Robert Griffin Wins The Heisman Trophy. The Question Now Is What’s Next For Baylor’s Star Quarterback?

There are few certainties in life. Death. Taxes. Funny giggles anytime Charlie Weis shows up on your TV screen.

But for college fans, there was one additional certainty most all could agree on: Robert Griffin was the best player in college football during the 2011 season. And he proved it Saturday evening, winning the 77th annual Heisman Trophy. He took home the award in front of the four other finalists in New York, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Alabama’s Trent Richardson and LSU’s “Honey Badger,” Tyrann Mathieu.

In a year where college football had many good players, but few great stars, Griffin stood above the rest. Simply put, he was spectacular. He was mesmerizing. And at times, he was just plain overwhelming, both to the defenses that tried to stop him and the fans lucky enough to watch him every Saturday. He finished the season completing 72 percent of his 369 pass attempts for just under 4,000 yards, with 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. He averaged over 10 yards per completion, and also finished as Baylor’s second leading rusher with 644 yards on the ground. He had two 100-yard rushing games as well.

But beyond just the stats was Griffin’s impact on Baylor overall. For a football program with next to no history, Griffin has made being a Baylor Bear “cool” over the last few years. Baylor hadn’t made a bowl game from 1994 up until last winter and hadn’t had a winning season since 1996, two blotches in the history books that were erased with Griffin’s presence as a redshirt sophomore a season ago. After getting both those monkeys off the program’s back in 2010, Baylor finished 9-3 during the 2011 season, its first nine-win campaign since 1986, four full years before Griffin was born.

Quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine the program being anywhere near that nine-win plateau without the junior quarterback. Given that the Bears ranked 109th out of 120 FBS teams in scoring defense, it isn’t inconceivable that without Griffin, the Bears not only wouldn’t have been bowl eligible, they might’ve only won a game or two.

Now the big question for Griffin becomes “What’s next?”

All season Griffin has steadfastly refused to acknowledge any speculation that he might leave Baylor following his junior season. But with a Heisman in his hand, his name scattered all over the Baylor record books, and his NFL stock continuing to sore, now might be a better time than ever to leave. ESPN’s most recent update from Scouts Inc. has him listed as the No. 11 prospect overall and third quarterback, behind only Stanford’s Luck and USC’s Matt Barkley. Given Griffin’s physical gifts – he was at one point a Big XII track champion – it’s hard to imagine that a big afternoon at the NFL Combine wouldn’t only further move him up the boards and plant him firmly in the top 10 come draft day.

In addition to all the obvious reasons, there are a few others that may push Griffin to turn pro. He has now completed four years at Baylor (he was injured and missed almost all of the 2009 season), and he has already received a degree in political science. In addition, his top wide receiver, Kendall Wright, is also graduating.

But while the college football world and Baylor fans in particular, await what’s next, what we know right now is that Griffin is the top player in the sport. He finished Saturday with 405 first-place votes and 1,687 points overall, comfortably taking the award over Luck (1,407 points) who finished second in the Heisman voting for the second straight year. Richardson (978), Ball (348) and Mathieu (327) finished third through fifth.

Ultimately, whatever is next for Griffin, hopefully college football fans can appreciate the now. Griffin was the best player in the sport during this season, and at the very least, he has one more college football game to play.

The new Heisman Trophy winner and his Baylor Bears teammates will take on the Washington Huskies in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio.

For updates on all his college football opinions, articles and more, follow Aaron Torres on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.