to simply rely on numbers.
Therefore, a player's impact on his team must be taken into account, including wins, losses and championships, as well as his impact on the game itself. Winning the Heisman vote in a landslide can provide bonus points, but some of the closest races have featured some of the greatest players and beating a strong field is also worthy of recognition.
Note: Statistics referenced in the pages that follow have been taken from Sports-Reference.com/CFB, unless otherwise noted. In some cases, statistics are unavailable or will differ from those listed in official NCAA record books as the result of bowl game statistics that are not officially recognized by the NCAA.
The original version of this article can be found on FanSided, and ranks all 81 Heisman winners.