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  2. Penn State
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  11. Ohio State
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CFR's 2005 Heisman Ballot

I'm not a Heisman voter.  I'd love to have the honor of being one.  Someday perhaps.

CollegeFootballResource.com's 2005 Heisman Ballot

  1. Reggie Bush, USC-I chose Reggie Bush as my Heisman winner last year.  I don't think there's been a player like him in the college game in some time.  Long ago I got over drooling at his highlights, because I see something far greater than those.  I see a ferociously competitive football player, a guy who works hard to put himself in a position to do the great things he does.  He's bailed USC out of a lot of close games in two seasons now, to the point where it's almost commonplace.  They include superhuman shows against Virginia Tech, Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State, Notre Dame and Fresno State.  Furthermore, I think the Heisman trophy has evolved to where a player like Reggie Bush becomes a can't-miss Heisman choice.  He's Desmond Howard meets Barry Sanders meets God, if that makes sense.  And he was my easy choice for #1 on the 2005 CollegeFootballResource.com Heisman Ballot.
  2. Michael Robinson, Penn State-I dogged him earlier in the year for not being much of a quarterback.  That's ok, he proved to be that much more the team leader.  Robinson willed Penn State through some tough Big Ten games this year, and left their only loss, against Michigan, with the lead.  When challenged, Robinson always answered with a big play and Penn State now has a very well-earned Big Ten title to celebrate.
  3. Elvis Dumervil, Louisville-This one's kind of a surprise.  Once in a while a defensive player comes along and puts up numbers that don't even make sense.  Dumervil had 20 sack and 10 forced fumbles.  10!  The Heisman Trophy is awarded to college football's most oustanding individual athlete.  I think Dumervil certainly qualifies to be on a lot of ballots if that's the case.

Before you throw a fit on two guys I left off, I'll give you my reasons:

  • Why no Vince Young?  Good question.  For me, it boiled down to this-Texas' schedule was so easy this year Vince Young never really had much of a challenge after the Ohio State game.  The softness of the schedule is not his fault, and I don't hold that against him.  However, his body of work just didn't jump out once I had some time to reflect upon things.  I think back to the Ohio State game, and how the Buckeyes figured out Young's zone read runs after his first handful of long runs.  After that, he was completely shut down and almost coughed the game up twice, throwing a bad interception and averaging just two yards a carry after the first scoring drive.  He did lead Texas down the field on the last scoring drive, however.  The Oklahoma State game was never in doubt, and on his memorable run there was simply nobody there to even attempt a tackle on him.  He looked completely dazed while playing Texas A&M, as well. Vince Young gets a lot of points for leadership and changing the fortunes of an oft-criticized Texas team, and taking them to a 12-0 record.  However, I just never got that Heisman feel from him.
  • Why no Matt Leinart? Another good question.  The Heisman Trophy isn't a career award.  I felt Matt Leinart was far more impressive last year, guiding USC through a rough schedule behind a new offensive line and new receivers.  This year, he had every tool available and put up fine numbers.  However, aside from the stunningly perfect night against Arkansas and the historic final drive against Notre Dame, Leinart wasn't quite the same player this year.  USC turned to Reggie Bush and LenDale White quite often this year.  Perhaps it was the hit he took against Arizona State early in the year, but there was a several-game stretch where Leinart was in a bit of a fog and didn't appear to be at full faculties to where he could do little more than hold things together instead of leading his team (the burden fell upon Reggie Bush, who obviously delivered).  There is no doubt in my mind that Matt Leinart is the best quarterback in NCAA history, but this year he wasn't particularly Heisman-like in CFR's eyes.
I realize my Heisman updates throughout this season consistently listed Vince Young and Matt Leinart.  As I stated several times, those lists were made more to reflect the Heisman realities than to reflect my own views.  I took some time to reflect upon my choices here, reflecting upon the body of work of the entire 2005-2006 college football season.  As such, this list isn't merely the reaction to last week's games, but to an entire season by a handful of great individual football players.  Hope this clarifies things some.

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