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December 11, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McCrystal

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:03 PM)

Hello everyone... well we're just a day away from the Heisman ceremony and its still anyone's guess as to who will win. The Heisman Predictor says Colt McCoy, and its been right six years in a row. Now lets get to your questions...

Everyone (Everywhere)

How can McCoy win the Heisman when his two worst games were in the two biggest games of the year and against the two best defenses he faced?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:06 PM)

Well, everyone... that's a fair question. But this year you could pose a similar question about every candidate... how could Ingram win when he was a non-factor against Auburn? how could Tebow win when he threw 2-ints against Mississippi State? how could Gerhart win when he was shutdown by Wake Forest?.... you get the picture

Leelee (Austin, TX)

As much as I'd like for Colt to win, do you think this is the first year your predictor gets it wrong?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:07 PM)

If there were a year to be wrong, this would be it. Its been a crazy season where really no one has a flawless Heisman resume. This could certainly be one of the closest votes in Heisman history.

Bo (West North Shore (PA))

if you're wrong will you make any changes to the formula?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:12 PM)

Possibly... every year the formula needs to be reevaluated. The reason only a relatively small sample size of votes are included (six years) is because voting tendancies change. Each year after we see the results, we learn a little more about what the current voters value in a Heisman candidate. So whether its right or wrong, the formula will need to be looked at closely to see if any alterations are in order.

David (Texas)

If Suh had come in on some offensive goal line situations and scored a couple of touchdowns would he have been the hands down winner?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:15 PM)

that is VERY possible. When Charles Woodson won the Heisman he did so while playing special teams and occasionally at wide receiver. That certainly added to his resume and gave him an edge in the voting. Suh likely would have benefited in a similar way had he been given the opportunity.

Nick (Nebraska)

With Suh in the picture do you think this will change things for years to come? Can more defensive guys get into the picture as well?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:18 PM)

I don't expect any changes down the road. For one, Suh is a exceptional player. One of the best defensive players from the college game in years... And, not to take anything away from Suh, but he has benefited from other's failures. Had Tebow and McCoy matched their numbers from 2008, he wouldn't even be in this discussion. We'll see more dominant defensive players like Suh in the future, but it takes a perfect storm to allow a defensive guy to make a serious run at the Heisman.

Roller (Kentucky)

If I'm not mistaken FL and AL lead in the strength of schedule category, so how much of this is figured into your Heisman formula?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:21 PM)

Strength of schedule plays a role, but not a major one. Players from BCS conference are given an advantage in the formula for obvious reasons. Also, players can earn points for their performances against top-10 teams.

Nick (Michigan)

Ryan dont u think its funny how they put guys like Tate in here like they actually have a chance. We know its not going to be Golden Tate. Even Golden Tate knows its not going to Golden Tate

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:23 PM)

True, Golden Tate won't win the Heisman. But the Heisman will release the list of the top 10 players in the voting, which is why I listed the top 10 players in the Heisman Predictor.

Tim (Wisconsin)

Who would you most like to see win the Heisman trophy this year? Does it go along with the predictor or do you have a personal choice?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:24 PM)

I think there are six deserving players this year - the five finalists and C.J. Spiller. But if I had a vote, my ballot would look like this: Gerhart, Suh, McCoy

Paul (Austin)

What percentage of the Heisman vote is done before Championship weekend?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:26 PM)

In years past it has been a disturbingly high percentage. However now that voters are allowed to cast their vote online, a much smaller percentage voted early. I know many voters waited until just hours before the deadline.

Richard (Greensboro, NC)

Will Ingram being a sophomore hurt his chances at the Heisman. I know Tebow got it as a sophomore but might voters prefer not to give it to a younger player?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:29 PM)

I don't think being an underclassman works against players, but in certain cases being a senior can work to your advantage. This may be true this year more than ever. Colt McCoy has a fairly weak Heisman resume when you look solely at his 2009 performance, but he will received many votes as a "lifetime achievement award" so to speak. Remember, over 200 people voted for him last year, meaning over 200 people think he should already be a Heisman winner.

