Tag Archives: Heisman Trophy

My Heisman voting

The shadow of the 2013 Heisman Trophy is seen on a backdrop during an informal media availability with the finalists, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The shadow of the 2013 Heisman Trophy is seen on a backdrop during an informal media availability with the finalists, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Here’s the story on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston winning the Heisman Trophy over Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.

It was a difficult filling out my ballot this year. There were off-the-field scandals and teams losing at the end of the year.

Winston won being the best player on the undefeated No. 1-ranked team. His issue was being involved in a sexual assault allegation.

The Heisman has many definitions to different people. Best player? Winston should win. Most Valuable Player? North Illinois’ Jordan Lynch should have won. Best player on the best team? Winston again.

But what about if Alabama beat Auburn? McCarron might have won as the top offensive player on the best team. Instead he’s second in the Heisman and Lynch third. Being at a small school makes Lynch an automatic long shot.

Should the winner be of high character? If that’s important, Winston and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel (autograph scandal) should have been eliminated and not been finalists.

So, my ballot ended up being 1. Lynch, 2. McCarron, 3. Winston.

McCarron would have been No. 1 for me if the Tide beat Auburn. Winston was off the ballot until the last second. He’s the best player, but I couldn’t put him No. 1. Many people left him off, and looking back I should have.

He slipped in at No. 3 because there’s a part of me that says the award is about football and not character, but Reggie Bush was stripped of his trophy when he was deemed ineligible when he won it.

Lynch was my No. 1 because he was so productive and his team needed him at his peak to do so well over the years. The difference in Lynch over McCarron is that Northern Illinois would be nowhere without him. Alabama is so talented that someone else have may been able to do what McCarron has done — maybe.

McCarron and Lynch were equal to me as team MVPs, but the big running numbers coupled with the passing numbers of Lynch moved him ahead since they both lost their last game.

Going to New York, Yankees, Heisman

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) thanks the fans after a win over Chattanooga during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Alabama won 49-0.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) thanks the fans after a win over Chattanooga during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Alabama won 49-0.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron always plays cool in the pocket, but he couldn’t contain his excitement about his invitation to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

And it wasn’t mainly about the most prestigious award in college football could be his. Read my main story in Thursday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily about his chance.

What got McCarron excited was being in New York. He grew up a a New York Yankees fan, and always wanted to visit the city.

But a Yankees fan in the South, growing up in Mobile?

“Probably because everybody down South and including my family was an Atlanta Braves fan and I wasn’t going to be like everybody else,” McCarron said. “Just like they were all Alabama fans and I wanted to be a Miami Hurricane fan.”

McCarron has been able to meet some of his favorite pro players and managers this year because of his visibility as the QB of the No. 1 college football team for most of the year.

“Before the Auburn game, I got to talk on the phone with A-Rod,” McCarron said. “I met Derek Jeter before the LSU game. Coach Girardi came and talked to us. It’s almost like living in a dream in a way because I’ve met guys that I’ve watched and watched coach for so many years. Now I’m talking to them on the phone and meeting them in person. It’s just pretty surreal.”

Why did A-Rod want to talk to you?

“Trevor on our team somehow got in touch with him,” McCarron said. “And then they were talking and A-Rod I guess told him he wanted to talk to me. A-Rod, said the same thing Jeter said, they’ve watched me throughout my career. Coach Girardi showed them the video of me and Barrett pushing each other before last season and told him that’s the passion they need within their club again and stuff like that. It’s just pretty crazy that they’ve watched me before and are fans of me. Like I said, it’s unbelievable.”

McCarron headed to Heisman Trophy presentation

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron drops back to pass during the NCAA college football team's practice Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron drops back to pass during the NCAA college football team’s practice Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will be busy during awards season, but the highlight will be his trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

McCarron, a senior, was invited Monday to the event that will be Saturday in The New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. He was one of the top six vote-getters for the most prestigious annual award in college football.

The other finalists are Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Tre Mason (Auburn), Andre Williams (Boston College) and Jameis Winston (Florida State).

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy,” McCarron said. “This will be my first trip to New York City, and I can’t put into words how much it means to me. I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to represent our team at the Heisman ceremony. None of this would be possible without my coaches and teammates. The offensive line, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends have done an unbelievable job all season and our coaches always put us in a position to be successful.”

McCarron had a standout season leading the third-ranked Crimson Tide to an 11-1 record, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns with only five interceptions.

He compiled a 36-3 record as a starter the last three seasons, and holds the Alabama single-season record for touchdown passes with 30 in 2012. McCarron also went 291 pass attempts without throwing an interception, the second-longest streak in SEC history.

McCarron already won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award on Monday as the nation’s top senior quarterback.

