The Heisman Trust unveiled its four finalists for the 2021 college football season on Monday. In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, “this had made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
On the whole, college football fans had some reason to voice their displeasure following Monday’s unveiling. The four finalists are Alabama quarterback Bryce Young; Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett; Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud; and Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.
MORE: ‘Underdog’ Alabama, Bryce Young tear through No. 1 Georgia and capture SEC championship
There is nothing wrong with the finalists in and of themselves: They have all played exceptionally well this season. Young’s prowess helped lead the Crimson Tide to an SEC championship and College Football Playoff berth; Hutchinson has had an outstanding defensive season for the playoff-bound Wolverines; Pickett’s season helped him pass Dan Marino for the most touchdowns in Pitt history; and Stroud has had no issue carving up opposing defenses (just ask Michigan State).
But college fans still bemoaned what they believed were several snubs in the Heisman voting process, including Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, who has 20 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing scores; Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III, who ranks second nationally and first in the Power 5 with 1,646 rushing yards on top of 18 rushing touchdowns; and Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., whom many consider the Crimson Tide’s best player and who leads the nation in both tackles for loss (32.5) and sacks (15.5).
Unfortunately, there’s only room for so many finalists — four in 2021 — and that had to result in some deserving players getting left out. That didn’t stop fans, pundits, media members and more from complaining about Monday’s announcement:
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Alabama fans are days away from their 4th Heisman winner and have found a way to be mad about the Heisman. Nobody overcomes adversity like the Tide.
— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) December 7, 2021
No Matt Corral listed among the Heisman Trophy candidates but what a season the Ole Miss QB had.
One of the best signal callers to ever wear an Ole Miss uniform. I’d expect he will receive quite the sendoff from the Ole Miss fans in New Orleans.
— Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) December 6, 2021
Will Anderson is not a Heisman finalist.
Call the thing off.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 6, 2021
Alabama’s Will Anderson: 92 tackles, 53 solo, 32.5 for a loss, 15.5 sacks. Complete domination … yet somehow wasn’t even a Heisman Finalist. We must stamp out the Anti-Defensive Player bias. I’m starting the “Anderson for Heisman ’22” campaign now.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) December 6, 2021
Text from an SEC West staff member today after he learned of the Heisman finalists: “Matt Corral was the best QB we played this year.” https://t.co/tvJyZnEt5i
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 7, 2021
Kenneth Walker III had a fantastic season. He’s my pick to win the Doak Walker Award. And I think MSU fans are 100% right when they say that program brand plays a factor in determining Heisman Trophy finalists. My suggestion would be to get a better program brand. God bless.
— Scott Bell (@sbell021) December 6, 2021
If you’re a Heisman voter, you HAVE to look beyond box scores and QB stat lines. It’s ridiculous that only one defensive player is a finalist this year of all years.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 7, 2021
Will Anderson not being a Heisman finalist is a goddamn joke. The guy who’s probably going to end up winning it would have been the best player on 129 other teams, but he was the second best on his own.
— Three Year Letterman (@3YearLetterman) December 6, 2021
Heisman finalist Aidan Hutchinson (97) watches as Kenneth Walker III runs in one of the 5 touchdowns he had against the Wolverines on Oct. 30. pic.twitter.com/UKbEGejF6O
— Devin Anderson-Torrez (@TorrezDevin) December 7, 2021
Heisman voting is what it is, and it’s hardly ever perfect. But I’ll still stand behind the take that no player means more to his team than Matt Corral does to Ole Miss.
— Michael Katz (@MichaelLKatz) December 6, 2021