The College Football Playoff’s inaugural championship game is upon us.
Newly-crowned Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will lead his Oregon Ducks against the Ohio State Buckeyes Monday night in a battle to determine which team is college football’s No. 1 for the 2014 season.
The junior quarterback has a chance to put himself in some rare company with a win over the Buckeyes. Only 14 players have won a national championship and a Heisman in the same season–and just eight quarterbacks have done so. Despite it being an uncommon feat, the trend is looking good for Mariota: Three of the last five Heisman winners have managed to pull it off.
Here’s a look at that elite group and how they fared in their championship games (where applicable):
Davey O’Brien, QB, Texas Christian, 1938
O’Brien led TCU to an 11-0 record and a 15-7 victory over Carnegie Tech in the 1939 Sugar Bowl to lead the Horned Frogs to the national championship. O’Brien was outstanding against the Tartans, throwing for 225 yards and one touchdown on 17 of 28 passing, while also intercepting a pass and kicking a field goal.
Bruce Smith, RB, Minnesota, 1940
Smith won the Heisman and also led Minnesota to the 1940 national championship. The Gophers did not play in a bowl game that season, as was common in those days.
Angelo Bertelli, QB, Notre Dame, 1943
Bertelli was the first Fighting Irish player to win a Heisman in 1943 and the quarterback of the first of four national championship squads coached by the legendary Frank Leahy.
Felix ‘Doc’ Blanchard, FB, Army, 1945
Mr. Inside was the first junior to win the award, beating out his teammate, Glenn Davis, who was the runner up. Army won its second-consecutive national title.
John Lujack, QB, Notre Dame, 1947
Lujack became the second Notre Dame player to win the the Heisman while leading the Irish to their second-straight national title.
Leon Hart, End, Notre Dame, 1949
Notre Dame continued its dual-grip on the Heisman and national title, as Hart won the trophy while leading the Irish to their third title in four years.
Tony Dorsett, RB, Pittsburgh, 1976
Dorsett cruised to the Heisman while setting the NCAA single-season (1,948 yards) and career (6,082) rushing marks. He helped Pittsburgh clinch an undefeated 12-0 national championship season by rushing for 202 yards and a touchdown in a 27-6 romp over No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Charlie Ward, QB, Florida State, 1993
Ward won the Heisman in a landslide while leading the Seminoles to an 11-1 regular season record. He then threw for 286 yards on 24-of-43 pasing with no touchdowns and no interceptions in an 18-16 Orange Bowl victory over No. 1 Nebraska. When the dust cleared, FSU had its first national title.
Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida, 1996
Wuerffel avenged a late season loss to arch-rival FSU, throwing for 306 yards (on 18 of 34 passing) and three touchdowns as the Gators won their first national title with a 52-20 crushing of the Seminoles in the Sugar Bowl.
Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan, 1997
Woodson helped clinch Michigan’s first national title since 1949 with his performance against Washington State in the Rose Bowl. Woodson had a key end zone interception of Ryan Leaf, rushed twice for six yards and also had one catch for seven yards as the Wolverines won, 21-16.
Matt Leinart, QB, USC, 2004
USC won its second-straight national title as Leinart threw for 332 yards and a Heisman-bowl-record five touchdown passes in the Trojans’ 55-19 walloping of Oklahoma in the BCS title game.
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama, 2009
Ingram not only won the first Heisman in Alabama’s storied history, he led the Tide to their first national title since 1992. Ingram rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns as Bama defeated Texas, 37-21, in the BCS title game, becoming the first running back since Dorsett to win a national title and a Heisman in the same season.
Cam Newton, QB, Auburn, 2010
Newton had a season-for-the-ages on his way to winning Auburn’s third Heisman. He also led the Tigers to an undefeated season, including a dramatic 22-19 victory over Oregon in the BCS title game. Newton went 20 of 34 for 265 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 65 yards against the Ducks.
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State, 2013
Winston threw 38 touchdowns passes in leading Florida State to an undefeated regular 2013 season. While he struggled early against Auburn in the BCS title game, he did lead his team to the winning score with 16 seconds to play as the ‘Noles captured the national title. Winston finished 20 of 35 for 237 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers.