The list of Heisman Trophy finalists has finally been released and, just as expected, it is going to blow your minds with the most controversial picks in the history of college football!!! Just kidding, it’s the same guys that we’ve expected for most of the season. Along with frontrunners Cam Newton of Auburn and LaMichael James of Oregon are Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Boise State’s Kellen Moore. Surprisingly, I don’t see Jacory Harris mentioned anywhere in this list, even though my Miami friends swore it was all him this season. Very odd.
Newton and James will meet up for the Heisman ceremony this Saturday, about one month before they meet for the National Championship game in Tempe, Arizona. Meanwhile, Luck’s Stanford team will take on Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl and Moore’s Broncos will play Utah in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas. And everyone will live happily ever after, because there has been absolutely no controversy over this Heisman race, has there Huffington Post?
Newton overcame a pay-to-play scandal with a superb season on the field, piling up nearly 4,000 combined yards and 49 touchdowns in leading the top-ranked Tigers into the Jan. 10 national championship game.
James and the Ducks will be there waiting for them in the desert after he piled up more yards and touchdowns than anyone else in FBS, helping the second-ranked Ducks into their first national title game.
That’s right, I get my sports news from the HuffPo. I also get my fashion tips from Drudge Report and my political opinions from anime fan forums. I’m the most informed blogger in America.
So this Heisman decision would seem to be pretty clear cut in Newton’s favor, no? Not according to my good friend and Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi, who left Newton off of his Heisman ballot and is now causing quite the media stir…
From Bianchi’s “Open Mike” blog yesterday on the Sentinel’s web site:
I am about to fill out my Heisman Trophy ballot and Cam Newton of Auburn will be nowhere on it.
Hate to say I told you so, but I’ve never been more secure about my decision to leave Cam Newton off my Heisman ballot than I was a few days ago. That’s when the NCAA determined that, yes, Newton’s father Cecil, a preacher in Atlanta, shopped his son in a pay-for-play scheme before Newton signed with Auburn. Do I need to remind everyone of the “integrity” clause in the Heisman’s mission statement? It says, “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”
That’s right, it says the pursuit of excellence with “INTEGRITY.” And, yet, here we have Cam Newton, a player who left the University of Florida amid allegations of academic fraud and after he was found with a stolen laptop computer and threw it out the window when police arrived; a player whose recruitment is being investigated by the NCAA and the FBI; a player whose father Cecil, according to the NCAA, tried to sell his son’s services to the highest bidder (but, um, Cam supposedly knew nothing about it.).
If Newton wins the Heisman, the trophy should be recast in honor of Cam’s dad. The guy on top of trophy shouldn’t have his arm out; he should have his hand out.
According to the USA Today, Bianchi’s act of journalistic protest was also echoed by “Philadelphia-based writer Michael Bradley, Gene Frenette of the Florida Times Union, David Whitley of AOL FanHouse, Kyle Tucker of the Virginian-Pilot and Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph.” You can also listen to Bianchi’s interview with ESPN’s Eric Kuselias here.
As for Punte and myself, we voted for Lobster Dog. He’s our perennial All-Star.