Stiff Arm Trophy

Pre-season Top 25 poll of 51 Heisman voters: It's a wide-open race in 2012

Posted by Kari Chisholm on August 29, 2012 in polls.

With just one 2011 Heisman finalist returning to the field in 2012, the Heisman race is wide open.

Once again, StiffArmTrophy.com has conducted the largest poll of Heisman voters in the country - with a total of 51 actual Heisman voters participating. Voters are asked to provide an unranked top-15 watch list.

As the season opens, the Heisman race features five candidates clustered at the top, with 97% support or better: 2011 finalist and Wisconsin RB Montee Ball, South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, Michigan QB Denard Robinson, and USC QB Matt Barkley. Barkley appeared on 49 of 51 top-15 watch lists, while the rest were on 50 of 51 top-15 watch lists each.

Rounding out the top 10, each appearing on more than 60% of top-15 lists, were: West Virginia QB Geno Smith, Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas, Georgia QB Aaron Murray, Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson, and Clemson QB Tajh Boyd.

Of course, in 2011, Robert Griffin III started the season ranked #11 on our watch list - and in 2010, Cam Newton didn't appear on our pre-season poll at all.

51 actual Heisman voters from 28 states participated in the pre-season StiffArmTrophy.com poll. A total of 52 different players were on at least one top-15 watch list.

rankplayerweighted%votes
1Wisconsin RB Montee Ball97%50
1South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore97%50
1Oklahoma QB Landry Jones97%50
1Michigan QB Denard Robinson97%50
5USC QB Matt Barkley97%49
6West Virginia QB Geno Smith83%42
7Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas71%36
8Georgia QB Aaron Murray65%32
9Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson65%33
10Clemson QB Tajh Boyd60%31
11USC WR Robert Woods56%29
12Florida St QB EJ Manuel51%27
13Arkansas RB Knile Davis42%23
14Kansas St QB Collin Klein39%21
15Alabama QB AJ McCarron35%17
16Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead32%21
17Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas31%15
18Washington QB Keith Price28%12
19Oregon RB Kenjon Barner26%15
20Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez25%12
21Ohio St QB Braxton Miller23%13
22LSU DE Sam Montgomery22%10
23Oklahoma St RB Joseph Randle22%13
24South Carolina DL Jadeveon Clowney18%9
25Michigan St RB Le'Veon Bell18%10

Regional breakdown and list of participating voters on the jump...

With votes coming from 28 states, players are ranked based on a weighted percentage that adjusts for the number of participating voters in each region.

Here's the regional breakdown:

rankplayerAtlanticMidwestNortheastSouthSouthwestWest
1Wisconsin RB Montee Ball100%100%100%85%100%100%
1South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore100%100%100%85%100%100%
1Oklahoma QB Landry Jones100%100%100%85%100%100%
1Michigan QB Denard Robinson100%100%100%85%100%100%
5USC QB Matt Barkley100%92%100%100%90%100%
6West Virginia QB Geno Smith100%71%60%100%81%85%
7Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas71%64%80%71%72%71%
8Georgia QB Aaron Murray57%42%60%85%63%85%
9Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson57%42%60%85%90%57%
10Clemson QB Tajh Boyd85%57%60%42%72%42%
11USC WR Robert Woods42%57%60%57%63%57%
12Florida St QB EJ Manuel42%57%40%71%54%42%
13Arkansas RB Knile Davis42%64%40%42%36%28%
14Kansas St QB Collin Klein57%28%60%0%90%0%
15Alabama QB AJ McCarron71%42%40%14%0%42%
16Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead14%78%20%28%54%0%
17Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas42%7%40%28%54%14%
18Washington QB Keith Price42%7%20%28%0%71%
19Oregon RB Kenjon Barner28%42%0%28%18%42%
20Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez28%21%20%42%9%28%
21Ohio St QB Braxton Miller0%35%20%14%27%42%
22LSU DE Sam Montgomery14%14%40%42%9%14%
23Oklahoma ST RB Joseph Randle14%21%0%14%54%28%
24South Carolina DL Jadeveon Clowney0%28%40%28%0%14%
25Michigan St RB Le'Veon Bell14%28%20%28%18%0%

Participating voters included:

Mid-Atlantic: Frank Bodani, Michael Bradley, Richard Cirminiello, Josh Kendall, Chuck Landon, Matthew Osborne, Keith Sargeant

Midwest: Andy Baggot, Randy Beard, Mike Carmin, Doug Clarke, Pete DiPrimio, Dave Hackenberg, John Harris, Todd Hefferman, Andrew Logue, Tom Mulhern, Jeff Potrykus, Bill Rabinowitz, Jeff Rapp, Mark Rea

Northeast: C.J. McCarthy, Cory McCartney, Rick McGowan, Chuck Pollock, Lenn Robbins

South: John Crist, Brent Dougherty, Joe Girvan, Tim Guidera, Cecil Hurt, Phillip Marshall, Bob Tompkins

Southwest: Jimmy Burch, Sean Callahan, Suzanne Halliburton, Gary Ivins, Blair Kerkhoff, Harry King, Bob Lutz, Dave Matter, Jon Nyatawa, Mike'l Severe, Jake Trotter

West: Mark Anderson, Paola Boivin, Lisa Horne, Billy Hull, Jody Oehler, Eric Peterson, Ryan Recker