Posted by: marcmwm | December 11, 2008

My Heisman vote(s) and why . . .

Wow, this thing is hard when you have to give it some thought. I like it better when it’s a no-brainer. That makes it easier for those of us without brains.

I’m going Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Florida’s Tim Tebow and Iowa running back Shonn Greene.

I had four, with Texas QB Colt McCoy as the fourth. You could say I’m being provincial on that No. 3. You could say I’m pandering (I wish you wouldn’t). You could say I’m a homer (please, please, please don’t). But provincial is just the smart way of saying “homer.”

Greene is on my ballot because I truly believe he has had a tremendous season. Best ever for an Iowa running back. Best since at least 1997 for a Big Ten running back. He’s the best player in the Big Ten. But, yeah, I could probably be accused of being “provincial.” I’m OK with that.

Greene’s season is a worthy cause.

The Big Ten offensive player of the year and winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football (MVP) rushed for a school season record 1,729 yards and tied the season record for rushing TDs with 17. He was the only back in Football Bowl Subdivision to rush for 100 yards in every game.

His most impressive performance came against then-No. 3 Penn State. It wasn’t SportsCenter-worthy with flashy moves or long bursts, check the Wisconsin, Purdue and Minnesota tapes for those. It was a gut-it-out Manwich kind of performance — 117 yards and two TDs on 28 carries. He gained 4.2 yards a carry, his lowest of the season, but he did it against the nation’s No. 8 rush defense, on national TV, in a pressure-packed game decided by one point on a last-second field goal.

In other words, every yard really, really mattered.

I went with Bradford because of the numbers, and because he’s shown, in my opinion, some real toughness and determination during high-octane performances the last two weeks with a non-throwing thumb that needed surgery. He played through the Big 12 title game with torn ligaments. I remember Drew Tate going through the same thing a few years ago. It wasn’t a killer, but it was something that certainly affected performance. And those numbers, whoa.

I really, really like Tebow. In my mind, he’s the quintessential football player. I think his dip in numbers this year probably pointed me toward Bradford.



  1. I’m still holding out for Ryan Donahue.

  2. No pandering, you watched him play all year and I’m sure you saw everyone else.

    I’m guessing a lot of your “colleagues” can’t say the same thing about seeing Shonn.

    He deserved to be there as much as anyone and I am done yapping about this as I’m getting tired of myself yapping about it….

  3. Thanks, E.

    That was a key hold Ryan Donahue had against Penn State.

  4. Definitely no pandering with Shonn, he deserves it.

    I’m kinda interested in your rationale for Tebow over McCoy. McCoy had much better passing numbers (completing a completely ridiculous 78% of his passes!), and very similar rushing numbers. I think he probably meant more for his team too, considering that he didn’t have anyone like Harvin on his team. He was the leading passer AND rusher on a team that was one amazing last second play and some BCS goofiness away from the national title game. Personally, I think he should win it.

  5. Donahue made the defense look good this year by giving the other team a long field on almost every punt.

  6. In this humble readers opinion, this definitely goes as a huge nock against both you and Halas…you guys are way to full of yourselves. I say “Traders! Turncoats!”.

    Come on fellas, what will it take to win your esteemed 1st place Heisman vote? Both you and Halas wrote your articles like you had to convince your readers that Shonn realy deserved your 3rd place vote… Are you kidding me? Are you guys really that out of touch?

    Most years, Iowa does not have a Doke Walker winner, first team All American, Silver Football B10 MVP, B10 Offensive MVP…the best running back in the nation, hands down.

    I mean, most all of your readers don’t have a vote….right? So, naturally, we look to our local representatives in the Sports World.

    Obviously, you’re certainly not swayed by the hopes and dreams of your reading constituency but really…who cares about you being “Provincial” or not…that’s why the whole vote is set up in sections….you guys are expected to represent your areas and be influenced by your local athletes performances…that’s what you see most, that’s what you know best!

    Local sports journalists are on very thin ice when claiming the need for “Journalistic Integrity”. You goes are not “Edward R. Murrell” and frankly, you would lose most of your sports readers if you were.

    The Heisman Vote is not like placing a bet in Los Vegas…you don’t get the jack pot for picking the winner (or do you guys have some bet on the side, that you need to go public with?).

    Honestly, do you think that any West Coast or East Coast sports journalist having a 1st Team All American and Doke Walker winner in their own back yard wouldn’t vote for him.

    Either you feel Shonn had a legitimate claim or not…believe he deserved a trip to New York or not, believe that he has the credentials or not….

    No brainer…absolutely!

    For you guys not voting for Shonn Greene 1st was more like having no brains at all…IMHO.

    Cedar Rapids

  7. SP : in my last post “nock” should be “knock”…

    “sounds the same, just spelled different”…John Coffey – The Green Mile.


  8. Adam, Tebow being in the national title game swayed me. I also believe he’s a fantastic football player. But I totally agree with you on McCoy. It came down to Greene or McCoy for my final vote. Believe me, I gave it a lot of thought.

    Bradford and Tebow are the best players (if not best, then certainly the MVPs) on the best teams. McCoy was the best player on the next best team. I’ve never seen anyone do what Greene did this year.

  9. Bill, you’re right. I probably am full of myself. Well, probably not probably.

    This is my 15th or so Heisman vote. I’ve never thought of myself as representing a region. The vote is who I think is the best/most valuable college football player. I voted for Brad Banks in 2002. I voted for Troy Davis his junior season. I voted Greene No. 3 this year.

    What goes into it? Numbers, wins and whatever intangibles I can gleen from the few times I’m able to check out national games.

    My vote or not, this was the year of the QB. The Heisman voters got this one right. I also happen to agree with the three players invited to NY. They chose that in the natural break in the voting, so they don’t have a guy there with 8 percent having to explain why he only got 8 percent.

    You make some excellent points, Bill. My ultimate goal is to connect with local readers, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to carry that as a bias when voting for national awards. Nor does it mean I will penalize local athletes because I’m too close to them. I think Greene No. 3 is about right. The two guys I picked ahead of him are in the national title game.

    I’ve had the media vote for all-Big Ten a bunch of years (not this year, though). When in doubt there, probably more times than not, I go Iowa guy because I know what they’ve done.

    And for the record, I did vote Greene No. 1 for the Doak Walker.

  10. Marc, the fact that Texas wasn’t in the BCS title game wasn’t really McCoy’s fault though, was it? He did more than enough in the Texas Tech game, but his defense just wasn’t up to task of stopping Harrell and Crabtree. Also, were it not for some screwiness in the BCS, they could have very easily been in the title game too. They’ve got the same record as the two teams in front of them and very similar resumes. In fact, they actually beat one of the teams that got in over them on a neutral field, and their one loss wasn’t nearly as bad as Florida’s.

    Even if you think Florida is better than Texas though, I’d say McCoy is carrying a lot more of the load for his team that Tebow is. Texas has a ton of talent, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to all the offensive talent surrounding Tebow. Like I said, McCoy is the leading passer AND rusher on that team. Throw in the superior numbers almost across the board, and I just don’t see how anyone could say that Tebow is more worthy of the Heisman than Colt.

  11. Recency effect comes in for me, too. He beat No. 1 Alabama, or helped, anyway, to get to the title game.

  12. There’s a Chicago politics joke in the Halas typo somewhere. I’m just too tired to dig for it.

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