A funny thing happened this week on ESPN’s Heisman House voting site, where fans can vote once a day for the player they think is most deserving of college football’s greatest individual honor. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds’s name, which used to appear alongside other leading Heisman candidates, was removed.
With Reynolds leading the fan vote by a healthy margin, Navy cried foul.
One can still vote for Reynolds by navigating a series of drop-down menus with the “Nominate Your Player” feature, but that’s a pain, and the ‘American Conference’ filter is easy to miss at the bottom of the ‘Choose Conference’ menu. Reynolds’s disappearance from the main page sparked angry tweets and conspiracy theories from fans.
It turns out there’s a simple explanation for why a direct link to vote for Reynolds no longer appears on the site.
According to an ESPN spokesperson, the players with individual links on the Heisman House voting page are populated from the list of players in ESPN’s Heisman Watch Experts’ Poll. Reynolds was seventh and receiving votes in last week’s Experts’ Poll, but he did not receive any votes after Navy lost to Houston. (Whether the names on the voting page should be determined by the experts’ poll is another matter.)
“When the names change on the ESPN Experts’ Poll, they automatically change on the Heisman House site. ESPN and Nissan have no control over what names are on the Heisman House ballot,” the ESPN spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.
Heisman House title sponsor Nissan will cast an official vote for the Heisman Trophy for the player who wins the fan vote. Reynolds continues to lead Henry. The third-leading vote-getter, Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, also does not have a direct link on the main page.