2010 Heisman Trophy Candidates: Cam Newton, Andrew Luck Among Invitees To New York

Heisman Trophy finalists have been announced, and we're shocked to report Cam Newton made the cut.

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2010 Heisman Trophy Ceremony: Cecil Newton Will Not Attend

UPDATE: Cecil Newton has announced he will not attend Saturday night's Heisman Trophy ceremony. In a statement released by his lawyer to USA Today, Newton said in all-caps glory:

THE EVENTS TO TAKE PLACE IN NEW YORK AT THE HEISMAN TROPHY CEREMONY THIS WEEKEND SERVE AS A CROWNING MOMENT FOR THE ATHELETS AND THEIR FAMILIES ALIKE.

FOR ALL OF MY FIFTY YEARS OF LIFE, COUPLED WITH 25 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, I HAVE MADE AN EXHAUSTING ATTEMPT TO BE A GOOD HUSBAND, FATHER, AND GENERALLY A GOOD PERSON OF INTEGRITY. THE PAST 60 DAYS HAVE CAUSED ALL THAT MY FAMILY WORKED TO ACCOMPLISH TO COME INTO QUESTION.

SO THAT MY SON CAM NEWTON CAN RECEIVE ALL THE HONORS AND CONGRAGULATIONS THAT HE HAS WORKED SO HARD TO ACCOMPLISH WIHTOUT DISTRACTION, I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO BE IN ATTENDANCE AT THE HEISMAN CEREMONY; AS IT WILL PERHAPS ROB CAM AND THE EVENT OF A SACRED MOMENT.

WITH DEEPEST RESPECT,

CECIL NEWTON

/UPDATE

With all the controversy surrounding his role in his son’s recruitment at Mississippi State and Auburn, you’d be forgiven for thinking Cecil Newton may want to avoid drawing attention to himself during the Heisman Trophy presentation on Saturday. Nope.

According to ESPN’s Bruce Feldman, Cam Newton’s father will be seated in the player’s section. Cecil Newton’s name appears on an attendee list turned in by Auburn.

Last year’s Heisman Trophy event also featured a father angle for ESPN to latch onto, as Alabama Crimson Tide RB Mark Ingram’s dad followed the ceremony from prison. No, Auburn fan, I didn’t just equate taking money with asking for money. I’m just saying the Heisman Trophy show will be all about the winner’s father for the second-straight year.

The elder Newton has been accused by various Mississippi State personnel and associates of asking Bulldogs coaches for money in return for his son’s commitment. On Thursday Cam Newton denied speaking about the investigation with his father.

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2010 Heisman Trophy Candidates: Cam Newton Remains The Favorite, But 'Integrity' Could Be An Issue

We take a look at the final list of 2010 Heisman Trophy contenders, and analyze each ones chances of taking home the hardware in New York City on Saturday night.

Cam "Cameron" Newton, QB, Auburn
Weeks ago, we proclaimed in this space that the rebranding of Cam Newton was complete. A Heisman Trophy and a shot at the national title game certainly complete the picture, but there's a largely unquantifiable modifier in play here, and that's how voters will be interpreting the first sentence of the Heisman Trophy Trust's mission statement:

The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.

The Heisman Trophy is for amateurs. Cam Newton is the most outstanding player in college football. He may also not be an amateur, and the investigation into his status remains open. Voters on both sides of this aisle have logical cover for their choices.

While we're on the subject of integrity, however:

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
The nation's most aesthetically thrilling back to watch in flight, this Duck has sailed in the lofty company of Heisman Trophy finalist locks almost since the start of the season -- and it's only "almost" because when Oregon kicked off its 2010 campaign against New Mexico, James was serving a one-game suspension stemming from his arrest in a domestic disturbance.
 
The lesson here being that if you're going to screw up, do it early, or don't get caught, or be so good you transcend your troubles in the eyes of your voting bloc. (And getting to the national title game helps.)

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Luck is here thanks to separating himself from the peloton of brawny, prototypical NFL quarterbacks that led the list of Heisman candidates to begin the season. With Jake Locker's team-effort collapse (to say nothing of his injuries) and Ryan Mallett's failure to make the SEC Championship Game (though he did get a Sugar Bowl berth for his troubles), Luck was the logical pick of the pack.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
A delight of a pure passer in a system melded perfectly with his talents, the sterling record is marred only by the fact that he plays for a mid-major team (which is apparently barely considered football at all, judging by the number of worthy candidates snubbed for their lack of BCS berths), compounded by the Broncos' late collapse last month against Nevada. (Which wasn't even Moore's fault, but as the chestnut knock on the Heisman process reminds us: Being the best player is good. Being on the best team is better.)

THE DEAREST DEPARTED

Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
If we ran the zoo, the Angry Ostrich would've received a summons to New York with a quickness. The senior dual-threat paragon rushed for over 100 yards five times this season, and is 94 yards away from recording a 10,000-yard passing career with the Wolf Pack, a mark he'll surely blow by with a quickness in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against Boston college. 

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Heisman Trophy 2010: Cam Newton, Andrew Luck Among Invitees To New York

2010 Heisman Trophy candidates have been announced. Oregon Ducks RB LaMichael JamesStanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck, Boise St. Broncos QB Kellen Moore, and Auburn Tigers QB Cam Newton will be in New York City on Dec. 11 at 8 o'clock for the official Heisman presentation, but it's not hard to figure out whose hands will end up holding the trophy.

After Newton dominated the record books and the SEC with even more fervor than he hogged headlines, this Heisman Trophy presentation will be more of a formality than just about any year before -- this game's been a wrapped one. The only real drama will be whether Newton dominates Heisman voting by a greater margin than anybody else ever has. Well, that and soapboxers who refuse to vote for Newton based on off-field events.

Whether Newton can hang onto the trophy in the future will remain to be seen, especially after Reggie Bush felt compelled to give up the 2005 award due to extracurricular circumstances.

Still, being nominated is one of college football's highest honors, and the other three 2010 Heisman nominees would've been contenders in just about any other year. All but Moore will play in BCS bowls, and each has led his team to an undefeated or one-loss season.

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