Heisman Projection: 146 ballots. It's Newton, with 86%.
We're now up to 146 ballots (with 381 votes) - more than 15% of the total vote.
This isn't really news, but we're confident that Cam Newton will win the Heisman -- and with approximately 2400 points, which is 86% of the maximum 2778 points. That total would rank Newton as the third biggest winner of the Heisman Trophy of all time - behind Reggie Bush (91.8%) and Troy Smith (91.6%), and ahead of Ricky Williams (85.2%).
It's possible that Newton will drop a point or two. In 2006, we had 136 ballots - and projected 94.0% for Troy Smith. His final total was 91.6%. Our conclusion at the time: "given the widely-held view that Troy Smith was a landslide winner, those supporting other candidates kept quiet." With all the controversy, this effect may be even more pronounced. Even dropping 2-3 points, he'd still be in the top five of all time.
(Note: It makes zero sense to compare Heisman winners year-to-year based on raw point totals. Even if Newton - or any modern-day winner got 100% of first-place votes, he wouldn't get more points than OJ Simpson's 2903. There were 1200 voters that year, 274 more than today. A fair comparison requires percentages. Learn more.)
As for second place, we're still waiting to see if we can track down more ballots to bring some clarity to the very close race between Andrew Luck and LaMichael James.
For the ninth year in a row, we're going to attempt to project the outcome of the greatest individual award in sports, the Heisman Trophy. We've been right eight out of eight years.
But to do this, we need your help. If you read/see/hear someone identify themselves as an official voter (with or without their vote), post a comment on our voter tips line, share a note on our Facebook wall, or send us a note on Twitter (@stiffarmtrophy). If possible, provide a link (or at least tell us where you saw/heard/read it.)
Our latest projection
Last updated: 12/9/2010, 2:57 a.m. Pacific. 146 ballots, 381 votes.
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