Devon O’Neil: Heisman voting rules leave something to be desired |

Devon O’Neil: Heisman voting rules leave something to be desired

Devon O'Neil / My $0.02
Breckenridge, Colorado

Sam Bradford, the Oklahoma sophomore quarterback who threw 48 touchdowns and just six interceptions this season, deserved to win the Heisman Trophy. He led the nation in passing efficiency and more often than not made what he did look unfairly easy, which it is not.

The problem I have with Bradford’s winning the Heisman has nothing to do with him; it has everything to do with the voting. Tim Tebow, who threw 28 TDs against just two picks this year, an even better ratio than Bradford, while also running like a tailback for top-ranked Florida, actually earned more first-place votes than Bradford.

That is, more voters thought he was the best player in college football than any of the other candidates. But he ended up third because enough voters believed he did not belong in the top three at all. Weird, right?

If it were up to me, the guy with the most first-place votes would win the award, period. It shouldn’t hinge on how many people think you were second or third best. …

It’s mid-December, three weeks before the NFL playoffs begin, which means we finally can begin to understand which teams are true contenders to win the Super Bowl.

In the AFC, I’d rank the list of favorites to make the big game like this: 1. Steelers, 2. Titans, 3. Colts, 4. Patriots, 5. Ravens.

In the NFC, the list would go like this: 1. Giants, 2. Panthers, 3. Vikings, 4. Cowboys, 5. Falcons.

As for the overall favorite, I now think it’s the Giants. Every team has its weaknesses (New York’s being on defense, despite its offensive troubles Sunday night), but when it comes time to win the ultimate game, I still think the Giants are in a better place than the rest of the NFL. …

You knew there would be some striking changes in Yankeeland when New York failed to make the playoffs last season for the first time in 14 years. But what we’re seeing this offseason is vastly altering the balance of power in baseball.

It remains to be seen how all the moves will translate to the standings, but going into the season, at least, the Yankees have to be the overwhelming favorite to win the World Series. …

Our Stat of the Week comes from a pair of former San Diego teammates, LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner. After backing up Tomlinson for four years, Turner, the 5-foot-10, 244-pound Volkswagen Bug from Northern Illinois, finally got his chance to start this year in Atlanta.

All he has done is rush for 1,421 yards and 15 touchdowns, markedly better numbers than Tomlinson, who has struggled to 924 yards and eight scores and hasn’t run for 100 yards in a game since October. …

Some might be surprised to see Dwight Howard leading the early list of vote-getters for the NBA All-Star Game. Don’t be. Howard tops the league in rebounds and blocks, and in my mind, he ranks among the top five NBA players overall:

1. LeBron James, 2. Kobe Bryant, 3. Chris Paul, 4. Dwight Howard, 5. Dwyane Wade. …

You know how Indiana is one of the best programs in college basketball? Not this year. This year they look like squirrels fighting mountain lions. The rest of the Big Ten has Kelvin Sampson to thank. …

In parting, between the Patriots, Red Sox and, as of last year, Celtics, life as a Boston sports fan has never been better. The only exception has been the once-proud Bruins, who sank to the bottom of Boston’s heap as the others flourished.

How things change. The 21-5-4 Bruins lead the Eastern Conference in points (46) and goals (106) and have lost just once at home. Most impressive, they’ve outscored their opponents by 39 goals; the next best margin in the conference is 13.

” Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at

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