Our final projection: 180 ballots
Well, here it is. We've tracked down 180 ballots - just shy of 20% of the 928 votes - and we're making our final projection.
To all those impatient Aggie fans out there: This is the earliest projection I think we've ever made. Typically, we wait until Friday afternoon. Sometimes, Saturday morning. And, when it was Ingram/Gerhart/McCoy/Suh/Tebow, it was about 90 minutes before the start of the Heisman presentation.
Drum roll, please... It's Johnny Manziel, with 81% of the points possible. That's 81% of the way toward a unanimous first-place selection. That number may be slightly inflated, but regardless, he'll likely finish somewhere in the top six or seven biggest Heisman winners ever - somewhere between Desmond Howard and Cam Newton. (Lots more historical Heisman stats here.)
As the ballots have rolled in all week, that hasn't changed. We've seen a slightly smaller number of voters participating in our effort this year - after the heavy pressure put on them this year by the Heisman Trust - but we're confident in the trendlines.
Sidenote: The Heisman Trust surely is pressuring voters because they want to protect their ratings. They're making the absolutely wrong move. Stiff Arm Trophy and all the other polls and "Heisman Watch" sites are actually part of the Heisman hype machine. In 2009, they touted the best-ever ratings for the presentation show as being the result of the closest-ever Heisman vote. But if it was up to them, no one would have ever known in advance that it was the closest vote ever. 1.3 million people visited this site that week, which surely contributed to the record TV audience of 3.8 million. So, back off, Heisman folks and think about your promotional strategy, ok?
Anyway, enough of the bureaucratic nonsense. Congrats to Johnny Manziel and everyone in Aggieland. Exactly 40 years after freshmen were allowed to play varsity college football, a freshman willl win the Heisman Trophy. Extraordinary.
If there's a rush of ballots published today, we'll update the charts again Saturday morning. And if something bizarre happens, we won't hesitate to pull back our projection. But for now, this is our final call: Manziel, Te'o, Klein - in that order.
For the eleventh year in a row, we're going to attempt to project the outcome of the greatest individual award in sports, the Heisman Trophy. So far, we've been right ten out of ten 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 final projection
Last updated: 12/7/2012 6:00 a.m. Pacific. 180 ballots, 473 votes.
Got questions? Something look funny? Get answers and read about our methodology.
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