Ndamukong Suh Gives People A Reason To Care About The HeismanS

Nebraska's defensive tackle is the new sentimental favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, a famous award given annually by the media to whichever name they've written over and over again in their Hello Kitty diary.

At the moment, Stiff Arm Trophy has Suh down for more first-place votes than anyone else in the field. That'll change by tomorrow, in all likelihood. But it says something about the flaws of Heisman voting that, largely on the basis of a single game, people have flocked to a guy who's more or less a protest candidate. Here's Dr. Saturday:

Suh is the only serious candidate in my lifetime who brazenly flouts every single unwritten rule about who is "allowed" to win the Heisman: He doesn't play quarterback, running back or receiver; he doesn't play for a championship contender; he hasn't had any cameos on offense or scored a touchdown of any variety this year. His defensive stats were good but didn't come close to breaking any records. He doesn't play anywhere near a major media market. His name is really hard to spell and pronounce. No one like him has ever really been in the discussion for the trophy before, but as of last count, he's carrying more first-place votes than any other finalist on official ballots that have been made public. If his name is called Saturday night, Suh could singlehandedly disrupt decades of skill player bias, if only for a year.

Even noted Tim Tebow scholar Dan Shanoff concedes that Suh's "insurgent candidacy is the greatest thing ever to happen in Heisman balloting."

I'm proud of the voters who championed Suh's cause — and the ones who followed through with an unprecedented level of support for a defensive player.

But I think you'll see: Suh will be left off enough ballots that it will — and should — make you question why the Heisman vote is given to 900 people, many of whom have no business voting.

Those are the ones who are most likely to ignore Suh. That's too bad for them. They could have had a part in history as supporting the most interesting Heisman contender ever.

How silly is Heisman voting? We're swapping recency bias for skill-position bias and rightly calling it a huge step forward. Tune it tomorrow to see which cognitive handicap wins!

Suh, uncertainty reign over the most dramatic Heisman vote in ages [Dr. Saturday]
Heisman Watch: In Praise of Suh [Dan Shanoff]