Almost forgot to pass this long from earlier this week. As I was tying up some loose ends from my recent trip to the Apple Cup in Pullman, and my future visit to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, I got a friendly ring Tuesday from the "308."
"Um, Todd ... we need your Heisman Trophy vote ASAP!"
Oh, crap - that! Columnist John McGrath, who also gets to help select the top player in college football, had reminded me that the deadline was Dec. 7 ... but guess I didn't see it coming that soon.
So, guess who was the last guy to place the vote before the Heisman people released its four finalists - Oregon running back LaMichael James, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton?
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So I figured I'd let the readers in on my selection - with one premise in mind: Facts and numbers.
It made my pick easy - Newton.
Yes, with the recent Reggie Bush giving-back-my-Heisman transaction for receiving improper benefits while at Southern California, a good-citizen emphasis has certainly formed. Statistics are great - even mandated - but the other off-the-field stuff has to be in order, too.
The where-there's-smoke, there's-fire allegations swirling around Newton that he/his father sought out SEC schools who would handsomely pay for the talented quarterback's services has certainly impacted the voters.
Some left Newton off the ballot completely.
That's not to say Newton had been my No. 1 choice all along. In fact, most of the season I was leaning toward Moore, who is from Prosser in Eastern Washington.
In a span of a few days in late November, my consideration swayed for good in Newton's direction ... because:
1, The NCAA cleared the Tigers' star from wrongdoing.2, For my money, Newton (3,998 total yards, 48 total touchdowns this season) led the season's best comeback against Alabama, down 24-0, only to win 28-27 on the road.3, Boise State lost at Nevada.
So, my ballot was ...1, Newton.2, Moore.3, Luck.