Like it is:

Heisman ballot cast, but don't expect spoiler

By: Wally Hall
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
The Heisman Trophy is displayed in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The Heisman Trophy is displayed in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

It is that time of the year in the world of college perspiring arts.

Ballots come from far and wide for various postseason awards -- from kickers to quarterbacks, from the Biletnikoff Award to the Broyles Award.

Tuesday, the next to last one had votes cast. The count started at 50 and was narrowed to 15 before the final three names came.

Voting took about as much time as it will for the Little Rock mayoral run-off that has two candidates. You should know who you are voting for by now, and every vote is important to the candidates and city.

On Monday, two emails that allow yours truly to vote for a Heisman candidate arrived.

It isn't due until Dec. 9, but mine was submitted Tuesday, before Saturday's conference championship games because the award should go to someone for his body of work, not having one great game on national TV.

In 2009, it appeared Texas' Colt McCoy was a strong contender for the Heisman until Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh had 12 tackles, seven for losses, against the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game and was named MVP. Suddenly, Suh's name was hot with Heisman voters.

He got 161 first-place votes and 815 total points. Many believe that before that game, most of those first-place votes were going to McCoy, who slipped to third. Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram won the Heisman.

The Heisman committee has some rules for voters, and not revealing your vote until after the announcement is one of them. But it is OK to say Darren McFadden was voted No. 1 in 2006 and 2007, when he was runner-up to quarterbacks Troy Smith of Ohio State and Tim Tebow of Florida, respectively.

Ten of the past 12 Heisman winners were quarterbacks, and the other two were running backs.

Although there are prestigious awards designated just for quarterbacks, many Heisman voters lean heavily toward quarterbacks, too.

Nothing is going to change this season as the top three candidates are quarterbacks. While my 1-2-3 vote did not take into account odds nor will be revealed, the three favorites according to Las Vegas are Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa first, Oklahoma's Kyler Murray second and West Virginia's Will Grier third.

The fourth favorite is Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Over the years, your trusty scribe's No. 1 pick has not always won, although the winner always has been on the ballot. One time the vote went to a defensive tackle because it was believed he was the best player that season, just like McFadden before him.

The voters come from three categories, including 870 from all areas of sports journalism. The Heisman people are kind enough not to divulge our names, but over the years most have written or talked about their involvement.

The second category is former Heisman winners, which are easy to find.

The third belongs to Nissan, which sponsors the Heisman but so far hasn't attached its name to the award as in Nissan/Heisman. Its one vote goes to the fans, who can vote on that on ESPN.com but it isn't easy to find.

The ballot now comes in two emails for security reasons. It was once a paper ballot, and a few weeks after the winner was announced every voter got a T-shirt with a likeness of the trophy and the words "Heisman Voter" on it.

A few years ago, the Heisman folks changed the T-shirt to a donor card, and now voters can give $50 to a teacher who has applied through the Heisman campaign. The T-shirts were nice, but the donor card is better.

Sports on 11/28/2018

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