One Man's Heisman Ballot

Every year the Heisman Trust asks those fortunate few (935 or so) who vote for college football's highest honor to do three things. They ask us to vote on time, to not take part in any Heisman polls and not divulge our ballots before the official announcement.

I'm good for two of three.

Ever since I began voting in 1985, I have gone along with the first two requests, but the third is not something I do because I enjoy sharing my ballot with listeners/viewers/readers before the official announcement, which makes it more than a little outdated and irrelevant.

My vote does not follow the form of most Heisman voters in that I almost always have one non-traditional position represented on my Heisman votes (1st, 2nd or 3rd) and sometimes two. I have only once voted for three quarterbacks, for example. In the past my ballot has included Marvin Jones, Bryant McKinnie, Ndamukong Su, Reggie Nelson and many others who get overlooked in our hysteria over tangible statistics.

This year, I offer up more of the same with the additional twist of deciding how to handle Cam-Scam as it relates to my vote.

Third Place, Patrick Peterson ---- The spectacular LSU kick returner and cornerback gets my vote for the best defensive player in the country. Peterson intercepted four passes and defended 16 others despite teams going out of their way to avoid him. Additionally Peterson has 413 yards in punt returns with two touchdowns, 851 yards in kickoff returns and blocked a kick. He's a sensational all around player.

Second Place, Justin Blackmon ---- Oklahoma State's phenomenal wide receiver had an incredibly productive season but his consistency is the most impressive thing of all. The raw stats are eye catching --- 102 receptions for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns --- but that's just part of it. Blackmon caught passes for at least 100 yards and one touchdown in every game this season. Taking a big time receiver out of a game is difficult, but doable, but no one did it to him,

First Place, Cameron Newton ---- I don't blame Cam for the misbehavior of his father, Cecil, nor do I hold his difficulties at UF almost two years ago against him at this point in time. As a player he was Tebow-esque running for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns while passing for 2,589 yards and another 28 touchdowns. For comparison that's 183 fewer combined yards and seven fewer combined touchdowns than Tebow had after 13 games in 2007. Newton not only raked up numbers, but he led Auburn to 13 straight wins including several double digit comebacks, most notably at Alabama (24-0).

If I had a fourth place vote it would have gone to Kellen Moore of Boise State and a fifth place selection would have gone to the Wisconsin offensive line if they would have let me, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck if they wouldn't.

If you are wondering why no LaMichael James, I saw Oregon play three full games and in each it was obvious that quarterback Darron Thomas, not James, was the difference maker for Oregon.

So that's my Heisman vote. What would yours have looked like?

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