The Heisman Trophy is upon us this evening. I haven't been able to sleep lately - the excite being too much to bare. We know the four candidates that have been invited to New York: Darren McFadden, Chase Daniel, Tim Tebow and that pass-slinging quarterback from Hawaii, Colt Brennan. Tebow could break the mold if he wins it as a sophomore. Given the hype around Tebow is there any doubt it's his?
Oh, but I kid. The Heisman trophy is the most over-rated trophy in any sport and there are more reasons than hype. What the Heisman trophy does is give an excuse for media types who don't follow college football to open their mouths and start spewing as if they've followed the sport.
An example? Heisman voters are guilty of ageism. Puhlleease. It doesn't have anything to do with ageism. Heisman voters have traditionally given the award to upperclassmen because they're aware of the doom it carries. Need some names? Troy Smith, Jason White, Gino Toretta, Chris Weinke, even Nebraska's own Eric Crouch. All of them went into title games where they were destroyed.
Tim Tebow will win it this evening and everyone will talk about how the age barrier has been broken. Former Heisman trophy winners will congratulate him, calling him one of the best ever and then step aside, knowing that the poor bastard is doomed to suck for the rest of his college days.
At least that's what I hope happens. I have nothing against Tim Tebow, but I have a lot against over-marketed bullshit which is what the Heisman has been for quite a few years. Earlier this season I reviewed Stewart Mandel's "Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls" in which he dedicates a chapter to the Heisman Trophy.
The most striking part of the chapter is his review of the 923 Heisman voters (as of 2005). There are 52 winners who vote and one online poll, leaving 870 "other voters" of which Mandel states:
Are there really 870 people who cover college football closely enough to merit a Heisman vote? Are there even 87? Let's do the math for a second. Figure that each of the 119 Division IA teams has an average of four full-time beat writers (some of the big name programs have far more, and some of the Sun Belt and WAC teams are lucky to have one). That's 476.
There are about 25 so-called "national writers," who, like myself, don't cover one team specifically. Let's put the new total at a cool 500. Who, then, are the other 370?
I won't give away the rest of his argument, but suffice it to say that there aren't 370 people who should be picking the Heisman trophy winner. (For the record, I really think Mandel's book is one that every dedicated college football fan read so that we all fully understand the insanity of the sport we love so much. Christmas is coming.)
For me, the Heisman is in the 'who gives a crap' category and it's there because it's bullshit factor is too high to take it seriously. So, which is it for you? Who gives a crap or a great award? Do you pay attention to it - are you going to be watching the ceremony? Or do you watch it only because you're used to watching football on Saturday and when it comes on, you'll go "Oh, the Heisman Trophy Presentation" kind of like you either stepped in dog poop or found a $20 bill.
For those that care, Brian over at In the Bleachers has posted his Heisman ballot, and invites you to do the same.
As for me, I'll be more interested in watching what happens to Tebow over the next couple years after he wins that albatross.