At least two Southern universities are spending some cash this year to try to correct a historical football inequity—at least in the eyes of the South, the Wall Street Journal reports. The SEC has won more national titles than any other conference since the Heisman Trophy debuted in 1935, but its players generally get the cold shoulder from Heisman voters. “A discussion about the Heisman quickly veers from a conversation about stats to one about self-esteem,” says the author of a book on college football.
Long-suffering Tennessee is trying to correct that this year, with a media blitz for safety Eric Berry. Tennessee QB Peyton Manning memorably lost out in 1997 to a Michigan defender, the only one ever to win. (To add insult to injury, eight of the last nine Heisman recipients have been passers.) And Clemson is pushing runningback CJ Spiller. “We realize it's an uphill fight,” a Clemson spokesman says, “but there are still benefits of going through the fight.”