4, 2006 - FINAL BALLOT
The regular season games are now history.
Nothing has really changed since early September in
terms of who the frontrunner is for this prestigious
award. Troy Smith unofficially won the Heisman on November
18 after beating rival Michigan. While Smith does not
necessarily stand out to this voter as being the best
of the millennium (six years and counting), he is not
far off the front of the list. Smith has had better
years in terms of running with the football, but his
decision-making in ‘06 is by far the best of his
It may be a foregone conclusion that
Smith has won the Heisman Trophy, so the difficult issue
at hand is the pecking order of the remaining candidates.
A Heisman voter has to cast a vote for three players.
As in the past, we look at some of the top candidates
and how they performed versus their three toughest opponents.
After examining the statistics under
this scenario, Hawaii’s QB Colt Brennan still
continued to rank at the top in terms of sheer numbers
across the board. Brady Quinn dropped this week through
the same analysis - games versus Georgia Tech, Michigan
and USC saw his numbers drop way below his season averages.
Quinn is still possibly the best QB when a miracle last
minute TD is needed. Given this clutch performance evaluation,
Brady Quinn deserves some noticeable credit. West Virginia’s
Steve Slaton continues to impress with huge numbers
against his toughest opponents. When the game has been
on the line, Slaton continues to get called upon again
and again. While Arkansas RB Darren McFadden is certainly
more of a thoroughbred from a physical standpoint (with
speed to match), his numbers and clutch performances
just don’t match those of Slaton.
of the final ten candidates here are underclassmen.
We look forward to watching them play again nine months
from now. Let the new countdown begin and congratulations
to Ohio State and Troy Smith.