It's good to study up on past years to get a feel for how regions vote, how winners fare across the regions and relative to their competition.
Here's a look at last year's raw data.
"Spend a few minutes reading College Football Resource" - Whit Watson, Sun Sports
"Maybe you should start your own blog" - Bruce Feldman, ESPN
"[An] Excellent resource for all things college football. It’s blog index is the definitive listing of the CFB blogosphere ... [A] must-read for fans." - Sports Illustrated (On Campus)
"The big daddy of them all, the nerve center of this twisted college football blogsphere" - The House Rock Built
"Unsurprisingly, College Football Resource has generated some discussion" -Dawg Sports
The Baseball Savant
Get the Picture
Tempin' Ain't Easy
Orange and Blue Hue
The National Championship Issue
College Gridiron Boss
What Thou The Odds
Saturday Sound Offs
Roll 'Bama Roll
Our Sturdy Golden Blog
College Football Authority
The Power T
Rites of Autumn
ACC Football Report
ND Irish Blog
SEC Football Blogger
We Suck At Sports
The Business of College Football
Classic Sports Photos
College Football Frenzy
Double Deuce: Second Rate News
Georgia Sports Blog
Sports Law Professor (sort of)
Email me to be added!
After Week Seven
It's good to study up on past years to get a feel for how regions vote, how winners fare across the regions and relative to their competition.
Here's a look at last year's raw data.
Some of the recent Heisman goodness from USC blog TrojanWire:
I have once again updated the CFR Heisman candidate pages. They are filled with all kinds of information, such as vital stats and rankings, and a cornucopia of links to interesting stories.
They're pretty cool, be sure and take some time to celebrate each of these great football players' seasons once more!
Today and tomorrow is all about the Heisman before transitioning to bowl coverage.
CFR's Heisman ballot will be posted (if only I were a Heisman voter...), some thoughts on the whole process, Reggie Bush, the countdown's up to date, I'll "live blog" the ceremony (Saturday, 8 Eastern, ESPN).
I will also add a lot of new stories about the three main candidates later tonight on the candidate pages (there have been some great writeups about Bush in the last day or so).
Be sure and check out all my Heisman links on the menu at left, under "Heisman Latest" and "Heisman" a little further below.
Check out this podcast of Heisman Pundit on the SportsBloggersLive show discussing the Heisman race way back in late September.
On Saturday I will be around for the hour or so of the Heisman ceremony. It's not the most dramatic night around---I think everyone knows who the winner will be---but we'll have a little more commentary than tonight's awards when I was a little busy making dinner.
It should be fun to watch the profiles, and a little more time will be devoted to each nominee since there are only three this year.
I hunch we'll hear about Vince Young being run over by a car, but who knows with Bush and Leinart. Every possible angle of Leinart's life has been discussed the last two years and aside for an expensive taste in fashionable clothes, Bush is a fairly boring kid. The onus is on the ESPN folks to pull one more rabbit out of their hats after covering the two of them all season long with Shelley Smith. That, and they have more Rose Bowl angles to cover with all the candidates. There's a delicate road to be walked between necessary storytelling and overkill.
Anyway, I'll be around.
Just an FYI:
The 6 1 9 on Reggie Bush's eyeblack is representative of the San Diego area code he lives in. He also sometimes wears S E on the eyeblack, representative of Southeast San Diego.
Here's the list-
This list is more a reflection of the race's realities at this point.
I'm on the road and my wireless is spotty to say the least. I've written down all the things CFR will do this week, so please continue to stop by (vote for me in the WeblogAwards daily!).
I'll throw up a link to the Coaches poll vote graphic thing, which is really interesting.
There's the CFR final Heisman rankings and updated Heisman Countdown, some Heisman analysis, some discussion on the merits of the award's voting patterns and perhaps how the race should have played out this year (for example, someone suggested "why no mention of Northwestern's Brett Basanez?"), and I need to update the excellent Heisman candidate pages created on here, including a lot of recent stories to read about the big three finalists. Reggie Bush certainly merits a few words on here, and I'll announce the CFR 2005 Heisman ballot. Perhaps one day I, too, will be an official Heisman voter.
I will add some new college football blogs I've found this week.
I'm always finding new links and slowly incorporating them into the website.
There's a lot to talk about with the bowls and bowl season. I'll do some predictions (of which I had a terrible time last year so CFR will be sure to do a little more homework this time).
We'll talk a lot about the Rose Bowl, perhaps add a countdown on here.
Of course there's the much-debated CFR final regular season top teams list.
I'm also hoping to spend some serious time on something fairly relevant to CFR's purpose that's been neglected during the regular season rush, hopefully that will be up by the end of the month.
