Posted by Chip Patterson
Sometime around the middle of the season, it became pretty widely accepted that the Heisman Trophy had been narrowed down to a two-man race. Oregon running back LaMichael James has looked unstoppable at times, leading the nation's most dominant offense to an undefeated season and now a spot in the BCS Championship Game. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, well, he's just been doing those Cam Newton things.
There were no surprises when the finalists were announced. On Saturday, James and Newton will be joined by Stanford's Andrew Luck and Boise State's Kellen Moore in Times Square for the addition of one more player to the storied history of the Heisman Trophy. Newton is considered to be the favorite, despite the controversy that has swirled since word of alleged solicitation by Cecil Newton came to light. With several writers being very vocal about leaving Newton off the ballot, what does the competition think?
"I don't care what happens off the field. Whatever that situation was, to me he's still the best player in the country,'' LaMichael James said Wednesday at the College Football Awards media session. "I would vote for him twice.''
James does not have a vote, much less two, but the point comes through loud and clear. The counter-argument to the Newton-hate is just that: he is the best player in the country. James has been phenomenal in Oregon's offense, but much of his success is a credit to that team. There have been times this season where Newton has just simply put the Tigers on his back and taken over a game. Without Newton, Auburn would not be in their current position.
Or perhaps James is hoping for a repeat of 2005. After Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy in New York he met his runner-up, Vince Young, in the National Championship. Bush got the Heisman, but Young led Texas to a thrilling last minute victory to win the title. Let Newton get the glory on Saturday, then James can get his revenge on January 10.