Stiff Arm Trophy

Heisman Projection: It's Griffin, with 71% of a perfect score

Posted by Kari Chisholm on December 8, 2011 in News.

We're now up to 203 ballots (with 556 votes) - nearly 22% of the total vote - and it's time to make our final projection.

By now, this won't be a surprise to anyone: Baylor's Robert Griffin III is going to win the Heisman Trophy.

By our reckoning, he's going to get approximately 2000 points - 71% of a perfect unanimous #1 vote. (This year, 2781 points is perfect.)

That total would rank Griffin among the top 15 all-time biggest winners of the Heisman Trophy - roughly on par with Tim Tebow (70.5%) and Doug Flutie (71.1%).

Second place will go to Stanford's Andrew Luck, with about 1400 points - almost exactly 50% of a perfect score. Alabama's Trent Richardson will place third, with 730 points. Fourth place will be held by Wisconsin's Montee Ball, with 430 points. And LSU's Tyrann Mathieu will be fifth, with 335 points.

That margin - roughly 20% - between Griffin and Luck puts it roughly in the middle of Heisman races historically. Not a landslide, not a squeaker. It's roughly on par with the margin between Heisman '83 winner Mike Rozier and runner-up Steve Young. Here's the historical margin-of-victory chart.

Yes, these numbers are slightly different than what you'll see in the chart below. This final projection takes into account what we've now identified as a consistent self-reporting bias. (Basically, trendy picks show up slightly inflated, and vice versa.)

More analysis of these 203 votes to come. Oh, and as we come across more ballots this week, we'll continue to publish them and update our projection.

For the tenth 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 nine out of nine 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: 12/8/2011, 7:58 a.m. Pacific. 203 ballots, 556 votes.

R Griffin1273217176462218178.4%
A Luck395633128262133548.0%
T Richardson2031348515673026.2%
M Ball623396810343015.5%
T Mathieu32129538033512.0%

M Barkley171321301565.6%
R Wilson043711471.7%
B Weeden01456341.2%
L James02135321.2%
K Moore00444240.9%
D Robinson0011180.3%
C Keenum0022280.3%
C Klein0022260.2%
L Kuechly0011140.1%

Got questions? Something look funny? Get answers and read about our methodology.

Have you heard an official voter declare their vote? Post your voter tips on

View the complete list of the 600+ official Heisman voters that we know about.
Or check out The Big Chart, every single official Heisman vote that we've found this year.

Got questions? Read more about our methodology, and the results from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.