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Today, as folks try and figure out which of the candidates are going to win, there's a bunch of stories talking about's projection work.

For Sports Illustrated, Stewart Mandel writes:

"So far, 2008 looks to be the closest Heisman race since the one between Eric Crouch and Rex Grossman in 2001," said Kari Chisholm, a political consultant in Oregon and who runs the Web site "But it's even more interesting, since it's a three-way race -- which may make it the closest race of all time."

Over the past six years, Chisholm's site has correctly projected the winner every single time, and, even more impressively, come within about 2.5 percent each year of nailing the winner's vote total. He does it by contacting as many actual Heisman voters as possible (last year: 249), finding out how they voted, then weighting the collected ballots based on how many of them come from each of the six Heisman voting regions.

How close is this year's race? As of Thursday afternoon, Chisholm had attained 195 ballots (there are 926 registered voters), of which Tebow had received 74 first-place votes, Bradford 62 and McCoy 55. However, because a disproportionate number of his collected ballots had come from the South (where Tebow is dominating), and because Tebow had received far fewer second-place votes (31) than either Bradford (69) or McCoy (58), Chisholm's projected finish (which could change as more votes are collected) was:

1) Bradford (1,687 points)
2) McCoy (1,516)
3) Tebow (1,446)

If those numbers hold up, it will mark the third-closest margin between No. 1 and No. 3 in the past 50 years. But with plenty more ballots still to collect, and with the known "margin of error," Chisholm had yet to officially project a winner.

On the jump, the Sun-Sentinel, the Oregonian, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch all talk about

At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Vahe Gregorian notes:

But as of Thursday morning, the most comprehensive Heisman predictor — — had accumulated through one means or another 180 of the 926 official votes.

Bradford was leading with 331 points, Tebow was second with 330 and McCoy third with 297. Tebow had 70 first-place votes, Bradford 58 and McCoy 48. Harrell had one and a total of 18 points.

The site is run by political strategist Kari Chisholm of Mandate Media in Oregon and it has correctly predicted in all six of its previous efforts.

But Chisholm cautions that he has learned of three times as many votes in the Southwest and South regions as he has in the Far West and Northeast. The other two equally represented regions are the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The areas without players in contention figure to be harder to predict.

The Oregonian's Ryan White says:

What about the Heisman Trophy ceremony? That's Saturday. People love Heisman columns. There's even intrigue this year. Portland's Kari Chisholm, who follows this stuff at his site, shows Oklahoma's Sam Bradford up -- but barely.

Randall Mell, writing for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:

The vote's expected to be among the closest in Heisman history.'s sampling of 180 of 926 voters Thursday afternoon showed a tight race with Bradford slightly ahead of Tebow and McCoy but the outcome still up for grabs. Tebow had the most first-place votes with 70 to Bradford's 58 and McCoy's 48, but Bradford was leading in overall points 331-310 thanks to twice as many second-place votes as Tebow.

"It would take an hour-long process to try to figure out who I would vote for," Bradford said. "It's a good thing I'm not a voter."

Kari Chisholm | December 12, 2008 | Comment on This Post (36 so far)
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Glad to see your hard work is getting some recognition! Congrats and get well!

Posted by: Tom Merritt | Dec 12, 2008 4:28:30 PM

We are 24 hours away when do you forsee your prodiction. 6:55 pm central time?

Posted by: dj biship | Dec 12, 2008 4:49:52 PM

Is it just me, or does it seem that voters putting Tebow first also seem to select Bradford and McCoy, while voters for Bradford (and maybe McCoy) seem more likely to leave Tebow off their ballot at all?

While I'm rambling, how does one get selected to have a Heisman vote? How does one lose their vote (like the guy mentioned in earlier posts that called this site a fraud)? Should there be some rotation of voters? Should winners votes count for more than sports writers seeing as they know what the whole process is really about and their efforts, strengths, weaknesses, etc? Just a thought.

Posted by: duane | Dec 12, 2008 5:38:12 PM

A friend said he heard on the radio that the Heisman committee has asked Archie to present the trophy? Which would suggest Tim is the winner? I can't confirm this, just wondering if anyone else had heard, OR if there is a way to find out. Thoughts?

Posted by: Joe Silver | Dec 12, 2008 6:04:08 PM

How tainted will the Heisman now become for leaving Harrell out of the mix?
Bradford deserves the win, but it should be McCoy and Harrell standing beside him, and 'no numbers Tebow' should be sitting in the audience. Something needs to be fixed at the New York Athletic Club when such a travisty is allowed to occur. Even if there were 5 or 6 on that stage, Tebow would still deserve nothing more than a seat in the audience, he did nothing to earn it other than have the ESPN oafs fall in love with him. Sad situation, and props to Harrell for the way he has handled this outrageous snub.

Posted by: LB | Dec 12, 2008 6:06:46 PM

Duane, the guy didn't lose his vote, he gave it up in 1991, along with voting in any polls, for all-conference teams, etc. He said he figured his job was to write about the news, not make it.