He is also a finalist for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, Manning Senior CLASS and Walter Camp awards to be announced this week.

McCarron will lead the third-ranked Crimson Tide into the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl against No. 11 Oklahoma. Coach Bob Stoops has been impressed with McCarron as he tries to prepare a game plan.

“They are a great team, and I think AJ McCarron is the best player in the country,” Stoops said. “If I had a (Heisman Trophy) vote, that’s who I would vote for. I appreciate good football and they play it the right way.”

Modern world shifting Heisman voting trends

Decatur Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.

Take a read over my story from today’s newspaper that deals with the changing landscape of the Heisman Trophy voting.

TUSCALOOSA — The statue with its leather-helmeted player and stiff-arm pose evokes memories of the game as it was.

The Heisman Trophy is timeless — easily the most recognizable symbol of individual success in American sports. But as the bronze embodiment of that achievement remains frozen in time, the process of carrying it home is evolving.

The makeup of the five finalists heading to New York for the Saturday night ceremony shows how much times have changed. And like most transformations these days, technology plays both primary and secondary roles.

Votes have been cast at a secure online site the past three seasons, allowing the more than 900 voters to watch every snap of every game before submitting their choice. No longer is there a fear of the post office losing the envelope before votes are tallied the Monday before the ceremony.

Three of the five finalists played the final Saturday of the season, while Alabama’s Trent Richardson and Stanford’s Andrew Luck sat idle. In the course of a few hours, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball scored four touchdowns, and LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu gashed Georgia’s punt team twice.

Both were fringe contenders before winning conference title games and finalists afterward.

Then there’s current front-runner Robert Griffin III, who set an NCAA FBS record with his 192.31 passer efficiency rating.

His Baylor team (9-3) likely wouldn’t have played in a Big 12 title game if it still existed, but his four-touchdown performance in a regular-season game with Texas vaulted him to the top of most projections.

A week earlier, he trailed Richardson, who led nearly every poll of voters after running for a career-high 203 yards at Auburn.

Kari Chisholm, an Oregon political media analyst who runs StiffArmTrophy.com, said it’s impossible to ignore the impact of the final impression.

“It’s troubling to me that this is basically a player of the week award as opposed to a season-long award.” Chisholm said. “That said, Robert Griffin performed well all season. It’s just interesting to me that Andrew Luck led the entire season, then lost in the end.”

Click here to read the rest.

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Wild Heisman Trophy race down to 5

This was my story for print in today’s paper. It’s all about the Heisman Trophy this week.

TUSCALOOSA — It could be the most wide-open Heisman Trophy race in memory, and Trent Richardson will have a say in the matter.

The Alabama junior running back was named one of five finalists who will attend the ceremony Saturday night in New York City.

The tight competition, which has had new favorites emerging weekly, includes Montee Ball of Wisconsin, Robert Griffin III of Baylor, Andrew Luck of Stanford, and Tyrann Mathieu of LSU.

Richardson becomes the second Alabama player to make the final cut in three seasons, with former teammate Mark Ingram winning the award in 2009. The Pensacola native looks forward to his first trip to New York.

“And it’s going to be crazy. I know it is,” Richardson said last week. “I saw when Mark was there, how the Bama fans were.

“I know they’re going to be supporting us everywhere we go. I just really can’t wait to get up there.”

Click here to read the rest.

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Heisman Trophy finalists announced and Trent Richardson …

… is going to New York.

That’s right, Trent Richardson has a shot at winning the second Heisman Trophy in three years for Alabama.

The other finalists include (in no order): Montee Ball (Wisconsin), Andrew Luck of Stanford, Tyrann Mathieu (LSU), Robert Griffin III (Baylor).

“It is a dream to be selected as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy,” Richardson said in a news release. “There are very few people that can say they were a candidate for the Heisman Trophy and even less that can say they were a finalist. This is a tremendous honor, but one that wouldn’t be possible without my teammates, especially my offensive line. As far as I’m concerned this is a team award.”

The ceremony is Saturday evening in Times Square and will be televised live on ESPN. The Daily Bama Blog will be live on the scene providing all the stuff you won’t get on TV.

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Trent Richardson leads one Heisman poll, trails in two others

AP photo

It all comes down to tomorrow for Trent Richardson’s hope of a Heisman Trophy. You knew that.

Entering the 2:30 p.m., game at Auburn, he’s right in the middle one incredibly wide open race for the coveted award. Three of the major straw polls of Heisman voters can’t determine a favorite.

  • Richardson leads the ESPN version over Stanford’s Andrew Luck and this week’s trendy pick, Robert Griffin III of Baylor.
  • At StiffArmTrophy.com, Luck leads followed by Griffin III and Richardson.
  • Then HeismanPundit.com says Griffin III is the favorite followed by Luck and Richardson.

