Let me get this out of the way right off the bat... Joe Burrow absolutely deserved to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy. His historic victory that saw the most first-place vote ever, was due to his dominance throughout the season and the undefeated record from the LSU Tigers (also #OHIO).
This is about something else entirely.
This also isn’t about rehashing the injustice of Rocket Ismail coming in second to BYU’s Ty Detmer in 1990 — which was an unholy act of ignorance. This is about the vote itself and what it represents.
Many of us have known for decades that the Heisman has no real guidelines, and the reasoning given by voters constantly changes to fit whatever narrative they wish to push. And that brings me to today and Bruce Feldman’s article about why he voted for Penei Sewell of the Oregon Ducks #2 on his Heisman ballot.
It was a castaway vote in a year that really didn’t need any vote other than #1. I suppose I don’t have a huge problem with Feldman slotting him there, but his reasoning rings hollow. Why? Well... OFD Editor Jude Seymour said it best already:
I don't recall Bruce Feldman putting Quenton Nelson No. 2 on his Heisman ballot in 2017.— Jude (@ndjrs) December 16, 2019
But congrats on giving yourself a topic to write about.#NDFB pic.twitter.com/548rQR6GjP
Like — no shit.
Feldman, having been hammered by quite a few readers after the story was published, jumped on his podcast The Audible with Stewart Mandel to defend his vote and his story. While addressing those that called him out for using his vote to create a story, he replied:
“Yeah, like I made a career out of being the hot take guy.”
Well, no Bruce — you didn’t. That doesn’t mean it never happens either. Feldman may not go full Skip Bayless all the time, but he’s just as guilty of going that route like every other writer on the national beat does throughout the year.
It was a vote for a story. Somehow Bruce forgot that he never thought like this back when Quenton Nelson had highlight clips cut up of him on a weekly basis. Those videos went viral while Q played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and he earned an enormous amount of praise and respect from all over the country. Did Nelson ever get consideration like this from Bruce?
Oh that’s right... Feldman is too busy Tweeting out solid info like this:
Text from an FBS head coach: "When will the (CFP) committee actually watch personnel? Notre Dame doesn't have players anywere close to the three other teams or Georgia. Like watching a NFL team play a college team."— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 30, 2018
(Yes I realize this was a year after Q, but it’s just another example of Bruce absolutely prepared to throw hot flames).
I have no grand theme here, and I know by posting this I only add fuel to Feldman’s fire — but I wanted to make sure the readers here saw this.