Ranking the 2012 Heisman Finalists According to Music Videos

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Last week in this space, I speculated that the Vegas big board for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner released back in June, 23 candidates in all, would actually turn out to contain no eventual 2012 finalists. If you go back and look at the list, it didn't take Kirk Herbstreit to figure that out.

On Monday, we got confirmation as the folks who tabulate the Heisman votes named the three finalists who will get a free trip to New York this weekend. They are, in alphabetical order:

- Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein
- Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel
- Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o

If you believe the small sample space of voters polled by the website stiffamtrophy.com, there shouldn't be much drama in Saturday's announcement -- Johnny Manziel (affectionately known as "Johnny Football" by thousands of Aggie fanboys throughout the state of Texas) should become the first freshman to win the award, and it shouldn't be close.

In any award where this many voters are asked to make first, second, and third place selections, you're going to have the random "straggler" picks of players that voters select out of (a) blatant homerism, (b) a concerted effort to be "cute", or (c) utter incompetence. For example, within this group of 60 or so voters polled, we got the following selections:

- Two Florida sports writers put Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones in their top three -- because typically sports writers are experts on offensive line play.

- Doug Clarke of the Elyria Chronicle Telegram voted Wisconsin running back Montee Ball first overall. And not to be outdone by himself, he voted Georgia defensive back Bacarri Rambo third. Rambo might not be the third best defensive player on his own team.

- Paola Bolvin of the Arizona Republic voted for something called a Ka'Deem Carey as his third place pick. Not surprisingly, this Carey fella plays for the University of Arizona, so of Bolvin won't vote for him, who will?

In the end, amidst all the clutter and white noise of voters trying to be "different" or look "football smart," the small cross section of voters polled as a group still settled on the final three: Manziel, Te'o, and Klein. In that order.

Of course, in this day and age, it's not a Heisman campaign until a candidate has a music video created on his behalf, either by the school or by an adoring fan. To that end, let's rank the most prominent music videos online for each of the three finalists:

JOHNNY FOOTBALL CALL ME MAYBE COVER


Comments: Well, if you're Johnny Manziel and you're going to have a female singing about you, better it be this aspiring grad school student then the 50-something cougar whose rendition of "Johnny Football" (set to the tune of "Johnny Angel") was bad enough that dogs sat outside my building and howled when I turned the volume up. (By the way, that video has since been removed from the internet. Aggies are equally proficient in taking videos down as they are in uploading them.)

This blond chick's voice actually isn't bad, and her lyrics are fine....until we get to the final rhyme of each verse:

"And all the SEC, they wanna beat us baby...
So here's his number, it is two."

Sorry, Shelby. "Baby" and "two" don't rhyme. You lose. Good day.
Score: 2.1

MY NAME IS OPTIMUS KLEIN


Comments: Easily, the coolest of the three videos from a sports vibe standpoint. The music aligns perfectly with the highlights, at least for the first two minutes. That's when they show some of Klein's most spectacular runs over the last two seasons. The video kind of falls apart midway through, when the voice in the song says to "load up the cannons" and then we see sixty seconds worth of Klein's girlish throwing motion. It would be like the Emperor in Star Wars cackling about the Death Star being operational and then as its primary weapon it starts shooting tennis balls. Also, negative points for not having any lyrics in the song to make fun of.
Score (1 to 10): 5.3

TE'O....TEEEEEEE'OOOO....


Comments: Now, FINALLY. Here's a video I can get behind. Professionally done. Creative lyrics. Musically sound. Catchy. Proper balance of highlights and artistry. I might make this my ringtone, my alarm when I wake up in the morning, my doorbell, and the first song that I dance to if I ever get married again.
Score (1 to 10): 26.2


I don't know how much hand wringing went on for the pollsters to arrive at their respective decisions, but perhaps they would have been made easier with these music videos devoted to each of the finalists. If a voter couldn't decide on who to vote for, tie goes to the better video.

In my mind, tie goes to Te'o.

Listen to Sean Pendergast (Notre Dame, Class of 1991) on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.


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