State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Penn State Football: Barkley Finishes Fourth In Heisman Voting, And Why He Wasn't Invited

by on December 09, 2017 9:08 PM

Saquon Barkley finished fourth in the 2017 Heisman Trophy voting as Baker Mayfield took home the honor on Saturday night.

Mayfield finished ahead of Stanford’s Bryce Love and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. Barkley is the 18th Penn State player to finish in the top-10 in Heisman voting and the first since Michael Robinson came in fifth during the 2005 season. Barkley’s fourth-place finish is the highest for a Penn State player since Larry Johnson came in third in 2002.

According to the final tally Barkley received 15 first-place votes accumulating 304 total points. In comparison Jackson received 793 votes while Mayfield won the award with 2,398. 

The voting totals help explain why Barkley didn't earn an invite to New York for the ceremony. According to the Heisman balloting rules at least three finalists will be invited each year, beyond that it is determined by the gap between third and fourth place:

But the finalists are not determined arbitrarily. Starting from the understanding that there will always be a minimum of three finalists, whether or not more will be invited is determined by how close the fourth-place finisher's point total is to that of the third place finisher's, how close the fifth-place finisher's is to that of the fourth-place finisher's and so on.

In the 2008 Heisman vote, for instance, Florida's Tim Tebow finsihed third with 1,575 points. The fourth-place finisher, Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, totaled 213 points. Because of the huge gap between those totals, Harrell was not invited to the ceremony, which featured just three finalists. In 2010, Kellen Moore's fourth place finish of 635 points brought him much closer to LaMichael James' third-place finish of 916, so Moore was included as one of the four finalists. The fifth-place finisher in 2010, Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State, had just 105 points. There was a clear demarcation of support between him and Moore, so the finalists were capped at four.

In other words, the closeness of the point totals determines the final number of finalists. Where major gaps exist, that's where you get a cutoff.

In turn, Barkley was more than half as many votes behind Jackson, and thus did not receive an invite.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
Next Article
Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Waltz Past George Washington 74-54
December 09, 2017 5:00 PM
by Ben Jones
Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Waltz Past George Washington 74-54
Disclaimer: Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

order food online