So it’s a messy picture if you look at these small snapshots of the voter sentiment out there.

On the schedule, Luck plays Notre Dame at 7 p.m., Saturday and Griffin III faces Texas Tech at 6 p.m.

As of now, Griffin III is the only favorite playing on the final Saturday of the season. Baylor finishes its season with Texas at 2:30 p.m., on Dec. 3.

Click here for all Iron Bowl coverage.

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How realistic is Trent Richardson's Heisman campaign?

Associated Press photo

Well, if you look at a few polls of Heisman voters, Alabama’s Trent Richardson is right at the top of an incredibly muddled race.

ESPN’s panel of voters has him a close second to Andrew Luck. The Stanford quarterback earned 52 total points to Richardson’s 50. Click here to see the complete results.

Over at HeismanPundit.com, Richardson is third in its straw poll of voters. Luck is first, followed by dark horse Brandon Weeden, the Oklahoma State quarterback. Click here for that site.

What do you think?

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Richardson climbing Heisman polls

A stiff-arm pose? (AP photo)

I know it’s almost insultingly too early in the season to start talking about the stiff-armed trophy awarded in December. But after Trent Richardson rolled up another 181 yards Saturday at Florida, Heisman voters are jumping on the bandwagon.

At least two websites out there poll ballot-holders every week to take the temperature of the Heisman race.  After a fourth-straight 100-plus yard game, Richardson is gaining support.

Both have him fourth currently, but on the rise. Stanford’s Andrew Luck continues to lead the way.

Click here to see the voting on stiffarmtrophy.com.

Click here for a different set of numbers on heismanpundit.com (look on the right side of the page).

It’s hard to imagine Richardson’s numbers will sag much facing Vanderbilt and Ole Miss the next two weeks.

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Ingram painting to be unveiled

Alabama’s only Heisman Trophy winner will be in Tuscaloosa for a special presentation. A painting of Mark Ingram will be unveiled Friday night at the Bryant Museum.

Birmingham artist Steve Skipper is behind the work called”Take it by force,” according to the Associated Press. Nick Saban is also scheduled to attend the event. Read more about this here.

On a side note, I’ll be away from the blog and the state of Alabama this weekend. See you Monday.

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Video of Mark Ingram mania in Huntsville

I was hoping to have a little insight from Mark Ingram to go with the video, but there was no time for interviews after he arrived 30 minutes late to sign items for $89-$129 a pop.

As you can see from the video, it was a mob scene.

Click here for extra Daily Bama Blog insight on Twitter.

Ingram signing autographs in Huntsville on Saturday

Grab your wallet. Mark Ingram is coming to Huntsville.

The former Alabama running back and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner will sign autographs Saturday at the Parkview Place mall, but it’s not a freebie.

Flat items like a picture will set you back $89, a mini-helmet cost $89 and $129 for a full-sized jersey or helmet.

In contrast, Rolando McClain signed autographs at the Decatur Mall last summer for $30 an item.

The signing will begin at 11 a.m. Ingram will be on the first floor of the mall close to the Dillard’s department story.

Cam Newton wins Heisman, Ingram doesn't get votes

If you’re stunned, drop me an email. I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Anyway, according the numbers released by the Associated Press, Mark Ingram did not receive any votes.

Player 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Cam Newton, Auburn 729 24 28 2,263
Andrew Luck, Stanford 78 309 227 1,079
LaMichael James, Oregon 22 313 224 916
Kellen Moore, Boise St. 40 165 185 635
Justin Blackmon, Okla.St. 1 23 56 105
Denard Robinson, Michigan 6 16 34 84
Ryan Malllett, Arkansas 0 11 19 41
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada 0 7 17 31
Andy Dalton, TCU 4 3 12 30
Owen Marecic, Stanford 3 1 5 16

On a side note, a member of Nick Saban’s coaching tree is coming to the SEC since Will Muschamp was announced as the new Florida coach. Click here for the story.

Looking back on Ingram's Heisman

It isn’t exactly a year to the day, but today marks a ceremonial first anniversary of Mark Ingram’s Heisman Trophy win.

In light of that, let’s take a look at some of the memorable scenes from that cold night in Times Square.

Then see the reaction in Coleman Coliseum as the announcement is played on the video board at halftime of the Purdue basketball game. Click here for that video.

He later appeared on Good Morning America while making the rounds.

More highlights of the evening from the New York Daily News is found here and from the Associated Press is found here.

Ingram in NYC for Heisman ceremony

An Alabama spokesman confirmed Mark Ingram made the trip to New York for this season’s Heisman Trophy ceremony.

As a past winner, he was invited to attend the event.

Read tomorrow’s paper to see why his return to the ceremony is unlike any other previous underclassman winner.