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Monday, December 6, 2010

Heisman Trophy vote officially submitted; Auburn awaits news about multiple awards today

I officially submitted my Heisman Trophy balllot last night. This is the first time in three years that I've had a vote where I didn't have to think too hard about my order. I went with:
  1. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
  2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
  3. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Newton was the obvious pick in my mind. Quite honestly the best college football player I've seen (that carries less weight considering I've only been covering it since 1998, but still). Spare me the moral outcry about the NCAA's investigation into his recruitment. He was ruled eligible and hasn't missed any games (nor was he ruled retroactively ineligible for any games, so they still count). That's good enough for me.

James is outstanding and consistently put up big numbers for the Ducks, regardless of competition. He leads the nation in rushing, so I put him second. Luck got the nod at No. 3, although I just as easily could have put Michigan's Denard Robinson in that spot. It's not his fault the Wolverines had no defense.

The Heisman finalists will be announced this evening, once the votes are tabulated. The winner will be named Saturday in New York (I'll be there, by the way).

But Auburn is up for some other pretty big awards today. Here they are:
  • Head coach Gene Chizik is in the running for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, which will be revealed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Chiiz's competition is Wisconsin's Bret Bielema, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, Oregon's Chip Kelly, TCU's Gary Patterson and Boise State's Chris Peterson.
  • Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is up for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes to college football's top assistant. It will be announced at a banquet at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, Ark. Malzahn is up agaainst TCU defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The only other Auburn coach to win the award? Chizik, as defensive coordinator in 2004.
  • And lastly, defensive tackle Nick Fairley is up for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the FWAA Defensive Player of the Year. It will be presented at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Other finalists include Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Georgie linebacker Justin Houston, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. Fairley has 21 tackles for a loss and 10.5 tackles for a loss this year.


Anonymous said...

Any word about Malzahn and if they are going to try to get an extension done or anything because him taking a head coaching job rumors has got to hurt recruiting.

Andy Bitter said...

I don't think an extension will prevent Malzahn from taking a head coaching job if he wants one.

Schools don't pay assistants $2 million. But they do pay head coaches that much. If a school comes calling and there's mutual interest, I don't know what Auburn can do money-wise to prevent that from happening.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

James is good, but Oregon's best player is Darron Thomas.

Robert said...


Mike Bianchi seems to be projecting the "Against Cam Newton no matter what anyone says" kind of attitude. Do you think there are a lot of voters out there with this same mindset or is Bianchi just trying to rock the boat?

Andy Bitter said...

I think some writers are coming off a little pious in this whole thing. We're not electing the pope. We're voting for a football award.

And I think it's unfair for Newton to feel some kind of backlash for the Reggie Bush fiasco. Bush's family got benefits, thus affecting his eligibility. Newton's family -- as much as we know right now -- did not. That's a pretty striking difference there.

As for Oregon's best player, either one deserves an argument. James leads the nation in rushing, though. That should count for something.

Anonymous said...

Be stupid for Auburn to not pay Malzhan at least 2.5 million we wouldnt be where we are based on our defense or special teams.

RW said...

Does Todd van Emst's camera have a Daniel Moore setting on it or something? I have seen quite a few epic-looking pictures of his from this season.

Andy Bitter said...

Well, Chizik makes $2.1 million, so that won't happen.

And the most I can remember a coordinator making per year was Monte Kiffin's $1 million salary at Tennessee.

Marcus said...

That's not a complete list of all the awards that Cam and Fairley are finalists for is it? I believe Cam is a finalist for the O'Brien, Manning, Walter Camp, & Maxwell awards (in addition to the Heisman). And Fairley is a finalist for the Lombardi & Bednarik Awards (in addition to the Nagurski).

It's going to be a busy award circuit for those guys.

wareaglemel said...

Do you know what time the Heisman finalists announcement will be? War Eagle!

Andy Bitter said...

These are just the awards that are announced today. Some are Dec. 9. Some later than that.

I believe the Heisman stuff comes out in the evening. Ballots aren't due until 5 p.m. ET.

postermom said...

You mean we can vote for the Pope? Are the nominees present at these ceremonies?

postermom said...

I had no idea the pope was elected by sports writers. I wonder if Frank Sinatra knew about that? And I wonder which one had the most ypg?

MikeP said...

If a good head coaching job becomes available to Coach Malzahn there is no amount of money that will keep him from taking that job. It's about much more than money.

I don't see a job he'd like coming open this year so I expect him to be coaching our offense again next year.

Sooner or later, if you have great assistants they are going to get an opportunity to move up. That's how you get the next great one, just show him where prior assistants have moved up.

As long as we don't lose Coach Chizik we're in great shape!

Anonymous said...

Andy, will you know who wins the Heisman before the general public or will you find out when the rest of America does? If you know before, is that something you will post on prior to the award show?