Last updated: December 1st.
The Heisman Calculator is a one-of-a-kind regression model that processes simulated 2015 Heisman votes. By using player and voter data from years past, as well as current voter survey results, we’ve been able identify statistical influencers that have demonstrated to drive Heisman votes.
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Once we included ESPN’s most recent Heisman Watch rankings, the model experienced a moderate shift with our simulated votes. Not only does the inclusion of the ESPN Heisman Watch rankings provide a survey sample for us, it helps the model make a healthy adjustment for the needed observational-influence that comes from playing well in November (i.e. “Heisman moments”).
- With one game remaining (i.e. SEC championship) Heisman front runner, Derrick Henry, becomes Alabama’s all-time leader in both rushing yards (1,797) and TDs (22). He also ties an SEC record for most +200 rushing games in a season (4). Accomplishing this, within a program (and conference) that maintains such a rich history, is nothing short of remarkable. With that said, many purest seem unimpressed. Why? For example, of Alabama’s 76 offensive snaps against Auburn, Henry ran the ball on 46 of them (oh, that too was a school record). But putting that aside. This production simply can’t go unrewarded. (271 yards, 1 TD)
- Baker Mayfield threw 2 TD passes and ran for another score as Oklahoma beat No. 9 Oklahoma State 58-23 to take the Big 12 title and likely a spot in the College Football Playoff. While Mayfield’s personal stats didn’t pop, his competitive spirit did. For example, on what was likely the biggest play of the game, Mayfield cooked up a vicious block that led to a Joe Mixon 65-yard TD run. It was an amazingly selfless moment that had “TEAM” written all over it. Mayfield is every bit as deserving to win the Heisman Trophy than the eventual winner. Unfortunately, without a Big 12 championship game on Dec. 5th, he won’t have a last ditch attempt to persuade the big portion of ‘undecided’ voters. Mayfield appeared on all ESPN 10 Heisman Watch ballots after Oklahoma’s rout of Oklahoma State in the de facto Big 12 championship after being on seven ballots last week.
- With the pressure of an undefeated season in the balance and a possible spot in the College Football Playoffs on the line, Deshaun Watson engineered a 10-play, 60-yard drive, which included three third-down conversions. He capped the drive himself with a three-yard TD in which he dove for the end zone. In the end it was Watson that kept the Tigers undefeated with a 37-32 victory over archrival South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. This game caps a near perfect November for Watson. The man is simply the best player on the best team. Next up, ACC title game against North Carolina on Dec. 5. (Watson totaled 393 yards overall and 4 TDs)
- Christian McCaffrey has moved past Reggie Bush for most all-purpose yards in a season in PAC 12 history. Tonight against Notre Dame, McCaffrey tallied 228 all-purpose yards (putting him over 3,000 yards on the season). McCaffrey is only 216 yards short of Barry Sanders’ all-purpose yard NCAA record. Very doable. Stanford faces USC on December 5th for the PAC 12 championship.