"I remember when Carson was sitting up here," Leinart said. "He said his heart was beating out of his chest, I think mine's about to do the same thing."
It was expected to be one of the closest Heisman races in history with no clear cut winner heading into the final weekend but once the votes were tabulated Leinart had won five of the six regions and had a strong edge in votes over runner-up Adrian Peterson.
Heisman Trophy balloting
Player 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Matt Leinart, USC 267 211 102 1,325
Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma 154 180 175 997
Jason White, Oklahoma 171 149 146 957
Alex Smith, Utah 98 112 117 635
Reggie Bush, USC 118 80 83 597
The award caps a dream season so far for Leinart as he has led the Trojans to a 12-0 record and a berth in the BCS title game on January 4th against Oklahoma. Matt came into the year as a leading candidate for the award and his numbers stayed steady throughout the season to keep him in contention but he didn't seem to have the big game that put him over the edge until he threw for 400 yards with five touchdown passes against Notre Dame. For those who saw that performance it must have seemed like a no-brainer to put his name at the top of the ballot as he showcased his precise passing and excellent decision making within the framework of the Trojan offense.
Leinart will officially be honored at the 70th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award Dinner on Monday evening, December 13th at the Hilton New York.