[Edited] Florida has faced plenty of Heisman Trophy winners in the past and there is a chance it will again this year.
There are nine players on the UF schedule who are on the betting board as having odds to win the coveted award, according to the latest Vegas numbers, with Georgia’s Jake Fromm at the top of the list of players on teams we know Florida will face. The others Cam Akers (FSU), Deondre Francois (FSU), D’Andre Swift (Georgia), Drew Lock (Missouri), Nick Fitzgerald (Miss State), Jake Bentley (South Carolina), Benny Snell (Kentucky) and Deebo Samuel (South Carolina).
In the history of Florida football, the Gators have played 14 players who went on to win the Heisman that season or won it before facing Florida in a bowl game.
Florida is 4-10 in those games. The good news is that the Gators beat four Heisman winners, two of them to win national titles. The bad news is that some of those players used the Florida game as launching points to win the award.
Of course, Florida has three Heisman winners of its own, but that’s a different story.
Here is how Florida fared against players who won the Heisman that year:
1942, Frankie Sinkwich, Georgia
Score: 75-0, Georgia.
What happened: UF had lost most of its upperclassmen to the war effort and it showed, as Georgia recorded the most lopsided win in the history of the series. Sinkwich was 5-of-9 passing with two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards and scored twice.
1959, Billy Cannon, LSU
Score: 9-0, LSU
What happened: Cannon did it all, running for 59 yards and the only touchdown of the game and returning punts and kickoffs while also punting. He had 114 return yards in the game. It was in the next game when he won the Heisman with his famous 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss.
1971, Pat Sullivan, Auburn
Score: 40-7, Auburn
What happened: Sullivan went 15-of-30 for 241 yards. He threw two touchdowns and was intercepted once. It was two games later that he threw four TD passes against Georgia, which was his Heisman moment.
1982, Herschel Walker, Georgia
Score: 44-0, Georgia.
What happened: Walker owned the Gators during his three years, but the first two games came down to the wire. Not so much in this game. He finished with 221 yards rushing on 35 carries, scoring the first two touchdowns of the game.
1985, Bo Jackson, Auburn
Score: 14-10, Florida
What happened: Jackson suffered a bruised thigh and only rushed 48 yards on 16 carries before leaving the game. The following day, Florida moved up to No. 1 in the nation for the first time ever.
1986, Vinny Testaverde, Miami
Score: 23-15, Miami
What happened: Florida’s defense held Testaverde in check, limiting him to 12-of-25 passing and picking him off three times. Alas, it wasn’t enough.
1993, Charlie Ward, FSU
Score: 33-21, FSU
What happened: In one of the loudest games ever in The Swamp, Ward’s short pass to Warrick Dunn went the distance to clinch the game. He finished 38-of-53 for 446 yards and four TDs with two interceptions.
2000, Chris Weinke, FSU
Score: 30-7, FSU
What happened: Florida had no answer on offense in Tallahassee and Weinke was 23-of-44 for 353 yards. He threw three touchdowns, but the Gators did pick him off twice.
2006, Troy Smith, Ohio State
Score: 41-14, Florida
What happened: The Gator defense was awesome in the national title game, limiting Smith to 4-of-14 passing for 55 yards and sacking him for 29 yards in the game. He threw for no scores and was picked off once. Might have been the banquet circuit jinx.
2008, Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Score: 24-14, Florida
What happened: Another national title game, another Heisman winner and another win for the Gator defense. Bradford was 26-of-41 for 256 yards and threw two touchdown passes but he also threw two interceptions, the most memorable being Ahmad Black’s in the fourth quarter.
2009, Mark Ingram, Alabama
Score: 32-13, Alabama
What happened: This was most likely the game that secured Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy. Ingram was a workhorse rushing 28 times for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
2012, Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Score: 20-17, Florida
What happened: This was A&M’s first SEC game and Manziel’s first for the Aggies. He was 23-of-30 for 173 yards and ran for 60 yards and a touchdown, but Florida prevailed. He went on to become the first redshirt freshman to win the award.
2013, Jameis Winston, FSU
Score: 37-7, Florida State
What happened: Florida was a depleted team by the time the Gators faced Winston, losing the previous week to Georgia Southern. Winston was 19-of-31 for three scores and was intercepted once.
2015, Derrick Henry, Alabama
Score: 29-15, Alabama
What happened: In the SEC title game, Florida hung in there but Henry just kept pounding. He rushed 44 times for 189 yards and a touchdown in Alabama’s win.
Editor’s Note: Dooley got carried away with all the SEC guys receiving odds. Florida is facing nine players who have received Vegas odds to win the Heisman and not 10.