Our projection: Tebow, McFadden, Brennan, Daniel

Well, we're now up to 239 actual H------ Trophy ballots declared, which is the most we've ever had. We were extra-cautious this year, because it was apparent early on that this wouldn't be a landslide win like Reggie Bush's win in 2005 or Troy Smith's win in 2006.

But we're feeling confident now that we know the order of finish among all four finalists - Tim Tebow, Darren McFadden, Colt Brennan, and Chase Daniel.

It was those last two that gave us fits. In the early returns, Daniel was solidly ahead - but Brennan just kept moving up.

Here's the numbers as of early Friday morning. We're projecting Tim Tebow with 2045 points, or 73.8%; Darren McFadden with 1510 points, or 54.5%; Colt Brennan with 514 points, or 18.5%, and Chase Daniel with 364 points, or 13.1%.

We'll continue to update our projection until Saturday morning, in order to get the vote percentages just right. If the current numbers hold up, that'll make him a Top Eight winner of the Trophy, right behind Tony Dorsett's 75%.

And that, by the way, is how you compare past winners to the current winner. You can't compare vote totals or margins of victory or first-place ballots, because the number of votes changes each year. When OJ Simpson won, there were 1200 voters. It's mathematically impossible for a winner today to get as many votes as he did. Fortunately, the math is easy. There are 924 voters this year. A unanimous #1 selection would earn 924x3 points, or 2772 points. Get the percentage and you know how he ranks. Here's the list of all former winners, ranked by percentage vote.

On a personal note, after reading several hundred columns (and getting dozens of emails) from Trophy voters, I feel like I know these four candidates pretty well. Each of 'em would fit nicely into the elite group of former winners.

I'm looking forward to Saturday night.

Kari Chisholm | December 7, 2007 | Comment on This Post (18 so far)
Permalink: Our projection: Tebow, McFadden, Brennan, Daniel



Here's hoping your projections are as accurate as usual.
Congratulations on an awesome website, with far more than guessing and opinion to drive it along.

Posted by: AnonaGator | Dec 7, 2007 3:54:37 AM

There is definitely not a more deserving player in America this year than Tim Tebow. The young man's conduct on and off the field exemplifies the very best in collegiate athletics. Congrats, Tim, you have earned this. Now for the three-peat.

Posted by: Ideal | Dec 7, 2007 4:46:59 AM

I agree with your last comment. All of these men are amazing players with exceptional character, and I would be proud to have any of them represent my school. Best wishes for each of their futures!

Posted by: g8trdave | Dec 7, 2007 7:16:02 AM

These are all great players--they wouldn't be going to NY if they weren't. But I hope Tim pulls out the win. He has made all of us in the Gator Nation proud with the way he plays on the field and the way he behaves off the field. We are lucky to have such an amazing player as part of the UF family!

Posted by: DCG8R | Dec 7, 2007 8:48:46 AM

Just an observation...if two candidates of hypothetically the same caliber are up for the Heisman in different years, wouldn't the caliber of their competition affect their percentage and therefore their ranking.

All I'm saying is, if McFadden had gone pro last year, I think Tebow's percentage would be much, much higher. And I'm willing to bet the same for past candidates.

Percentage ranking IS the most accurate way to rank them, I agree. But what I'm trying to say is, each Heisman winner is in a league of their own.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 7, 2007 9:02:39 AM

DMAC was robbed last year. That is the sad part.

Posted by: SG | Dec 7, 2007 9:10:35 AM

Tebow does deserve it and I am very happy about that. I am still angry over the Crouch/Grossman deal!

However, I agree with the poster above. If Troy Smith had played in the SEC, well we all saw what happened with that. Bottom line is McFadden should have won last year.

Posted by: Mel | Dec 7, 2007 9:51:31 AM

Excellent work Kari. I enjoy the buid up as votes come in to see who is going to win the heisman. It beats the 1 hour snooze fest ESPN puts on before the announcent.

