Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)
1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn — 33 (11)
2. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State — 18 (1)
3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon — 15 (1)
4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford — 8
5. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State — 3
6. Andy Dalton, QB, TCU — 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.
It appears Moore has been the main beneficiary of the combination of bye week and controversy, as he moved into a clear second in this week’s poll. Luck’s highlight-reel run against Cal has boosted his candidacy and he might be poised for a late surge that could potentially get him to New York if one of the other candidates falters. Blackmon looks like a good bet to join Michael Crabtree and Larry Fitzgerald as top five Heisman finishers–quite a feat for a pure receiver.
Heisman Game of the Week
Auburn at Alabama — This is it. This is the game that should decide whether Cam Newton is the winner of the 76th Heisman. If Newton leads Auburn to a win, then I believe the rationale for his candidacy will be pretty much unassailable. As long as he’s able to navigate the treacherous waters of the pending NCAA investigation, he’ll get the Heisman (though, of course, it’s possible it may later be vacated). However, if he gets shut down and Auburn loses, this will open the door for Moore and James to make a move.
Player to Watch
Cam Newton— On Friday, while the rest of the country recovers from too much turkey and mashed potatoes, the glare of the media’s spotlight will rest squarely on Newton. There is sure to be a ton of chatter about the NCAA investigation, talk of BCS implications and Heisman scenarios, plus the usual back and forth that naturally springs from a bitter rivalry. Can he handle the pressure? I think that Heisman voters will gain a lot of respect for him if he comes out of this playing like he has been all season. If he beats ‘Bama he coasts to the Heisman. Lose, and the race opens up again.
This Week in Heisman History
Bo Jackson rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, but Auburn fell to Alabama, 25-23, as kicker Van Tiffin kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired to give the Crimson Tide the win in the wild 1985 Iron Bowl. Jackson, playing on his 23rd birthday, played well despite two broken ribs suffered in the Georgia game two weeks earlier. He would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in the closest race ever (at the time), nipping Iowa’s Chuck Long.