Former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George was recently on the UT campus to promote the GetFitTN health and wellness campaign. While there, the conversation naturally turned to his vote for the Heisman in 1997, which went to Michigan's Charles Woodson over Vol Peyton Manning. Standing within spitting distance (that particular analogy used on purpose) of Manning's statue in Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, George defended his vote:
I believe to this day that Charles Woodson was the best player in the country that year. No question. When you look at it, Peyton had the statistics and had the career, but it was about the best player that year. Woodson played offense and defense, put up the numbers and made big plays. The only thing that stopped Peyton was that he couldn't win the big one. He couldn't beat Florida. If he had done that and continued to have a great season, there's no question he would have won the Heisman.
Of course, he did not mention the fact that his team -- the Ohio State Buckeyes -- blew a chance to win the national championship by losing to Michigan the year he won the Heisman.