Up until a few years ago, only a select hand-picked group of voters had a say in who won the Heisman Trophy. But with Nissan’s sponsorship, the fans also got a vote. More specifically, the winner of the fan balloting would receive an official first-place Heisman vote placed by the auto company.

It was all a popularity contest, set to promote the year-long “Heisman House” campaign we see all over our TVs every Saturday while watching college football.

However, apparently the powers that be have decided whom the fans can and can’t easily select for their vote in the Heisman Trophy race. At least, that’s what Navy athletics is pointing out.

Fans can still search for and write in Keenan Reynolds’ name, but it is curious that the top vote-getter of the fans suddenly has disappeared from the online ballot.

There has been no comment from ESPN or Nissan as of yet, but removal suggests the tried-and-true “technical glitch” about to be blamed. After all, why else would the fans’ popular choice be suddenly removed?

Reynolds currently leads all fan balloting with 37 percent of the vote, followed by Alabama running back Derrick Henry coming in second at 23 percent.

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Clearly, Reynolds faces an uphill battle to win over enough voters to win the Heisman Trophy overall. But he would at least warrant a potential place amongst the invitees to New York City with that voting total from the fans.

In what could be the most open race for the Heisman Trophy in years, Reynolds’ 25 total touchdowns this season and NCAA-record 83 career rushing touchdowns (tied with Montee Ball of Wisconsin) suggests he could be worthy anyway.

Fan reaction to Reynolds’ removal hasn’t exactly been positive, to say the least, with many believing it is a shameful act on the part of ESPN and Nissan.

Others even pointing out the familial connection between two top executives holding out the preferred winner…

Some have even pointed out the potential logistical nightmare of Reynolds making it to New York City in time for the trophy presentation.

Except for that whole fact that he plays for a school that happens to have a fleet of fighter jets and helicopters at its disposal.

It will be interesting to see how ESPN and/or Nissan chooses to handle this situation considering the negative reaction that has resulted and may continue to build.

UPDATE: This appears to be why Reynolds is no longer listed on the Heisman House voting, despite being the fans’ choice thus far. Apparently, voters have to choose from the candidates selected by ESPN’s experts.

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!

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