I’ve covered the Heisman race all season long throughout all the twists and turns. From the stellar start of Denard Robinson that had him atop the race early on in the season to Cameron Newton seizing control of the Heisman lead and all the allegations that reigned in upon him.
It’s obvious to all those paying attention that Auburn QB Cameron Newton will win the Heisman Trophy tomorrow night in New York City. All the writers out there are trying to make it interesting television by saying that the possible violations that Cam committed might sway some not to vote for him.
The original plan for this article was to get all the Sportsnickel writers together and have them all submit their Heisman ballots and I would put together all the information into an article declaring our collective thoughts on who should win the Heisman.
Unfortunately, the only ballots I received were from my fellow Tailgater writers, Zach Bigalke and Matt Strobl. I don’t think three ballots would be enough to form a consensus, but for your information, Zach voted LaMichael James #1 and Matt voted Andrew Luck for the top spot.
My ballot will rank the candidates that will be attending the Heisman Trophy ceremony tomorrow night 1-4.
Now obviously, I don’t have an official Heisman ballot and who I vote for means absolutely nothing. But, if I did have an official Heisman ballot, this is how it would look this season.
- Cameron Newton (QB/Auburn) – Hands down, the best player in college football all season long was Auburn QB Cameron Newton. The funny thing is, just like Mark Ingram last season, Newton was not on anybody’s Heisman radar during the preseason and he came seemingly out of nowhere and took the award. We all now what he did on the field, but all that has been talked about is what he did off the field. I don’t think you can leave Newton off of your ballot mainly because of speculation. Regardless of your beliefs about whether or not Cam was aware of his father’s actions or not, you can’t vote based on speculation and if he is completely innocent then it would be a crime for him not to win the award. I also don’t think it’s fair to judge Cameron Newton on what he did at Florida. That was two schools ago and everyone makes mistakes. If you leave Newton off you ballot due to integrity issues because of his arrest while in Gainesville, then you have to leave LaMichael James off the ballot to for his arrest back in February for domestic abuse. For what we know right now, Cam Newton deserves to win the Heisman Trophy and he will be heading back to Auburn with the bronze stiff-arm in his possession.
- LaMichael James (RB/Oregon) – The #2 spot on my ballot was tough. It came down to the two players in the Pac 10 – LaMichael James and Andrew Luck. Ultimately it’s a 2A-2B kind of thing, but I leaned toward James thanks to his part in leading Oregon to the National Championship game. Even after missing the first game of the season thanks to a suspension handed down by Chip Kelly, James rushed for 1682 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. His yardage total was a bit more than last season’s Heisman winner Mark Ingram and he scored four more touchdowns. James took home the Doak Walker Award and led the nation in rushing this season. He is a big reason Oregon has a shot at winning their first National Championship in school history and he will be facing off with the winner of the Heisman, Cam Newton, on January 10th in Glendale, Arizona.
Andrew Luck (QB/Stanford) – The loss of Toby Gerhart didn’t affect Stanford in 2010 as they actually improved their record by three wins thanks to stellar play from their QB Andrew Luck. If Luck can finish second tomorrow night, then he will join Gerhart as the second straight Stanford player to finish runner-up in the Heisman voting. If Luck ultimately finishes second, I don’t think there can be any complaints. Luck threw for 3051 yards and 30 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions to lead the Cardinal to 11-1. I thought Stanford would be good this season and mainly thanks to Luck, but I never envisioned an 11-1 season with a berth in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. Luck is more than likely going to be the #1 pick when the NFL Draft rolls around in April. One has to wonder if Stanford had beaten Oregon and been on their way to play Auburn in the National Championship game, if Luck would be the one taking home the Heisman Trophy?
- Kellen Moore (QB/Boise State) – I’ve had Kellen Moore 2nd and 3rd in the Heisman race for much of the season, but Boise State’s loss to Nevada, albeit not his fault, let him slip down my ballot to 4th. It was still a great season for Moore as the quarterbacked the Broncos to an 11-1 record, but Boise State will not be headed back to the BCS. Moore finished the regular season 2nd in passer rating to Cameron Newton after leading the nation in that category for most of the season. Moore threw for 3506 yards with 33 touchdown passes to 5 interceptions. In all likelihood, Moore will finish 4th in the voting, but he should take great pride in becoming the first player from Boise State to be a Heisman finalist and he will be back in 2011 with a chance to become the Broncos’ first Heisman winner.
It’s been another great season of college football and its most prestigious individual award will be handed out tomorrow night. The award will be going to Cameron Newton as it should be. If we find out in the near future that he was ineligible player, then the Heisman can always be stripped and possibly even rewarded to the runner up.
But, for now, the right thing to do is to vote Cameron Newton as the 2010 Heisman Trophy for his outstanding season in leading Auburn to an undefeated season and a berth in the BCS National Championship game.