Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)
1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn – 36 (11)
2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon – 28 (2)
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State – 13
4. Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor – 1
About the poll
The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote. The last two years the Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote in 2008 and the top four in 2009.
Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.
Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
The race is now a little tighter thanks to LaMichael James’ 239-yard performance against USC. However, of the 13 voters on the weekly panel, 11 chose their ballot in the following order: Newton-James-Moore. So the race seems to be settling into that configuration for the time being. A lot of different players are jockeying to get into the top five, but none seem to be able to stick there.
Heisman Game of the Week
Hawaii at Boise State — This is one of Moore’s last remaining chances to put on a show in a game where voters might actually pay some close attention. It’s also a game fraught with peril, as you never know what to expect from Hawaii (though the Warriors aren’t the same away from home, either). Moore needs to keep pace with Newton and James, so look for lots of offense in this one.
Player to Watch
Robert Griffin, Baylor— You have to be impressed by how far Baylor has come with Griffin at quarterback. He’s a rare athlete who is putting together a fine season as a football player and there is a good case to be made that he is the Big 12′s finest at his position. He’s second nationally in total offensive yardage and, if he keeps it up, he’ll be a serious Heisman contender in 2011.
This Week in Heisman History
Vinny Testaverde hit 10 of 11 passes for 185 yards in the fourth quarter alone on his way to putting up 315 yards and five total touchdowns (three passing, two running) as No. 1 Miami took care of business against Florida State, 41-23, in 1986. Testaverde would go on to win the Heisman Trophy that year, beating out Temple’s Paul Palmer and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.