In our first story centered around the new former Heisman winner mode in NCAA 2013 we took a look at what Trophy Winner we would have liked to have seen play for the Buffaloes. For the second of the two posts we were asked to discuss a player who didn't win the Heisman Trophy and we are again going to focus on the Buffs (in fact we are going right back to 2002). I present to you running back (definitely not the "singer"), Chris Brown.
Chris Brown, the 6'3 running back from Naperville, Illinois is still known best for his 6 touchdown performance against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the final regular season game of the 2001 season. But it was 2002 that had the back finishing with 1,841 yards (6.1 ypc) and 18 touchdowns. The year included a monster 309 yards on 25 carries against Kansas and 188 yards and three touchdowns on the road against UCLA. Brown finished eighth in the Heisman voting with 5 first place votes and 11 each for second and third. He was the third running back behind Larry Johnson and Willis Maghee who had 2087 and 1753 yards (with 28 touchdowns) respectively.
What you may not remember about that season is that Brown missed both the Nebraska and Oklahoma (Big 12 Championship) games after getting hurt (bruised sternum) in the third quarter of the Iowa State game prior. Although Brown still put up 127 and a touchdown against the Cyclones, Bobby Purify added another 174 in his absence. So we can assume that some of those yards could have ended up back in Brown's total. In the following two games, Brian Calhoun started in relief and managed a total of 259 yards (with Purify adding another 67 against NU).
Chris Brown ended up finishing 246 yards behind Larry Johnson's monster season. Had he not gotten hurt, it's safe to assume he would have surpassed the 2000 yard barrier and come close to moving into second (at the time) in the all-time season rushing record behind Barry Sanders. Would that have been enough to take the Heisman Trophy over Carson Palmer or Brad Banks? It's hard to say, but it sure is fun to think about.
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