More On The Fallacy Of Vote Splitting

I’ve written before about the inaccuracy of the claim that teammates will cost each other votes in the Heisman race.

I saw that idea repeated often in 2004 and it has come up again and again this season regarding the chances of Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart.

My analysis was that the vote was more likely to split by position than anything else, giving Bush the running back an advantage in a field dominated by quarterbacks.

What I wrote recently:

Well, in the West, it (his status as the sole tailback in the race) will probably help Bush. More than likely, any renegade vote for Olson in that region will come at the expense of votes for other quarterbacks like Leinart or Young, thus helping the relative standing of Bush.

Just to support that claim on an anecdotal level, the Oregonian revealed who its Heisman voters selected in a recent story.

The ballots (in order) read: 1.) Bush 2.) Quinn 3.) Olson and 1.) Bush 2.) Olson 3.) Leinart.

Who are the obvious losers here? Young and Leinart.

As it turns out, they were the real victims of vote splitting.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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