WACO, Texas -- In the end, the Heisman chant went up.
It wasn't strong. Or really that organized. And that was just as well. Everyone around Floyd Casey already knew that college football's top individual honor should belong to Robert Griffin III. Besides, it's not like Baptists to brag.
Well, now after decades being the sideshow dancing Bears of college football, the Baylor Bears finally have something to brag about: RG3. The junior finished up his campaign in his typical explosive fashion, 320 yards, touchdown passes of 59 and 39, touchdown runs of 10 and two, and a 48-24 win over what used to be the state's, shoot maybe even one of college football's, bell-cow program, Texas.
“We could be wrong, but we felt like if we came out and got a victory, then we should win the Heisman,” Griffin said. “It's not just about me, it's about all of Baylor Nation. I don't know if you can say we deserve it, but it would definitely be warranted.”
He does have the whole, superstar athlete third person thing down pretty well. What Griffin also has are the stats to make a case to be in the race. With his 320 yards against Texas, a top 10 defense, Griffin became the third player in FBS history with more than 10,000 career passing yards (10,071) and 2,000 career rushing yards (2,197). Just this season he passed for 3,998 yards and ran for 644. His 36 touchdown passes average 36.6 yards per pass. And going into Saturday's game, his 191.11 passing efficiency ranks second in FBS behind Wisconsin's Russell Wilson.
“I think he's done enough to win the Heisman,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “I don't think it comes down to one day. I think it certainly helped him today, without a doubt, but when you judge somebody, you judge them over the long run, not the short run. His long run has been very impressive this year.”
What he did against Texas was enough to turn the heads of the Longhorn defenders.
“Tonight he showed that [he is worthy of the Heisman],” said Texas linebacker Keenan Robinson. “He played great against a great defense. He scored 48 points on us, so I think he is.”
The only other team to score more on Texas was Oklahoma. The Sooners were quarterbacked by one-time candidate Landry Jones. He had 367 yards passing but none of the big-strike plays that Griffin produced. Likewise, the Longhorns went up against Oklahoma State and Brandon Weeden. Again Weeden's numbers (218 passing yards) did not stack up to Griffin's.
“They were the most explosive team, with the most explosive players and the best deep threats,” said safety Kenny Vaccaro.
If anyone should know what Griffin is made of it is Vaccaro. The two grew up as close friends and have been competing with each other for years. At the end of the game, Vaccaro gave Griffin his vote, even if it was somewhat begrudgingly, after a loss.
“Yeah, he deserves it,” Vaccaro said.