The best way to get an understanding of the how the Heisman vote will look is to do a break down of the six voting regions.
Each region has 145 media members with a Heisman vote . There are also 57 former Heisman winners who each have a vote and they are scattered across the regions (there is also one fan vote that is done via online voting). The maximum point total a player can receive from a region via media votes only is 435. There are 870 total media points available in each region (ironic, since that is the total number of media who are eligible to vote).
Here’s how I think each region will fall:
Comment: This will be an interesting battle. Mason and McCarron should get the largest chunk of their total support in the South and though he will win his home region, it could be Winston’s smallest margin of victory because of the presence of so many other players based there. Still, look for the FSU quarterback to get in the neighborhood of 300-320 points in the South. I expect Mason to get around 250, McCarron to get around 150 and for Manziel to get about 100.
3. Bryce Petty
Comment: This should be Manziel’s strongest region and some support will show up for Bryce Petty of Baylor as well, but Winston should win this region comfortably, with something like 360-380 points.
3. Marcus Mariota
4. Derek Carr
5. Ka’Deem Carey
Comment: This is the most mysterious of the regions this year. Winston will win it handily, but the order of the four I have listed below him could be totally off. Keep in mind that this region snakes all the way over to the Dakotas and is generally the least provincial of the regions. However, my thoughts are that since this region is home to the Mountain West and formerly the WAC, a lot of voters could be amenable to a non-BCS candidate like Lynch, not to mention Fresno State’s Derek Carr. I expect Marcus Mariota to do very well among Oregon and Hawaii voters, which should boost his totals, though I would not be surprised if Carr nudged ahead of him. Winston’s total should be in the 380-400 range.
3. Braxton Miller
Comment: This will be Lynch’s strongest region and I expect Braxton Miller to do well among the large contingent of Ohio voters. I have Williams fourth here because he seems to fit the mold of a traditional Big Ten power back, which I think will appeal to some voters. Winston’s total here should be in the 340 – 360 range, with Lynch at 260 – 280.
5. Connor Shaw
Comment: This will be Winston’s strongest region and he should surpass 400 points. Williams is from the region as well so he’ll be a distant second to Winston but well ahead of whoever finishes third. I expect a smattering of votes for Connor Shaw among South Carolina voters.
Comment: This region rarely has a favorite son to vote for, but things are different this year. Williams will have his strongest finish in the Northeast — somewhere in the 250 point range — though Winston will still win solidly. This region tends to like the late-breaking, trendy candidate so I expect Mason to appear on some ballots, too. Winston’s total points should be in the 340 – 360 range.
Final thoughts: This all points to a healthy landslide for Winston, since based on media votes alone he should top 2,100 points. The other finalists look like they’ll be hovering in the 400 point range. There is still the matter of the 57 living Heisman winners and how they will vote and I expect Winston will pick up another 120 or so points there (I’ll break down that voter bloc tomorrow).
I’ll have my final point total projections for the race tomorrow as well.