Posted by: MartzMimic | Dec 12, 2008 6:07:52 PM

Archie presents the Wendys High School Heisman. I'm guessing your friend just misheard that.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Dec 12, 2008 7:22:26 PM

and the committee has no idea who won yet (they find out when we do), so if they did invite archie to present it, it would be a coincidence, or just on the off chance superman might win.

Posted by: z | Dec 12, 2008 7:43:21 PM

LB, you're probably heard this a million times already everytime someone talks about the Heisman, but in case you missed it (or keep tuning out because you're a Graham Harrell fan), here goes again... The Heisman is not about numbers, but, as the Heisman award clearly states, about selecting "the most outstanding player in collegiate football." Of the 200 or so ballots revealed on this site, it appears that some people understand that. The Heisman is not "tainted" because Harrell was not invited to NY. The selection as to whom was invited was made after the votes had come in, which apparently did not favor him. Had he received more votes, he would be visiting NY with the others.

As for "no numbers Tebow," he's matured into a better decision-maker, a better leader, a more capable quarterback at reading defenses, etc etc etc. Bottom line -- an even better player than he was last year, when, oddly enough, he was considered the most outstanding player in collegiate football.

I think Harrel has had an incredible year and am surprised that he has not recieved more support from "those in the know." He seems to have been shafted over a last second loss in one game. QB's don't play defense and he did everything he could possibly do to get the win for his team. Had it not been for the defense and their lack of tackling, who knows how the situation may have played out. This is not, though, Tebow's fault, so keep your rantings to yourself. I also give props to Harrell for how he has handled this situation - as for you, I cannot do the same.

Posted by: duane | Dec 12, 2008 7:45:26 PM

dj biship - there is no need to make a final "prediction" - the numbers speak for themselves. based on the votes this site has collected, which dwarfs any other site, the current prediction is that bradford wins with about 60% of unanimous. if more votes come in before tomorrow's announcement, those will be more accurate numbers. there's no magic here, other than the weighting of ballots by regions.

Posted by: z | Dec 12, 2008 7:47:08 PM

MartzMimic - ah yes, thank you. I now remember hearing that when I viewed his video.

Posted by: duane | Dec 12, 2008 7:48:56 PM

duane, i'm not sure former winners make the most informed decisions. i think they might have ulterior motives. did you notice tebow is in a neck-and-neck race (within a few percentage points) across the whole country, but of the FMRs, he has 1 point out of 33? you think they might be concerned about what a 2x or 3x winner does to the reputation of 1x winners? or maybe, on a nicer note, they figure TT is already part of the club, and someone new should join. whatever the explanation, there is a huge disparity there.

Posted by: z | Dec 12, 2008 7:52:40 PM

Harrel has only garnered 2% of the vote. Sorry, getting 2% does not get you a trip to NY to be a Heisman finalist.

Posted by: David | Dec 12, 2008 8:01:59 PM

When's the next update.. surely Kari will have the kahuna's to make his prediction tonight.....

Posted by: p | Dec 12, 2008 8:06:08 PM

Come on Kari, make that last prediction...we're waiting!!

Posted by: chris | Dec 12, 2008 8:09:30 PM

Good points Z. Along the same lines, I'm surprised they are going for another sophomore, since that seemed to be such a big deal before last year. I guess I had thought that previous winners would be a little more unbiased than what your statements show.

Posted by: duane | Dec 12, 2008 8:16:22 PM

yea some kahunas and make a prediction tonight

Posted by: p | Dec 12, 2008 8:42:36 PM

I think the term is cajones. Kahunas are Hawaiian spiritual leaders.

Posted by: AlohaDude | Dec 12, 2008 9:34:26 PM

I think Tebow's in a neck and neck race because ESPN made getting a win for him their personal project. It's worked the way they almost got Texas into the Big 12 Championship by getting a significant number of coaches to change their vote despite the fact that OU had an impressive away win against a ranked team, and Texas beat the worst team in the Big Twelve South at home. I agree with the Heisman winners: to win twice, you should be an easy choice, Tebow is too close to the other two, and frankly, doesn't have Bradford's numbers. I don't see any obvious reason to pick him over Bradford, and I think that is reason enough not to give it to him twice.

Posted by: TM | Dec 12, 2008 10:25:30 PM

I think Tebow's in a neck and neck race because ESPN made getting a win for him their personal project. It's worked the way they almost got Texas into the Big 12 Championship by getting a significant number of coaches to change their vote despite the fact that OU had an impressive away win against a ranked team, and Texas beat the worst team in the Big Twelve South at home. I agree with the Heisman winners: to win twice, you should be an easy choice, Tebow is too close to the other two, and frankly, doesn't have Bradford's numbers. I don't see any obvious reason to pick him over Bradford, and I think that is reason enough not to give it to him twice.