Also, be sure and join CFR in a Heisman live blog/live thread here on Saturday night.
Things have played out poorly for Texas quarterback Vince Young the last two weeks. His team remains undefeated, which is always nice, but they struggled to get past Texas A&M when Young had the television stage to himself. Last week's Bush buzz continues to grow. HeismanPundit has called the race for Bush. The Scripps Howard Poll this week has gone unanimous for Bush. Same with the ESPN.com Poll. StiffArmTrophy.com, which does an incredible job projecting the race, has Bush in a ridiculously commanding lead after some early ballot sniffing.
Like I said all through the year, I felt Reggie Bush had some structural advantages that helped him maintain a lead throughout, even when the Young buzz was building just two short weeks ago. This kind of late surge for Bush reflects a sigh of relief for voters who had always kept him in their lead but needed to see just a little more to remain confident in their ultimate vote. Instead, Bush blew them and everyone else away against Fresno State and now there's little drama left in a much-hyped race. Young's forgiveable lackluster effort against Texas A&M shut the door on his own candidacy.
The great thing is both gentlemen will represent themselves, their communities and their universities well on the night of the 10th, when the 71st Heisman Trophy will be presented. That's one of the great things about Heisman hype machines, in that we learn at least a little about the characters of the student athletes competing for the award. We know Reggie Bush is ridiculously competitive and confident, but also humble and a responsible guy. We know Vince Young carries a state's hopes on his shoulders with cheer and unerring calm and is a good guy to boot. I look forward to presentation night.
Other Top 10 Finish Candidates
Coming next week, CFR's 2005 Heisman Ballot (if only I were a voter). I will also project the finish and include some regional analysis.
Until then, be sure and check out the CFR Heisman Countdown (11 days away!) and the very informative Heisman Candidate Pages below. I've spent some time finding articles about the three leading candidates to include on the pages, so be sure and read up on all of them.
And we're not talking Heisman.
Check out this video report about the battle waged for the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of USC students and fans: what uniform sells best?
I found this on a cool blog documenting a lot of the goings-on with USC football. There's a good recent writeup about the controlled chaos every Tuesday, USC's designated "media day." That's a good tip for you college football bloggers looking to get a word or two in with a school's coaches or athletes---find out when media day is and do your work then if possible if you don't want to ruffle feathers.
On the menu to your left I have created a Heisman Latest section, with links to three useful websites as we countdown to the 2005 Heisman Trophy ceremony.
The links are to:
As a reminder, the 71st Heisman Trophy will be awarded on Saturday December 10, broadcast live on ESPN. Be sure and tune in!
You can count down the days to the ceremony with CFR by visiting the Heisman countdown here.
There is little drama left in this year's Heisman race after Vince Young failed to really counter Reggie Bush's record-setting performance against Fresno State last weekend.
However, I am curious as to whether Reggie Bush, who I had winning 4.5 out of 6 voting region as of last weekend (was unsure if he could win the South, and conceded the Southwest to Young), can now outright win all six regions. What say you, HP?
If the public perception of an outright win---suddenly plausible---is true, it's a stunning two-week turnaround in the race. As HP noted today, Bush was always in the race lead thanks to the very reliable nature of the award's voters, but it had gotten to the point where it looked like his victory would be quite narrow. Today the opposite appears to be true.
I guess Best Damn Sports Show is doing a flashback tonight, will have Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll on to discuss all things USC/Fresno State. Blatant push for Bush for Heisman by the LA guys, but then, the game was so late a lot of normal college football fans really didn't get to experience it so this gets a tepid free pass from CFR.
Perusing the TV today, I noticed that FoxSports also is rebroadcasting the game (in shortened two-hour windows) at least twice tonight where I live.
There's some unsubstantiated buzz that despite the late start, The game actually earned the highest ratings ever for a FoxSports college football broadcast (see link here).
Saturday's Fresno State game was the most-watched nationally televised game in the history of Fox Sports Net. The game was seen in 2.1 million households by some 2.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
In Los Angeles, the game was the day's top-rated LA telecast, earning a 7.5 household rating. It was seen in 424,688 homes and beat out the No. 2 telecast by 70 percent.
Other top markets for the game: Seattle (6.6), Portland (6.5), Pittsburgh (3.1), Columbus (3.0) and Phoenix (2.8). Fox plans to follow up on the game's success tonight at 8 and 10:30 with a two-hour version of the telecast entitled Football Flashback
So, a fifth of the game's viewers were in Los Angeles, but look at some of the other media centers, word-of-mouth must have been heavy given that Pittsburgh and Columbus had such strong viewership in the sleep-deprived Eastern time zone. Additionally, that probably translates to a lot of Heisman power for Bush in both the Midwest and Northeast Heisman voter regions.
