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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CFBTN 101: Heisman Rankings

Humans are irrational, and when we let humans decide things we get irrational answers. That's okay for prom queen, student body president, or congress, but when we let our irrational biases influence Heisman voting, I get upset.

The Stat-wise Heisman ranking quantifies the rationale we point to for discriminating between worthy Heisman candidates. Among the qualities considered are: Does the player produce? Does the player produce against quality opponents? Does the player produce in big games? Does the player fail to produce in big losses? Is the player leading (playing quarterback or running back) a good team? Qualities the model does not consider: did the program send me a nice booklet extolling the players best qualities? Does he give good interviews/is he charismatic? Did he strike a Heisman after a punt return touchdown against Ohio St? Is he an underclassman? Does he run circles around the Arkansas defense before walking into the endzone? (Because, honestly, who doesn't do that?)

The leader through 5 weeks is Johnny Football. The freshman quarterback has 16 TDs and 0 interceptions through 4 games. He has thrown for over 1,000 yards and is on pace to 1,000 rushing yards this season. If the Aggies could have pulled off the win against Florida, Manziel would have a Cam Newton type lead, but he did put up good numbers in the loss. Plus, he does stuff like this: [go here for the complete stat-wise Heisman rankings]

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