Stiff Arm Trophy

We did it! Ten years of getting it right.

Posted by Kari Chisholm on December 10, 2011.

For the tenth year in a row, we've correctly projected the winner of the Heisman Trophy. Congratulations to Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears!

We're also proud to note that for the seventh out of those ten years, we were once again able to correctly project the order of the finalists -- Griffin, followed by Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, Montee Ball, and Tyrann Mathieu.

We projected RG3 with 2148 points and 77% of the points possible - quite bit higher than his actual total of 1687 points and 60%. We projected Andrew Luck at 1388 points and 50% - and his actual total was 1407 points, or 50.6%. We called Richardson at 799 points and 29%, and he received 978 points, or 35% - a bit more than we expected. The opposite happened for Ball and Mathieu. Our final projection had them at 475 points (17%) and 430 points (15%). Actual totals were 348 points (13%) and 327 points (12%).

In other words, the players who played on the final weekend - Griffin, Ball, and Mathieu - had fewer overall votes than among those voters who publicly declared their ballots. By contrast, the players who did not - Luck and Richardson - had more overall votes than among those who publicly declared.

It's become increasingly clear that the pool of voters that declare their ballots are slightly, but not inconsequentially, different than the pool of voters that do not. A number of commentators noted that, once again, about one-fifth of voters cast their ballots before the final weekend of games. It's entirely possible, though not certain, that the voters who cast their ballots before the final weekend are also less likely to publicly declare their ballots. And that would have an impact on our projection numbers - and that's something we'll be studying during the off-season.

But these are details. The big picture - 10 out of 10 winners correct, and nailing the order of finish for the 7th time - is what counts. A huge thanks to everyone that helped: our tipsters and members of the media who were willing to share their vote with the public. Our final projection and the actual numbers are below.

Our final projection - and the actual results

Last updated: 12/10/2011, 7:00 a.m. Pacific. 231 ballots, 641 votes.

namefirstsecondthirdballotspointsProj%ActualActual %
R Griffin144381820052677.9%168760.7%
A Luck46663714930748.0%140750.6%
T Richardson2335409817926.2%97835.2%
M Ball626447611415.3%34812.5%
T Mathieu42635659913.6%32711.8%

M Barkley171523324.9%1535.5%
C Keenum003330.4%1234.4%
K Moore005550.9%903.2%

R Wilson0448121.6%  
B Weeden014561.2%  
L James021351.0%  
L Kuechly011230.4%  
D Robinson001110.3%  
C Klein002220.2%  
J Blackmon001110.1%  

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 700+ 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.