Projections, polls, and predictions: how did they turn out?

Before the announcement, we took a look at the various projections, polls, and predictions out there. So, how'd everybody do?

Stiff Arm TrophyIngramGerhartSuhMcCoyTebow
Scripps-HowardIngramSuhGerhartMcCoyTebow & Spiller
Heisman Pundit PollIngramGerhartMcCoy & SuhMoore
ESPN Heisman WatchGerhart & IngramSuhMcCoyTebow & Spiller
CBS Heisman WatchGerhartIngramMooreMcCoySuh
NBC Experts PollIngramGerhartSuhMcCoySpiller
USA TodayIngramGerhartMcCoy & SuhMoore
Sports IllustratedSuhIngramGerhartMcCoyMcClain
ESPN PredictorMcCoyIngramGerhart 
Heisman Pundit, himselfMcCoyIngramGerhartTebowSpiller

Joining Stiff Arm Trophy in picking Mark Ingram as the winner were the Scripps-Howard poll, the Heisman Pundit poll, the NBC experts poll, USA Today's voters. We'll also give the ESPN Heisman Watch poll credit, as they called for a tie between Ingram and Toby Gerhart - and it was the closest Trophy outcome ever.

Predicting Gerhart as the runner-up were all of the above - except Scripps-Howard, who had Ndamukong Suh in the #2 spot.

Who got the top two wrong? Sports Illustrated's voters had Suh and Ingram in the top two. The stats-based ESPN Heisman Predictor had Colt McCoy and Ingram. The CBS Heisman Watch experts poll had Gerhart defeating Ingram. Chris Huston, the Heisman Pundit himself, personally predicted that it'd be McCoy and Ingram as well.

How about the surprise #3 finish for McCoy - well ahead of Suh? No one got that right, including us. And probably for the same reason.

Stiff Arm Trophy was the only projection to correctly peg Tim Tebow as the fifth-place finisher (though ESPN's poll and the SHNS poll both had a Tebow/Spiller tie for fifth.)

Kari Chisholm | December 13, 2009 | Comment on This Post (5 so far)
Permalink: Projections, polls, and predictions: how did they turn out?



The prediction for the top two was very well done. Why do you think you were so far off on the McCoy and Suh projections?

Posted by: Tom Vlach | Dec 13, 2009 5:26:26 PM

We were surprised by the third-place finish of Colt McCoy. He earned 198 points more than we expected. Tim Tebow, who placed fifth (as we projected), earned 100 points more than we expected. In retrospect, it's clear that voters who voted for McCoy and Tebow were underrepresented in our sample - likely because they didn't want public disclosure.

Ndamukong placed fourth; also a surprise. We projected 1191 points, and he earned only 815. (It's worth noting that that's the highest total for a fourth-place finisher in history, according to ESPN.) Why did Suh perform poorly compared to our projection? Most likely, the voters who voted for him - essentially arguing for an historic selection of a defensive lineman - were substantially more likely to publicly disclose their ballots.

It's almost certain that it was a combination of the "embarrassment" factor and the "campaigning" factor that led to McCoy and Suh being swapped in our projection.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Dec 13, 2009 11:19:52 PM

Hi kari, I do not think you should be surprised that McCoy finished 3rd. We even discussed the possibility that McCoy's vote total would be skewed because 10% of the ballots were turned in before the conference championship game. The question was asked about the embarrassment of voters to publicly admit they voted for McCoy.

Did you ever consider using a formula or just an educated case that would give McCoy more first place votes based on the strong probability that many McCoy voters were not going to go public with their votes?

Congrats again kari. Job well done.

Posted by: Dave | Dec 14, 2009 11:37:05 AM

Any idea why the regional numbers do not add up to the reported vote totals? I'd understand if they were low...but Gerhart's regionals add up to more than his total. Is this just a reporting error on the AP?

Posted by: BTT | Dec 14, 2009 12:29:38 PM

Heisman is a joke

Posted by: terrible | Dec 24, 2009 2:45:08 PM

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