My Heisman Ballot
One day, I hope to become a Heisman Trophy voter. For now, I'll share my thoughts on who should win college football's most coveted award with all the readers of this fine website. Just a Bit Outside's insider on all things college sports, Tom Luicci, stopped by the show on Thursday to explain his selection, how the voting works, and what goes into his pick each year. According to the professional, Heisman voters are asked to vote for their Top 3 choices. Tom and I share the same winner.
Here's how I would break down my ballot:
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: The future #1 NFL Draft pick is looking to be the second Cardinal to take home The Heisman Trophy after Jim Plunkett won in 1970. The red-shirt junior passed for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. Luck leads the Pac-12 in passing efficiency with 167.5 and broke Stanford's records for career touchdown passes and single-season touchdown passes. While leading the Cardinals to an 11-1 record, he rushed for 153 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
Why he has my vote: Simply put, I thought he was the best player in the country week in and week out. His team asked him to do more, both mentally and physically, than anyone else in the nation. I value his performance in the Pac-12 slightly more than Griffin III in the Big 12. Although his team came up short of going undefeated, they had a run of beating teams by 25+ points per game. His statistics are gaudy, but would be off the charts if he played in the kind of offense that most of the sport engages in. Wining, numbers, and a flair for the dramatic in OT that night in USC. Luck is my winner.
2. Robert Griffin III. QB, Baylor: He has the opportunity to be the first player from Baylor to receive The Heisman Memorial Trophy. The junior quarterback is ranked second in the nation in total offense with 387 yards per game. This season he threw 36 touchdowns and passed for 3,998 yards. Griffin and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow are two of four players in major college history with at least 9,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in a career.
Why he doesn't have my vote: While I think he's going to win it, the Baylor quarterback finishes a close second on my ballot. In my opinion, a good majority of his gaudy stastatistics come from playing in a high-flying, passing offense and being down big in games that had him throw upwards of 50 times in certain games. I know Baylor doesn't stack the field with NFL players around him, but it's hard for me to give the award to a guy who's team lost by 27 and 35 points on back to back weeks during the season.
3. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: He rushed for 1,583 yards and had 20 touchdowns this season for Alabama. In nine of his twelve games, the running back rushed for over 100 yards for the 11-1 Crimson Tide. If awarded the Heisman, Richardson will only be the second player from Alabama to receive the trophy after 2009 winner, Mark Ingram, Jr.
Why he doesn't have my vote: I just didn't feel Richardson dominate on a week to week basis to the level of Luck or even Griffin III. He does deserve credit for doing damage in the SEC, against the best defenses in college football, and on a team that was limited at both wide receiver and quarterback. Teams loaded the box on weekly basis to stop him. It's becoming harder and harder for running backs to win this award with the way quarterbacks do everything in the sport. Richardson is in the discussion because he's one of the few backs left in college football that is the most important member of the offense.
*Bios courtesy of the official website of the Heisman Trophy.