Charles Woodson's Heisman campaign among 5 best individual B1G performances in the past 50 years
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
But, according to ESPN.com, it's also one of the best in Big Ten football history.
ESPN.com Big Ten writer Brian Bennett rated Woodson's 1997 season as one of the five best individual performances by a Big Ten player over the past 50 years.
"He had eight interceptions even though teams steadfastly avoided throwing the ball to his side of the field," Bennett wrote. "He also compiled 500 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver and punt returner, including his memorable score against Ohio State.
"Woodson had to be special to beat out Peyton Manning for the Heisman that year, and he sure was."
Woodson's dominance as a defender, versatility as a wide receiver and electrifying punt return touchdown in the regular-season finale against Ohio State helped Michigan to an unbeaten 1997 campaign, and eventual national championship share after a Rose Bowl win over Washington State.
His eight interceptions in 1997 tied for the third-best individual performance in Michigan history. He finished his three-year career with 18 picks, second only to Tom Curtis' (1967-69) 25 interceptions.
The other four individual performances on Bennett's list were former Illinois linebacker Dick Butkus' 145-tackle 1963 campaign, ex-Ohio State running back Archie Griffin's 1,620-yard year in 1974, former Nebraska running back Mike Rozier's 2,148-yard rushing year in 1983 and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball's 39-touchdown performance in 2011.