As I drove home from the old day job yesterday, I tuned in for the usual squawk fest known as the Paul Finebaum Show. For those of you not familiar with his show, imagine your favorite sports analyst, full of interesting insight and not afraid to take on the big topics, taking calls from former guests of Jerry Springer.
Well, in the middle of all this chaos, was a very interesting guest.
Kari Chisholm, of www.StiffArmTrophy.com, was on the show promoting the website, and explaining how they track the votes, and have successfully predicted the last seven Heisman Trophy winners. Chisholm and crew compile votes cast, from writers who reveal their votes, and even radio hosts who tell their selections on the air. Further than that, they list all these voters and their votes on a big chart for the world to see.
This is where it got interesting, after the guest, Paul began to take a look at the site, and found a very interesting trend. Some of writers that cover the SEC on a daily basis, didn't even have arguably the SEC's best shot at the trophy on their ballots.
First, this really burned me up, that people would take the honor of voting for the Heisman, and turn it in to an agenda aimed, in the end, at a college kid.
Secondly, it got me interested in taking a look at this myself. This information was gleaned form the above mentioned website, I do recommend taking a look at this fabulous site in general, but definitely take a look at the big chart.
I'll start by piling on Birmingham News own Kevin Scarbinski. In what has to be an attempt to shine a little of the light on himself(no surprise there), he voted for two Alabama players in his ballot. What was fishy, was his order.
Rolando McClain garnered his top vote, with Ingram taking second. While McClain is probably hands down, the best player on Bama's team, why take points away from Ingram in a race he could win?
Do you have a Butkus vote Kevin? Did you vote Ingram first in that ballot?
There were 17 voters on the chart that were South region, or affiliated with and SEC school that left Ingram off. While I'm not surprised that people can be this petty, actually, yea I'm surprised. Do the rivalries run so deep you can't even put a Bama running back on your list?
Voting him third I can see, and hey at least he gets some points, but off the list? Have you watched any football at all this year?
Mark Ingram is the top running back, on the top team, with a coach that doesn't run him in the ground to pad his stats, who's still put up Heisman worthy numbers. Not only has he had his best performances against ranked opponents, he also carried the offense on his back through a tough midseason stretch for his quarterback. He runs, he blocks, he can catch, and he's not even in your top three?
He's in some west coast guy's ballot, and he hasn't seen him play 11 or 12 times like you have.
Shame on the following:
John Adams, The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Mike Griffith, The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Mike Strange, The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Wow, I guess Kiffin's not the only one taking shots.
Sammy Batten, Fayetteville Observer
Otis Kirk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Harry King, NW Arkansas Morning News
Wonder if Sammy, and Harry will leave Mallett off their list next year? Otis didn't this year.
David Ching, Athens Banner-Herald
Must still be blinded by last year's black out.
Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun
Meyer knows you love him, Pat.
Ted Lewis, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Ted was gonna put him on his ballot, but the clock ran out.
Rick Cleveland, Clarion Ledger (MS)
Rusty Hampton, Clarion Ledger (MS)
Kyle Veazey, Clarion Ledger (MS)
Mississippi is the brunt of many an Alabama joke. The joke's on Bama this time.
Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated
Andy is a South Region voter, and I have to say this one hurts. He's one of my favorite weekly guests on another local radio show, and he always paints the conference and Bama in a good light.
So there you go, there were quite a few more, but these are the ones that stuck out to me.
In the end, it is their vote to make how they choose, but it is hard to look at and not suspect a little bias.
Is Bama's lack of a Heisman that important to them that they would leave Ingram completely off their list?
Would they really blackball a college kid, just to take a shot at a program they don't like?
Sure seems like it.