Gregg (Cleveland)

Who would you guess will be major Heisman contenders next year?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:33 PM)

Ingram would have to be near the top of the list, although he'll lose carries to Trent Richardson next year. Kellen Moore and Case Keenum should be in the discussion again. A few others who weren't necessarily in this year's race: Jacquizz Roders, Dion Lewis, Terrelle Pryor, LaMichael James, Jacory Harris

Chris (Iowa)

Two Questions: How can you say Gerhart was "stopped" by Wake Forest? He did have 90-something yards. Do you see Jeremiah Masoli as a top Heisman candidate in 2010?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:36 PM)

Gerhart had 82 yards and 0 touchdowns in a loss to the 82nd-ranked rushing defense in the nation. I'd call that getting "stopped"... And yes, Masoli is definitely a candidate for next year, but I think his teammate LaMichael James may actually have a better shot.

what (huh)

how can strength of schedule only play a minor role? is this because voters dont look at it, or because you dont think its important when judging who is best?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:39 PM)

Most voters don't compare strength of schedule beyond comparing a BCS-conference team to a non-BCS conference team. For example, SOS plays a role when voters are deciding between Colt McCoy and Kellen Moore. But it doesn't factor in significantly when comparing Gerhart to Ingram.

steve (nebraska)

with Suh winning all these awards and nominated for even more, how can he not be the best player in college football?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:42 PM)

Surprising as it may sound, the awards frequently contradict each other. For example, the Maxwell Trophy is essentially the same award as the Heisman Trophy, just less prestigious. But since 2000 only one player has won both the Maxwell and the Heisman (Tebow in 2007).

Ryan (Medford, OR)

"Stiffarmtrophy.com" say they have predicted the last bunch of Heisman as well. They say Ingram Has the lead with Suh and Gerhart right behind. They have your leader in 4th. Any thoughts?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:46 PM)

StiffArmTrophy.com is a great site. We simply have different ways to attempt to predict the winner. the Heisman Predictor attempts to analyze voters tendacies by looking at player's stats and other variables. StiffArmTrophy.com primarily makes their prediction based off of the voters who have made their vote public. Its simply two different ways to go about the same task. In recent years, both have worked. This has the potential to be one of the closest votes of all time, so its only natural that many people will have different opinions on the outcome.

danny (illinois)

do you think that tebow will get a career achievement award and win the heisman trophy?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:47 PM)

No, Tebow already has his trophy. But Colt McCoy might.

Tony (Nebraska)

Ryan, Why do people have such a hard time giving the Heisman to a pure defensive player? Suh is by far the most dominant player in the country and yet he will not win it.

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:52 PM)

My theory on this: Football, as popular as it is, isn't fully understood by 90 pct of the people who watch it. That isn't meant as an insult to those people - its just a complicated game. Any football fan can watch a quarterback and look at his stats and tell you if he's good. But it is very difficult for the average fan to watch a defensive tackle and tell you if he's any better than the guy next to him, let alone the best in the country. Because of this, we tend to focus our attention on the players who put up tangible stats. Its just easier to compare those players. However, Suh has generated some serious Heisman hype because in the Big 12 title game he put on a legendary performance. It was clear to anyone and everyone that he was the best defensive player in the country based on that perormance alone. But those performance only come around every so often, which is why defensive players are typically left out of the Heisman discussion.

Joe (Boise)

How can Kellen Moore not be in your top six? 39 td to 3 INT's. If he had a different name on his jersey(texas,usc,florida) he would hands down have won.

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:55 PM)

You are absolutely right Joe. But if he played for Texas or USC or Florida he also wouldn't have the luxery of running up the score on New Mexico State, Hawaii and Idaho week after week.

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:55 PM)

You are absolutely right Joe. But if he played for Texas or USC or Florida he also wouldn't have the luxery of running up the score on New Mexico State, Hawaii and Idaho week after week.

Doak (Downtown Athletic Club)

who do you think would win an arm wrestling contest...Ingram or Gerhart?

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:56 PM)

Great question. That's a tough call. I'll take Ndamukong Suh.

Intelligence (Not where you are)

Gerhart? Did anyone play defense in the Pac-10 this year? You have got to be insane if you think Gerhart would put up Ingram's numbers if he played in the SEC.

Ryan McCrystal
  (4:59 PM)

Ever notice how everyone who thinks someone shouldn't win the Heisman questions the defense of the teams they played? Its a weak argument. We'll never know how any given player would do in another conference.

Ryan McCrystal
  (5:00 PM)

Well folks, that's all for this year. Its been fun chatting as always. Be sure to tune into the Heisman ceremony tomorrow night to see if the Predictor's streak stays alive!