The voters have spoken. The Heisman trophy will need a lie-detector device strapped to its stiff arm.
I'd have just one question for Cam Newton: Are you as clueless as you appear to be?
Fearing he is, I didn't want to feel responsible if Newton showed up Saturday and thanked the Downtown Athletic Club for his Grammy nomination. Or worse yet, a New York cabbie might charge him $450 for a ride from LaGuardia to his hotel -- and poor Cam would pay it.
Simply put, I just couldn't vote for a dummy.
Not to be unkind, but Newton has to be one. Only a semi-complete moron could be oblivious to a father like Cecil Newton treating him like an eBay item.
So with Monday's voting deadline looming, I voted for a player who at least knows New York from New Guinea. Before I divulge his name, I'll admit that none of this matters.
Newton is the biggest cinch in Heisman history. This is more a protest vote against double-talk, empty suits and corruption, all of which the NCAA declared eligible in this fiasco.
For weeks we heard about Newton's father, Bishop Cecil Newton of the Holy Zion Center for Financial Deliverance, telling Mississippi State it needed to pony up "between $100,000 and $180,000" for his son's quarterbacking services.
We heard that if the father was guilty, his son would also be. NCAA bylaw 12.3.3 does "not allow individuals or entities to represent a prospective student-athlete for compensation to a school for an athletic scholarship."
There was no loophole there, unless you were determined to find one.
"We must consider the young person's responsibility," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said.
The walls of NCAA headquarters are lined with innocent scalps. Investigators haven't yet turned up proof that Newton knew of father's shakedown. That wasn't supposed to matter. Neither was the fact Mississippi State never actually put any money in Rev. Cecil's collection plate.
Then suddenly – like the sea parting and leading to a BCS Promised Land – the SEC's Legal Parsing Team found ambiguities. Since Cam supposedly didn't know, he can't be punished!
Even the commissioners of the Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 were flabbergasted by the ruling. The Cam Fan Club writes that off as SEC envy or Auburn hatred. They say all evidence against Newton is mere conjecture.
I don't mind giving Scam the benefit of the doubt. I just wish I had one. Then I could vote for him without feeling as if I'm being played for a sucker.
By all reports, he'd been enamored with Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen since their days at Florida. You remember Gainesville, where Newton spent his freshman year going around campus with a bracelet reading WWTND?
What Would Tebow Not Do?
The 2007 Heisman winner wouldn't steal a computer or cheat on tests. That kind of stuff made me think young Cam's word is not always gold.
I certainly believed what I saw, however. Like Newton standing on the Mississippi State sideline during last year's Ole Miss game.
He was ringing a cowbell. That's a bigger commitment than an autographed grant-in-aid. Then on signing day, Newton inked with Auburn.
"This decision wasn't just my decision," he said.
Cam told Sports Illustrated that it was his father's decision. So let's recap:
Newton was dying to go to Mississippi State. His father told him no. Cam either didn't ask why or simply accepted Dad's explanation.
"I didn't think it was the right place for Cam," Cecil said. "They didn't have all the moving parts. Cam was going to have to be the star. He'd have to do everything himself. I didn't want him to be a rented mule."
Like he wasn't destined for that at Auburn?
We're supposed to believe Cam blithely bought all this. If so, he's either dumb as a cowbell or the most naïve son in SEC history.
I don't believe he's either.
I could be wrong, of course. If so, my apologies to Cam, Cecil and the thousands of parents who've been inspired to discreetly auction their sons to the highest bidder.
But for now I'm much more confident I'll never regret voting for Owen Marecic. Cam or not, I'm amazed the Stanford stud hasn't gotten more Heisman attention.
He's the first real two-way player in modern college history. By real, I mean he starts at fullback and linebacker. Unlike wide receiver or cornerback, he gets hammered or does some hammering every play.
Marecic's done it for a top-five team. He has a 3.47 GPA in human biology. He's worked in soup kitchens. As an added bonus, he's never tossed a stolen computer into a dumpster as police knocked on his door.
In keeping with this year's Boy Scout theme, my second-place vote went to Colorado tackle Nate Solder. He's the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year who had the highest GPA on the team. In his spare time, he visits Guatemalan orphanages and builds homes for the poor in Italy.
My third-place vote went to Texas defensive end Sam Acho. Great player who goes on mission trips to Nigeria.
I realize none of these guys has a chance of being invited to the Downtown Athletic Club, much less winning. That's too bad. The old trophy has endured some dingy behavior lately and could use a shine.
If Marecic did make it to New York, the cabbie might ask him why he has such long hair. Marecic's grandmother died of leukemia two years ago.
When his ponytail gets 10 inches long, Marecic plans to cut it and donate the hair to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients.
If his dad told him to donate it to Auburn, you can bet Marecic would want to know why.