Our Final Projection: 211 ballots. Newton, Luck, James, Moore - in that order.
We're now up to 211 ballots (with 572 votes) - more than 22% of the total vote, and more ballots than in four previous years. This will be the final major update before the big announcement. (We will, however, add in any votes we find straggling in.
With the addition of 43 new ballots, Newton's projection didn't budge. Just over 2300 points, 84% of the total points possible. Cam's going to win - and he'll likely be the fourth- or fifth-biggest winner of all time. (On either side of Charlie Ward, at 83.8%.) His 50-52% margin over Andrew Luck should give him the fifth-largest margin of all time, just slightly bigger than that of OJ Simpson. (And yes, OJ had the fifth largest margin - see below.)
Andrew Luck, however, has pulled strongly ahead of LaMichael James. We're now confident that he'll beat James by roughly 100 points, earning 32% of the points possible -- to 28% of the points possible for James. Kellen Moore will be a solid fourth, with 18% or so of the points possible.
Update, 2:08 p.m.: We've added six more ballots. Also, you can check out the regional breakdown of Heisman votes.
Thanks to all of our readers - and especially to the many Heisman voters that participated. The numbers are below. But first...
A plea to sportswriters for statistical accuracy
When comparing year-to-year, use percentage of points possible. Otherwise, you're not comparing apples-to-apples. In almost every single statistical category, you'll find that OJ Simpson leads. But it's not because he was an overwhelming Heisman winner. He was simply the biggest Heisman winner during one four-year stretch when the Heisman had over 1200 voters. Since 1988, the Heisman has standardized on 870 media voters and every living winner. (And even that total changes every year, of course.)
In 2010, there are 926 voters - 870 media, 55 living winners (excluding Reggie Bush), and 1 fan vote. There are a total of 2778 points available to each Heisman candidate. Simply divide the actual point total by 2778, and you'll have the number to use.
Here's the right comparisons for your coverage (with links to details):
Highest Heisman vote total of all time: Reggie Bush, 91.8% of points possible, 2005.
Lowest Heisman vote total (for a winner): Billy Vessels, 14.3% of points possible, 1952.
Largest margin: Troy Smith by 60% over Darren McFadden (91.6% to 31.7%), 2006.
Closest vote: Mark Ingram by 1.0% over Toby Gerhart, 2009.
Most Ballots (1, 2, or 3): Reggie Bush appeared on 95.8% of all ballots, 2005.
Fewest Ballots (1, 2, or 3): Billy Vessels won despite only being on 19.5% of ballots, 1952.
Most #1 votes: Troy Smith got a #1 vote from 87% of all Heisman voters, 2006.
Fewest #1 votes: Billy Vessels had a #1 vote on only 8% of ballots, 1952.
(Wondering what the heck happened in 1952? That year, the Heisman voter pool was expanded dramatically from 987 to 1222 - and 162 different players across the country earned votes.)
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: 12/11/2010, 2:08 p.m. Pacific. 217 ballots, 590 votes.
Have you heard an official voter declare their vote? Post your voter tips on StiffArmTrophy.com