As stated earlier, I'll have some regional analysis soon, probably just after the December 3 games played by Bush and Young.
Even though there are more games to be played, and USC faces a stiff test against UCLA next weekend, its hard to argue at this point that the Heisman is going anywhere but USC again this year, however fair or not that is.
ESPN just spent all Monday talking about the guy.
Tonight, they're rebroadcasting---via ESPN Classic---the USC/Fresno State game from Saturday night (dammit people watch this and ditch your TV shows for a night) where Bush went nuts, at 9 Eastern.
As seen on HeismanPundit, the LA Times' Bill Plaschke (who penned one of the finest Heisman support pieces I've ever seen a few years ago in support of the Trojans' Carson Palmer) calls the race over and provides a lot of insight about the more nuanced aspects of Heisman voters' mentalities. It's a must-read.
There's also this low quality, small picture, amateur video of Bush's amazing cutback run for your enjoyment. Update: I had added a link to a story for the video. The video link is now the correct link.
Finally, I leave you with two of my favorite Bush-related rants this year.
Against Notre Dame earlier this year, Bush had scored a 37-yard first quarter touchdown by literally hurdling a Notre Dame defender---I probably TiVO'd the replay 50 times to try and understand exactly how he made his cut and hurdle, it's still unexplainable---NBC's Pat Haden had this to say:
I think of Reggie Bush as the first ammendment with hips. He just kind of expresses himself in his own way.
Lastly, there's this transcript of a rant from Monday's Colin Cowherd radio show someone told me I needed to listen to:
513 yards and ninety per cent of America didn’t see it. It ended at 2:20 Eastern Time.
We’re going to talk in our final hour about Reggie Bush and the greatest single performance I’ve ever seen, in my life, in football of any level. Of any level. There’s an old saying that if a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s around does it make any noise. You know, I’m thinking if you have 513 at two in the morning, does anybody care about it or hear about it? And that’s where I feel bad for USC and I feel bad for Reggie Bush because nobody saw that game. For anybody East of Denver nobody saw that game and it was absolutely, inarguably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.
300 yards on 20 carries, 70 yards receiving, 150 yards in returns against a nine win team.
I mean, it was part Barry Sanders, part Michael Vick, and part Green Lantern. It was that good. I mean it was THAT good. If you can get a tape of it online, go watch it, it was unbelievable, it was absolutely incredible.
We were talking about this, remember when you played little league? Remember when everybody played little league and there was that one kid who threw 84 miles per hour and had a moustache at eleven? That’s what Reggie Bush looks like on a college field. We all played against that guy in little league. We all showered with him. He had a hairy chest. He had more hair on his chest than we had everywhere else. We all played against that, that’s what he looks like. Just an absurd performance.
In fact, [former NFL corner and ESPN analyst] Eric Allen, I was talking to Eric, he’s gonna be coming on in a few minutes, I was talking to Eric Allen in the hallway earlier today about this, and he stopped me. He goes, “did you see that?” He goes “I was in an airport, I almost missed a plane.” He goes, “I’ve never seen anything like it”. “I’ve never seen any-thing like it”.
It’s one of those things you just couldn’t take your eyes off it. You could not take your eyes off it. But it was on at 2:15 and I don’t blame the East Coast media, I don’t blame them, they’re not being malicious. I don’t blame a sportswriter in Indianapolis or Ohio, he’s gotta sleep. He’s got things to do; he covered five games that day. I don’t blame him. I don’t blame the East Coast media. It was on at 2:20 AM! I watched it. I don’t blame anybody, they gotta sleep. But it was, it was ab-surd.
NFL.com's Rich Eisen checks in to let us know that Reggie Bush is averaging 34.5 yards per score on his 16 touchdowns this season. Sick.
Well, a game that ended after 2 a.m. in the Eastern time zone may have swung this year's Heisman race. I didn't think much could happen until the final weekend, but Reggie Bush's record-setting 513 yard performance against Fresno State has a lot to do with the change.
I smartly stayed up to watch that game, perhaps the most dominant individual performance in college football in many years.
At this point, barring something similar from Vince Young (and maybe in spite of it), Reggie Bush looks like he will be the 2005 Heisman trophy winner. Games remain to be played, however, and must be accounted for. That said, that performance was something for the ages and I don't see Old Guard Heisman voters having any reason to abandon Bush now after stunning games against top 15 foes Fresno State and Notre Dame. The working media are also shifting in his direction judging by the flurry of writeups and media attention directed Bush's way.
Some other thoughts:
I will offer some preliminary Heisman voter regional analysis soon, and again after the final weekend of games. Around the same time I will also present the CFR Heisman Ballot, explaining how I would have voted.