Posted by: Dave | Dec 7, 2007 11:04:38 AM

I like your last comment, on how any of the four finalist would fit in the ranks of the current elite. shows a lot of class. Your projections (and research) fall where I would expect. excellent job!

Posted by: lplimac | Dec 7, 2007 1:00:10 PM

Steve... You are absolutely right. The vote totals don't compare how good player are from year to year. They just compare how much they dominated the competition in their own year, which has everything to do with the quality of the competition.

One other thing: There have been many more landslide winners in the age of ESPN, and even more in the age of the internet... mostly because more voters see more games and read more coverage. It's easier for a national consensus to form.

Nile Kinnick of Iowa (1939) is generally considered one of the most dominant football players in history. In 1939, he played both sides of the ball, 402 of the 420 minutes the team played. He threw, he ran, he punted, he played defense. In eight games, the team scored 19 touchdowns -and he was in on 16 of them. He ste 14 team records, and six of them still stand. He won every major award that year, including AP athlete of the year (beating Joe DiMaggio and Joe Louis.)

Winning the Trophy, Kinnick only got 31% of a unanimous vote. Back then, people voted for the best player in their region - they didn't see any others. But that doesn't mean he didn't dominate college football in 1939.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Dec 7, 2007 3:25:59 PM


Great points. And I'm glad to see someone knows who Nile Kinnick was.

The sad part is that the one who knows also happens to be the one who runs the sight, lol. I hope some more knowledgable posts follow from more than just yourself.

Alright, so I'll go back to just being a Gator student and fan who'll be enjoying Saturday night's show.

Btw, Kari, if you ever need an entry level employee, I'm currently unemployed and in need of money for school.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 7, 2007 4:12:49 PM

Great job,Kari.I'm very impressed with your site and your knowledge.
For another historical perspective, until the 1960's racism obviously played a big part in the voting.No black player won until Ernie Davis in 1961.
Probably the greatest injustice was the great Jim Brown being shunned in 1956.Easily the top college player in America for Syracuse, I don't believe he even placed.Paul Hornung of Notre Dame won the trophy on a team with a 2-8 record!Johnny Majors of undefeated Tennessee came in second on probably the last great single wing team.
This travesty is the blackest mark in the awards history.Thankfully this disgraceful conduct among the voters could never happen today.

Posted by: Doug Fennema | Dec 7, 2007 6:31:19 PM

ESPN is saying that this years Heisman vote has the highest number of ballots ever returned from the voter's. Makes you wonder if their trying to vote a sophomore the winner or keep him from winning.

Posted by: Barbara DeMonte | Dec 8, 2007 4:45:16 AM

The above post is interesting. The highest number of ballots ever returned by the voters.

Whats the average for heisman ballots to be turned in?

Posted by: Dave | Dec 8, 2007 12:19:20 PM

Heisman Heisman HEISMAN.

/whiny i want my way voice

Seriously, you cannot use the name Heisman on you site? That's farked.

Posted by: Joe T. Heisman | Dec 8, 2007 3:35:38 PM

Dave,the average is about 85 percent of the voters responding.
And you are right.That was an excellent analytical comment by Barbara.
Tebow should still prevail in my opinion ,although sports media people are the last bastion of liberalism.

Posted by: Winchester 73 | Dec 8, 2007 3:41:06 PM

Yup - the average "voter turnout" is 85%. In landslide years, like the last two, you'd expect to see below-average turnout - since people figure their vote won't matter.

This year? It seemed much closer. That's partly why I held out for a while, when some commenters were demanding that we call it. But the gap looks big enough.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Dec 8, 2007 4:16:53 PM

WOW!!! Can you believe it 96% of the ballots were returned!!! Kari, Do you know if there has there ever been another year that the voter's returned anywhere near as many ballots?

Posted by: Barbara DeMonte | Dec 8, 2007 8:22:21 PM

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