As we draw closer and closer to the glorious start of the college football season, the time comes for one of everybody's favorite traditions; way too early Heisman talk! However, it is a more reasonable discussion this year than in most. Already, it seems that it is a three person race. You've got the reigning Heisman winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, former Heisman winner and all things to all people Tim Tebow of Florida, and Colt McCoy of Texas, who due to having never won the Heisman might inexplicably be the front runner. Thus is the sometimes baffling system we call "Heisman voting."
If you have listened to any of the Heisman talk thus far, all you have heard about is these three guys. Granted, they are all very talented, but so are dozens of other college football players. These aren't the only three great players in the land. However, due to name recognition and what have you, they've already solidified their spots as the top Heisman candidates.
I find this mildly disconcerting due to what I'll call preseason Top 25 Syndrome. You know what that is, the higher you are in the preseason top 25 polls, the easier it is to end up in the national title game. A team with one loss that starts in the top five and a team with one loss that was ranked in the low teens don't have the same odds of ending up in the title game, all because a team was perceived as better before a single game was played. In the same vein, Bradford, Tebow, and McCoy are already perceived as being the best, or perhaps the only, Heisman candidates, which makes it a lot harder for the Jahvid Best's of the world to contend for the trophy, no matter how well they do.
Of course, the reason teams are ranked in the top 25 preseason, usually, is because they are actually a good team. However, the voters makes mistakes, overrating and underrating teams. The same thing can be said about this year's Heisman race, although certainly Bradford, Tebow, and McCoy have legitimate track records. All that said, let us remember that past performance is not always an indicator of future results and let's hope if Best or Jevan Snead or somebody along those lines has the best season of any college football player, they go home with the Heisman.
Speaking of players such as Best and Snead, if anybody besides the "Big Three" win the Heisman, who would you expect it to be? I'd put my (metaphorical) money on Best, but there are several reasonable options out there.