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College football’s Heisman Trophy: from Berwanger to Manziel

On the evening of Dec. 14, the 79th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation will be telecast live by ESPN. As the usual suspense builds about who will be named this season’s best college player, here are some fun facts to throw into your water cooler Heisman conversations.

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Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown is shown before being honored at halftime of an NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns, Oct. 3, 2013, in Cleveland.

TONY DEJAK/AP

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1. Famous nonwinners

Where some famous nonwinners finished:

Jim Brown: 5th in 1956 (behind Paul Hornung)

Mike Ditka: 6th in 1960 (behind Joe Bellino)

Dick Butkus: 3rd in 1964 (behind John Huarte)

Archie Manning: 3rd in 1970 (behind Jim Plunkett) and 4th in 1969 (behind Steve Owens)

Dan Marino: 4th in 1981 (behind Marcus Allen)

John Elway: 2nd in 1982 (behind Herschel Walker)

Jerry Rice: 9th in 1984 (behind Doug Flutie)

Emmitt Smith: 7th in 1989 (behind Andre Ware)

Brett Favre: nonfactor (played out of limelight at Southern Mississippi)

Peyton Manning: 6th in 1995 (behind Eddie George), 8th in 1996 (behind Danny Wuerffel) , and 2nd in 1997 (behind Charles Woodson)

Joe Montana: nonfactor (was not a first-team All-America in college)

Tom Brady: nonfactor (only an All-Big Ten honorable mention quarterback at Michigan)

Drew Brees: 3rd in 2000 (behind Chris Weinke)

Eli Manning: 3rd in 2003 (behind Jason White)

Aaron Rodgers: 9th in 2004 (behind Matt Leinert)

Adrian Peterson: 2nd in 2004 (behind Matt Leinert)

Andrew Luck: 2nd in 2010 (behind Cam Newton) and 2nd in 2011 (behind Robert Griffin III)

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