Monday, December 14, 2009

Reform The Heisman Process

Last point about the Heisman vote before we pack it away until next season: Everything that is wrong with the current system -- petty regionalism, ignorance, bloat, lack of transparency -- is on display in this quote from a voter, published by the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin:
"The reason that I voted for Ingram, Tebow and McCoy was because I saw them play the most. I never saw Gerhart play an entire game (we work all day Saturday and Saturday night) and only saw a few minutes of Suh’s game against Texas. I refused to vote for somebody based on highlights. And I think you have to represent your part of the country; in fact, there used to be fine print on the paper ballots that instructed balloters to vote “with regard to your region.” However, I think it’s wrong to leave a player off your ballot completely just to help a player from your region, as apparently the case with some Big 12 voters on Tebow year. So I, too, an still unhappy about that injustice."
Good god. I shouldn't have to say more, but I will:

The Heisman Trust needs to have a review of all voter credentials. (I like Volin's approach to limit voting to the former winners and a limited, even rotating, group of media experts who would have to debate the decision around a table, not unlike the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)

But, more simply, it just needs to be transparent: I want to know who this quote is from. I want to know who everyone voted for. I want to know, because if the Heisman is truly the most prestigious individual award in sports, the fans have a right to know how it is determined.

-- D.S.

1 comment:

MizzouHoops said...

Here is my idea…

Allow voters to vote multiple times throughout the season. Maybe every few weeks, or for the last month of the season. Let them do a top 10, or whatever they feel like. Tabulate all votes throughout the season and anoint the winner based on those votes.

I am not trying to overburden the voters, but I think this year is a glaring example about how one game, at the end, will shift voters.

Let’s look at the top four from this year. Ingram had an amazing game vs Florida. McCoy had an awful game vs Nebraska. Suh had an amazing game vs Nebraska. Gerhart had an amazing last game, but didn’t play the final week of the season.

The week before, though, Ingram had 30 yards vs Auburn and McCoy had 5 TDs vs A&M. gerhart had 200 yds vs Notre Dame. Had the season ended then, McCoy would be our Heisman winner, Gerhart second. Suh wouldn’t have been invited to New York.

As it was, Ingram amazed everyone in “Shanoff’s Most Hyped Game EVER” and McCoy threw three INTs in the final game

I think Ingram was deserving of the award (wouldn’t have had my vote, but there is a strong argument for him), but with 92% of the votes coming in after the SEC and Big 12 championships, I can almost guarantee that votes were swayed by those singular games. This should be an award you win throughout the season, not just your most recent game.

I would make it so that voters couldn’t vote until October at the earliest, as to not have any of the preseason hype affect a vote. Maybe they even take this theory and weigh the weeks heavier as the season rolls on.

Just a thought that has been running through my head.