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The Heisman race is as close -- and contentious -- as it has ever been. At the very least, and I make this clear in today's SN column, I hope Tim Tebow voted for himself... given the regional bias, there's no guarantee he wasn't inexplicably left out of the Top 3 on plenty of ballots throughout Big 12 Country.
The Heisman finalists are set: Tebow, Bradford and McCoy. I know those are the Top 3 vote-getters, but the Heisman Trust couldn't invite Graham Harrell and, say, Michael Crabtree? In the case of the Heisman, "getting to New York" (the equivalent to the Oscars' "honor just being nominated") is a big deal, and they should be more inclusive, not less.
The vote appears too close to call. Unless all voters publicly reveal their ballots -- and, by the way, they should; there should be nothing "secret" about this balloting -- we won't really know until Saturday night.
From early voting patterns available at StiffarmTrophy.com -- collaborative, open-source Heisman reporting if ever there was (that guy needs to set up a Wiki of known ballots) -- it looks like it will be Sam Bradford. Intriguingly, Tim Tebow will net the most 1st-place votes, but there are a fair number of ballots where he doesn't even appear in the Top 3 (including the Heisman "fan vote") -- hmm... Tebow Fatigue? Undoubtedly.
I'm sure this will shock you, but my vote would go to Tebow. But remember, before the season, I thought he had no chance; as recently as last Saturday, I don't think he had clinched it, but the SEC title game clinched it for me.
I'll dig into this later, because I was thinking a lot about it last night, but I'm trying to separate "Tebow is MY FAVORITE college football player ever" from "Tebow is the best college football player THIS SEASON" from my opinion that "Tebow is THE BEST college football player ever." There's a lot intertwined in there.
Meanwhile, Putz and K-Rod may be the best set-up/closer combo in MLB. But sounds like Putz doesn't want to BE a set-up guy.
More Hot Stove: Did the Nats offer Mark Teixeira 8Y/$160M? Is that enough to get him? (Cripes: How crazy is his market if that would be considered taking a "hometown discount.") As a Nats fan, I'm torn: I love the idea of them having a franchise player; I hate the idea that they are paying so much for him. What's wrong with the way the Rays built their team? I don't need to win now (especially at bloated cost) -- I need to see that there is progress and improvement... a plan.
Carmelo scores 33 in a quarter: It's not quite 81 for a game, but it's pretty freaking impressive. Hasn't been matched in 30 of years, so Melo out-did Jordan, Bird, Iverson, Kobe... any of the scoring machines of the 80s and 90s. I think this needs more appreciation.
NBA Trade Mania: Jason Richardson on the Suns is intriguing, when you line him up next to Amare and Steve Nash. Not sure what the Bobcats are doing, but isn't trading J-Rich a bit of a repudiation (yet another repudiation) of Michael Jordan's skills as an executive? Wasn't acquiring Richardson his Big Move? Seriously: Worst NBA Exec Ever.
CFB: Dan Mullen to Mississippi State. Look, he's young and has never been a head coach before, but he is Urban Meyer's No. 1 protege and he is the mentor of Tim Tebow. And he's getting his first crack at being an HBC in the SEC, which is rough, but big-time.
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Complete SN column here. More later.