Heisman Double-take: the Best College Football Players of the 1970s

The 1970s may be a vague, smoky haze to you, but the stellar athletes listed below were too busy dominating college football to make time for munchies or Doobie Brothers concerts. While you were toking up in the alley behind the disco and feathering your flowing locks, these guys were scoring touchdowns, winning Heismans, and sacking quarterbacks.
Here are the top five college football players of the 1970s…

5 Lee Roy Selmon – University of Oklahoma, DL (1972-1975)

Image Credit: Jimthorpeassoc.org

Lee Roy Selmon anchored, along with two of his brothers, one of the greatest defenses in college football history. Playing four years for Barry Switzer’s Sooners, Selmon racked up 325 tackles and 40 sacks, two All-American honors, and back-to-back National Championships in 1974 and 1975. Despite his menacing on-field presence and his undeniably serial-killer-esque name, Lee Roy Selmon was actually known as an extremely gentle and friendly man off the field, and was considered an ambassador to Oklahoma until his death in 2011.

4 Hugh Green – Pittsburgh University, LB (1977-1980)

Heisman Double-Take: The Best College Football Players of the 1970s

In four years at Pitt, Hugh Green established himself as the greatest defensive player of the decade, amassing 460 tackles and 53 sacks for a total of 374 lost yards. In fact, Green was such a monster that he finished 2nd place in the 1980 Heisman voting, the highest finish in history for a defensive player to that point. He was a three-time consensus All-American, winner of the Maxwell, Lombardi and Walter Camp awards, and the runaway winner for the most badass retro Sports Illustrated cover ever made.

3 Earl Campbell – University of Texas, RB (1974-1977)

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They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Earl Campbell was huge in the 70s. Campbell was a back with breakaway speed, but luckily for the people who put together homemade YouTube highlight reels, he often ended a run by just plowing through a defender. In four years at Texas, Campbell was a two-time All-American and he took home the Heisman after a senior season in which he ran for 1,744 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. Oh, and just in case you were wondering if he was a real Texas boy, Earl is now the president of a meat company.

2 Tony Dorsett – Pittsburgh University, RB (1973-1976

If you missed Tony Dorsett in the 70s, you can count yourself as a member of the same club as defenses all across the nation. Just so you know, he was that white and gold blurry thing that whizzed past. In four years at Pitt, Dorsett was a three-time first team All-American, scored 59 touchdowns, and ran for an NCAA record 6,082 yards, a mark that stood for 22 years after he graduated. His senior season was a display of true excellence, when he ran for nearly 2,000 yards, won the Heisman, and led the Panthers to a National Championship. Also, we assume he won homecoming king.

1 Archie Griffin – Ohio State University, RB (1972-1975)

Image Credit: M.chime.in

Archie Griffin started as a freshman for the Buckeyes and ran for more than 1,400 yards in each of his last three seasons, but there’s one thing that sets him apart from every other man that’s ever picked up the pigskin: To this day, Archie Griffin is the only player in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy twice. Meaning he’s literally the only man in the world who gets to commission this priceless piece of art when he visits Six Flags. In both his junior and senior season at Ohio State, Griffin was not only the Heisman winner, but was also a consensus All-American and the Walter Camp Player of the Year winner.

So, there they are, the college football players who managed to flourish in a decade that has been largely forgotten by those who were a part of it. These players were true greats and should be held high in football history, regardless of how horrendous they all looked at the Heisman presentation ceremony.
Did we miss anyone that you thought dominated the gridiron in the feel good decade? Then throw together a list of your own, and maybe wear a leisure suit and rock a perm while you do it. Trust us, it will make it feel more authentic.

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