In what should prove to be one of the closest votes in the history of the prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy announced Monday evening the finalists who will travel to New York City for the ceremony.
Announced on ESPN shortly after 6 ET this evening, the grouping of finalists vying for the 77th edition of the award will include five of the top players in the country for the 2011 season. Here is the quintet of finalists — none of them seniors — as voted upon by former Heisman winners as well as select members of the media:
- Wisconsin running back Montee Ball
- Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III
- Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck
- LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu
- Alabama running back Trent Richardson
A minimum of three and maximum of five finalists are selected each year; Chris Huston of heismanpundit.com wrote on Twitter shortly before the reveal that “[i]f it’s 3 finalists, expect a comfortable win for RG3. If there are 4, it will be a bit closer. If there are 5, it’s going to be very close.”
Because of the depth of candidates in this year’s Heisman race it’s hard to say there were any “snubs”, but there were a couple players with the credentials in most any other year who were left without a ticket to the Big Apple. A case could certainly be made for quarterbacks such as USC’s Matt Barkley, Houston’s Case Keenum, Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden, Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson or Boise State’s Kellen Moore, as well as Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and Oregon running back LaMichael James, the nation’s leader in rushing yards per game.
In the end, though, it appears the voters damn-near got the finalists as close to perfect as humanly possible.
Then again, in the end, it won’t matter; RGIII will be toting the stiff-arm hardware back to Waco on Dec. 10. And, yes, I just called my shot. Why don’t you go ahead and call your shot below?