Soon well all know. By this time Andrew Luck and five of his peers are on their way to New York where on Saturday they will be trotted out by the New York Athletic Club to a front row seat where one will be chosen and four will have no choice but to applaud and smile sheepishly while sticking pins in a voodoo doll they have cleverly hidden in their pants pocket.The Heisman Trophy has, for the past several years, been something of a regional popularity contest that seems to strictly adhere to the What have you done for me lately attitude that pervades the sports landscape these days.In fact, if recent history holds true, its not a good thing to be the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy before a ball has been kicked in anger.
Such is the plight of our own local hero Andrew Luck. At the start of the season, the Stanford quarterback was considered odds-on (as they say in horse racing) to win the coveted trophy emblematic of the best player in college football. And, let there be no doubt -- Andrew Luck is the best player in college football this year. A fact to which the upcoming NFL player draft will attest.But, therein lies the rub. Is it really about the best player in college football, or is it the player with the most dazzling numbers who just happened to have had a big game on the last Saturday before the Heisman votes are due in? Or -- in the interest of complicating things even more -- is it the player who plays for a higher-ranked team whos had twice the national television exposure as anyone else? Or is it body of work over the course of a career? Or nicest smile? Or most congenial?As a longtime voter in the Heisman derby I can tell you that Ive made votes that I have later regretted, although they were done with cause at the time. Its just that there is no definitive right way to vote. So, before all the letters written in crayon by the lunatic fringe telling me what an idiot I am for making the selection I did, I will tell you that, yes, I did vote for Andrew Luck. I will also tell you I am sworn not to discuss my vote. So much for morality.Now, the more important question is, do I think Andrew Luck will win? That would depend on what time of day you ask me and whos asking. If I were being asked by the Stanford Tree for instance I would say, Absolutely, dont you worry your little limbs about it. If, however, I were to be asked by someone not wearing pants made of bark and sporting a goofy smile attached to a green felt leaf, I would have to say, No.I think that Robert Griffin III will win the trophy and quite honestly I think hes the second-best candidate out there. The difference between RG3 and Luck is that Griffin played this past Saturday while Luck had no choice but to sit home and watch Seinfeld re-runs. And, to make matters worse, Griffin not only played -- he lit it up against a good opponent, on national television.I think that Robert Griffin III will have an excellent career at the next level. I think hes a worthy candidate for the Heisman Trophy too, and I know in terms of character hes right up there withwell, with Andrew Luck.What he isnt, is the best player in college football this year. That guy will be the guy in the front row with the voodoo doll in his pants pocket who just happened not to be playing on the weekend before the votes were counted.
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