Stiff Arm Trophy

A look at other Heisman projections, predictions, and polls.

Posted by Kari Chisholm on December 10, 2011.

This time of year, there's a lot of other projections and polls out there. Nine years in a row we've picked the winner correctly - and there's no other projection or poll that can make the same claim. Nonetheless, it's always good to check in on what the others are saying.

The Scripps-Howard News Service is a weekly poll of 10 actual voters - and has correctly projected the winner 20 of the last 24 years (and 8 of the last 9; missing out in 2008.) This year, they've got a near tie at the top with Griffin leading Luck by just two points, followed by Richardson by one point ahead of Ball and Mathieu.

The ESPN Heisman Watch experts poll features 15 participants (of which most, and perhaps all, are actual voters.) In their final poll of 2011, they've got Griffin narrowly beating Richardson. Luck and Ball are solidly in third and fourth, followed by Mathieu far behind.

Stiff Arm TrophyGriffinLuckRichardsonBallMathieu
Scripps-HowardGriffinLuckRichardsonBall & Mathieu
Heisman Pundit PollGriffinLuckRichardsonBallMathieu
Heisman Pundit, himselfGriffinLuckRichardsonBallMathieu
ESPN Heisman WatchGriffinRichardsonLuckBallMathieu
ESPN PredictorGriffinRichardsonLuck 
USA TodayGriffinLuckRichardsonBallMoore
CBS Heisman WatchGriffinBallRichardsonLuckBarkley
Sports Illustrated VotersGriffinLuck & RichardsonBall & Mathieu
Sports Illustrated People's ChoiceGriffinRichardsonLuckBallBarkley

ESPN's Ryan McCrystal is the guy behind the stats-based Heisman Predictor, which throws a bunch of stats in a blender and pops out with a top-three Heisman ranking. Their finalc call? Griffin, Richardson, Luck.

(ESPN's Joe Tessitore does a weekly Heismanology segment, in which he polls every ESPN Heisman voter. Why that video is almost never online, I have no idea.)

The Heisman Pundit poll of thirteen actual voters, pegged the final order of finish the same as Stiff Arm Trophy: Griffin, Luck, Richardson, Ball, and Mathieu. The Heisman Pundit, Chris Huston, also makes a personal prediction - and this year, it's the same.

The CBS Sports Heisman Watch experts poll - which features six participants (but only one actual voter, as far as we know) - has an overwhelming win by Robert Griffin, but then places Montee Ball at #2. They've got a tie for 3rd between Richardson and Luck, and rank Matt Barkley fifth. We know that last bit is wrong, of course, since Barkley wasn't among the five invited to New York.

Over at USA Today, they've got a poll of ten writers and editors (no idea who they are or how many are officially voters). Their top five feature a near tie between Griffin and Luck, a solid third for Richardson, followed by Ball and Kellen Moore. And of course, that last pick we already know is wrong too.

At Sports Illustrated, they've got nine official voters. It's not intended to be a predictive poll, but here's how SI's nine votes combine: A solid first place for Griffin, a tie for second between Luck & Richardson, and a tie for fourth between Ball and Mathieu.

Sports Illustrated's Cory McCartney also organizes an annual People's Choice Heisman selection which he says "provides insight into how the actual vote could shake out." With more than 34,000 people voting, the order of finish was Griffin, Richardson, Luck, Ball and Matt Barkley. (Though to be fair to Mathieu, he wasn't included in the poll. "Other" finished 7th.)

So, it looks like we've got a unanimous call for Robert Griffin at #1, a split decision between Luck and Richardson for #2 and #3, and a near-unanimous pick of Ball at #4, and a #5 pick for either Mathieu or a non-finalist. We'll all find out at 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern) on ESPN.