Posted by: TM | Dec 12, 2008 10:25:36 PM


Posted by: JMA | Dec 13, 2008 1:26:47 AM

Not sure I understand the rush for wanting a prediction. I'd much rather he wait until he felt strongly that his prediction was going to be accurate than rush one out. In fact, if he said "I just don't have enough data to make a prediciton because its so close" I could totally respect that. Better to be accurate and preserve your integrity than try and make a prediction based on insufficient data.

Think of it this way. Imagine a barrel had 900 marbles in it, each one put there by a different guy. You poll 200 guys and the numbers come out to 66 marbles of each color (red, green, blue). Well, even though you have 200 samples the samples are all the same, so they don't help you at all. You couldn't make a prediction because it might be that even one marble is the difference.

Now in this case Bradford has a *slight* lead over the others, but only on the votes that we have right now. The lead is small enough that it could easily go away since we only have about 22% of the marbles.

If it really is that close a race, there may not be a prediction at all.

Posted by: George | Dec 13, 2008 2:06:47 AM

It is obvious that Tebow is popular with voters in Florida. I heard that he won the Southbeach vote in a manslide.

Posted by: Jeff | Dec 13, 2008 6:04:23 AM

George, i think you lost YOUR marbles.

Posted by: p | Dec 13, 2008 7:46:43 AM

It looks like it will come down to the Northeat, West Coast and Atlantic Coast vote. I'm a big Tebow fan, but if I was a betting man I would have to go with Bradford. Good point someone made earlier and I just checked the list of known voters - not a single former winner that is listed has Tim Tebow on their ballot.

Posted by: RCW | Dec 13, 2008 8:25:23 AM

If the votes for Tebow are from Florida, and they are already in then we have a problem. History tells us that 9 out 10 dead voters are registered in Florida and they vote democrat.

Posted by: ja | Dec 13, 2008 8:33:52 AM

Yes....Archie was invited along with all past Heisman winner are invited to attend every year. They will all line up on stage.

Posted by: nick | Dec 13, 2008 8:59:34 AM

Heh Stiffarm - You're losing a lot of credibility by not making regular updates. What's up with that? Decide to give up the projections business??

Posted by: BJ | Dec 13, 2008 9:23:11 AM

I'm with you BJ! What good is a projection site can't even provide regular updates? When do we get a projection, ten minutes after the ceremony ends?
Who cares about press releases that mention this site? I for one come here for updated information, which doesn't seem to be happening.

And Duane, I am not a big Harrell fan, I am a total Bradford fan. I just believe Harrell was the recepient of a huge injustice at the hands of the New York Athletic Club, and their less than stellar voting system.
And I stand firm that in my opinion, Tebow should not have been in the mix, there are bunch of QB's that led their teams to one loss seasons, and a bunch of those have better numbers than Tebow. Tebow is on that stage because he is a media darling that got major man-love from ESPN.

Posted by: LB | Dec 13, 2008 9:53:13 AM

LB, are you serious? he said in themorning. Do you know what time its in the west coast right now? This isn't a professional organization where they have the funding to do exit polls and projection the way abc, nbc, cbs does the election. This is Kari. You can't update when you dont have voting. Read the website and see how it's done before criticizing.

Posted by: superman | Dec 13, 2008 10:10:34 AM

superman - Stiffarm stated that his call would be posted this moring by 8:00 (it's after 10:00 on the west coast). He also said that he would be giving an update last night, which he didn't do. It just seems that he's disappeared, which makes you wonder if any of the information posted to date has any credibility at all...

Posted by: BJ | Dec 13, 2008 10:21:42 AM

I have only heard one observer state what seems very obvious, and I'm surprised it hasn't been a bigger topic because, to me, it gives some focus and perspective to this 3-way Heisman tussle.

If any one of either Bradford, Tebow or McCoy were the only quarterback in major contention for the Heisman Trophy this year and the other 2 were not around, there would be no question who would win. You could even put Graham Harrell into that equation, which he was before Oklahoma leveled him and Texas Tech so convincingly. The point is that all 3 QBs, 4 if you count Harrell in the mix, are deserving. How can you clearly choose among 3 or 4 winners such as these, all of whom have achieved at the highest level.

That being said, as to Tebow repeating as Heisman winner, I believe history is against him even though ESPN seems very prejuciced toward him.

Posted by: Larry Kelley | Dec 13, 2008 10:23:44 AM

This year is a serious letdown.

Posted by: William | Dec 13, 2008 10:56:13 AM

Kari has been ill so lets give him some slack. This site is far and away the best at Heisman projection.

Posted by: David | Dec 13, 2008 11:17:48 AM

Hey guys...

Final update coming in a few minutes. I promised it this morning, you'll get it this morning. There's been LOTS and LOTS of ballots coming in from the regions outside of the Southwest and South - which has been very helpful.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Dec 13, 2008 11:23:33 AM

I'd like to ask everyone how much you PAID for accessing this site and Kari's data... NUTHIN'.

So really, if you're unhappy with his updates, go somewhere else--you lose nothing out of pocket.

Thanks for your updates Kari!

Posted by: AlohaDude | Dec 13, 2008 2:04:23 PM

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