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A homer vote for McFadden?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Football_Bat, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Smith runaway winner in final SHNS Heisman Poll
    Scripps Howard News Service
    With sidebar
    Scripps Howard News Service
    Some of the closest Heisman Trophy races in the esteemed award’s history have come in the past few years.
    This time around, though, there will be a pronounced absence of drama at the Downtown Athletic Club’s annual announcement ceremony in New York City on Saturday night.
    Troy Smith of Ohio State, a near-unanimous pick in the final weekly Scripps Howard Heisman poll, figures to win the national voting by one of the largest margins in Heisman history, the senior quarterback holding off all challengers in a brilliant season.
    When early favorite Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn faltered early and then Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson suffered a season-ending injury at midseason, the trophy became Smith’s to lose. He never came close to losing it.
    Smith received nine of 10 first-place votes from our panel, Arkansas do-it-all running back Darren McFadden getting the other. The Scripps poll has forecast the winner 16 of its 19 seasons, and the announcement Saturday likely will make it 17 of 20.
    McFadden, whose candidacy picked up steam as his Razorbacks kept winning, edged Quinn in a close race for second, with Michigan’s Mike Hart and West Virginia’s Steve Slaton finishing fourth and fifth.
    “From Game 1 through Game 12, Smith’s consistent excellence and leadership made him the epitome of what a Heisman Trophy winner is supposed to represent,” said poll voter Vahe Gregorian of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
    The Ohio State star needed no public-relations machine to boost his candidacy. The school’s only Smith-for-Heisman reminder was an intentionally subtle mailing in early November. It was a bronze-colored postcard with a likeness of the trophy under the words “THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.” Next to the embossed drawing of the trophy were the names and years of Ohio State’s six Heisman winners, with two-time winner Archie Griffin listed twice. Smith’s name didn’t appear on the postcard.
    Ohio State’s PR honchos knew they didn’t have to do much to stoke their man’s candidacy. They knew as long as the undefeated Buckeyes kept winning, and as long as Smith stayed healthy, he would likely be the winner.
    The Scripps voters were particularly taken with Smith’s remarkable knack for playing large in large games.
    “Without Troy Smith, Ohio State doesn’t win its two toughest games — Texas and Michigan,” said poll voter John Lindsay of Scripps Howard News Service. “Sure, he’s had a ton of help, but that’s what Heisman winners do — play great in the biggest games.”
    Poll voter Scott Cain of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette realizes voting for McFadden for the top spot makes him susceptible to criticism for supporting a player he regularly covers. But Cain still went with the enormously talented Razorbacks sophomore, denying Smith a unanimous selection in the poll.
    “I’m probably alone here, but I’ll take Darren McFadden,” Cain said. “Naturally, I become a homer by voting for a guy I cover. But are you a homer just because the most deserving player happens to play for the team you cover?
    “A compelling case can be made for Troy Smith, and he will win. But did anybody else notice he didn’t have to go against too many other bad boys, with a strength of schedule of 42nd? McFadden did equally impressive damage in the big games, too, with a tougher overall schedule (22nd).
    “McFadden runs. He also throws, catches and returns kicks, scoring touchdowns each way. My guess is that if McFadden had Ohio State’s talent surrounding him and the Buckeyes’ defense giving him the ball back frequently, he’d have clinched this thing weeks ago, like Smith.”

    But Smith, playing the most visible position on the nation’s No. 1 team, was too good to deny. He will shine in the spotlight in the Big Apple on Saturday night. The other candidates will be there to gawk at skyscrapers and ride in limos.
    Compiled by The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the Scripps Heisman poll is the longest-running weekly Heisman Trophy poll in the country, in its 20th year. There are 10 voters, two from each of five regions of the country. The tabulations are on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. First-place votes in parentheses.
    The final poll with statistics from last weekend:
    Name, Position, School, Statistics, Points.
    1. Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State, did not play, 49 (9).
    2. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas, 21 carries, 73 yards, TD pass, 28 (1).
    3. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame, did not play, 24.
    4. Michael Hart, RB, Michigan, did not play, 14.
    5. Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia, 23 carries, 112 yards, 2TDs, 10.
    Others: Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii, 7; John Beck, QB, BYU, 6; JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU, 4; Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers, 4; Jared Zabransky, QB, Boise, 2; Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee, 1; J. Laurinatis, LB, Ohio State, 1.
    The voters: Kirk Bohls (Austin American-Statesman); Scott Cain (Arkansas Democrat Gazette); Dennis Dodd (CBSSportsLine); Vahe Gregorian (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Mike Griffith (Knoxville News Sentinel); Randy Holtz (Rocky Mountain News); John Lindsay (Scripps Howard News Service); Michael Lewis (The Salt Lake Tribune); John Rohde (The Oklahoman); Michael Vega (The Boston Globe).
    (Contact Randy Holtz of the Rocky Mountain News at www.rockymountainnews.com.)
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Playing to the local crowd, I suppose. And who's to say that's wrong?

    My former boss here didn't vote for homestate hero Eli Manning ... and took a terrible beating in the public arena over it, including a few people being personally ugly about it. Idiots.
  3. alanpagerules

    alanpagerules Member

    Actually, I know someone else who voted for McFadden. So he's not alone at least.
  4. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    If I had a vote, I would have gone with McFadden.
  5. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden New Member

    I've been touting these same things for a few weeks now. McFadden is the biggest difference-maker in college football this year, hands down. And Cain didn't even mention that the majority of McFadden's numbers have been compliled while taking handoffs from a true freshman QB. Defenses HAVE to focus on McFadden, and he's still been the man. And I have no ties to Arkansas whatsoever.
  6. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    Homer-ism always occurs in the voting for the Heis-sham. I know they used to show voting by region (can't recall if they still do), and certain voting "bias" was always apparent (not always with the first-place vote, but often in the second and third) based on the results.
  7. I tried to justify a McFadden vote because he is the best player I personally saw this year, but Smith's numbers -- and his value to a truly excellent team -- are worthy of the top vote.

    ps: Ian Johnson is a bad, bad, bad man. Can't believe he didn't get one lousy vote in this Scripps poll.
  8. whatgives

    whatgives New Member

    Voting McFadden firist is no crime, although I'm sure that dude is a homer and probably had Casey Dick on his ballot too.
  9. Never thought I'd see Casey Dick's name on this message board. I'm sure he's quite proud.
  10. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    And on a Heisman thread, no less.
  11. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    Having lived in Arkansas for several years, I believe the Democrat-Gazette would never be a homer for the Hogs. (Where's that button to turn on the sarcasm font?)
  12. Interesting to see what reaction Scott Cain would have gotten had he worked somewhere other than in Arkansas? Any? Maybe just a mention of his name?

    For the record, I just got through putting McFadden second. Smith is the obvious choice, but it might have made it interesting if McFadden played for a more in-the-spotlight school.
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