Rivalry weekend's over, signaling the end of the big 50-game weekends in college football. I'm keeping myself in good spirits by listening to Christmas music and celebrating that I chose to stay awake for the entire remarkable Reggie Bush performance against Fresno State.
Virginia Tech 52, Virginia 14
I guess the Hokies are ok after the Miami loss. It was a textbook Tech win, forcing turnovers and running enough---336 net yards---to make Vick look like a God when he had to pass. Nice recovery. I wonder whether Virginia will ever reach some of its heights from just two or three years ago. They're really struggling.
Texas Tech 23, Oklahoma 21
This game was marred by a controversial call at the end. Texas Tech is starting to wilt.
Georgia 45, Kentucky 13
The Dawgs have won the ones they're supposed to. Oh, what could have been...
Vanderbilt 28, Tennessee 24
I'm not going to pile on. That loss might have been good for Tennessee, it's kind of a rock-bottom moment from which to motivate them as they chart a new course.
Ohio State 25, Michigan 21
Jim Tressel > Lloyd Carr. It's like the John Cooper bad mojo for Buckeye fans has completely reversed itself. Few gave Michigan a chance but they almost pulled it off. But like a lot of things with them lately, almost is often the best they can do.
Baylor 44, Oklahoma State 34
I don't really have commentary here, only wanted to post the score.
Notre Dame 34, Syracuse 10
Not the Irish's best performance, but most teams will get away with that against Syracuse.
Boise State 70, Idaho 35
This was a close game when I was watching earlier on my ESPN GamePlan. Apparently Boise dumped 35 points on the Vandals in the 4th quarter. Ouch!
Auburn 28, Alabama 18
Complete domination by Auburn, including 11 take-downs of 'Bama quarterback Brodie Croyle. That's their 4th straight Iron Bowl win, and puts the Tigers in position (with an LSU loss to Arkansas) for a 5th SEC Western Division title in the last six years under Tommy Tuberville. I know the man's a constant CFR target, but he's managed that program with skill and is either very shrewd or ridiculously lucky in some of his assistant choices lately---Gene Chizik, Al Borges and Bobby Petrino.
Penn State 31, Michigan State 22
An ugly win, but Paterno's boys were always in control of this game.
Oregon 56, Oregon State 14
A surprising outcome. If I didn't know better I get the feeling the Ducks have played better since starting quarterback Kellen Clemens got injured. The game was played under very heavy fog. Very quietly, Oregon has assembled some of the best offesive skill talent in the nation, particularly in its receiving corps.
Clemson 13, South Carolina 9
Ah, the ups and downs of running a perennial loser. Spurrier will have better days but this looks like a letdown game.
Georgia Tech 14, Miami 10
Miami's offensive woes caught up to them. Georgia Tech deserves credit for a gutty performance and getting past the distraction of a court-mandated reinstatement of a formerly non grata player.
USC 50, Fresno State 42
Fresno followed the same script of many almost-but-couldn't USC foes such as California, Notre Dame and UCLA. It was an amazing game played way too late into the night for those of us not in the Pacific time zone. Oh, and some guy named Reggie Bush had some of the most amazing runs in a long time. He finished with 296 rushing yards, second-most in USC history, and 513 all-purpose, good for second-most in NCAA history. Heisman.
It could mean something, it could mean nothing...
I'm signed up with a service called "Google Alerts". Basically, Google scours its news feeds and emails back whatever it finds daily, weekly, monthly, whatever, on a particular search term. I've been subscribed for a few months now for the terms Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Vince Young.
For what it's worth, by pure number, I have more emails about Reggie Bush than either of the other two Heisman trophy candidates. His emails also tend to have a few more stories in them, per day. Leinart and Young are all but tied in terms of story number and number of emails, and not all that far behind from Bush.
The most basic analysis I can offer here is that Reggie Bush has been able to have a little bit of a lead in the "media saturation" department. Even in recent weeks as Young's campaign has improved, Bush has been in a bit of a lead.
Like I said, this could mean something or absolutely nothing. I tend to feel that working media are also a little disconnected from the core Heisman voters, and if so, it would be interesting to see how this anecdotal offering relates to the final outcome of the Heisman Trophy race. Right now, based purely on chatter from talking head, I think the working media might slightly favor Young. However, because of USC's Heisman prestige and Bush's making it to New York City last year, and USC being the #1 team going for something unprecedented, I have to believe the core of Heisman voters might slightly favor Bush.
It's too bad HeismanProjection was taken down, because last year's data provided a great example of how the major media were split fairly even between Leinart and Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson while the unspoken mass of Heisman voters were a little more in favor of Leinart.