It's as much a part of college football today as tailgating and trash talking. I'm talking about that mailbox-stuffing tradition of schools sending out piles of promotional material hyping their favorite Heisman Trophy candidate.
One of my personal favorites arrived in the mail last year: a pair of plastic binoculars that showed Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel making big play after big play when you looked into the lens.
On Thursday, I received my first piece of Heisman hyperbole of this season: a Berry4Heisman.com calendar that actually might come in handy to keep track of my fall schedule. The calendar's namesake is Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, a player first-year Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin needs a big season from. Click here to check out the website Tennessee has set up for Berry's Heisman campaign.
Most schools do this sort of campaigning if they have a serious Heisman candidate. But not Florida State. In the last 20 years, FSU is one of six schools to have multiple Heisman winners, quarterbacks Charlie Ward (1993) and Chris Weinke (2000).
Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said he prefers to leave it to the players to impress Heisman voters with their play on the field rather than have the school's sports information department conduct a huge campaign. FSU did put Ward on the cover of its 1993 football media guide, but that's about it.
"I don't like to do that,'' Bowden said. "When Charlie Ward won the Heisman he had had a good year the year before. So when we went into that last year, I told [former sports information director] Rob Wilson: 'Do not send out anything on him, nothing. He'll win it by himself '... sure enough, he won it in a landslide.
"We're on television enough where you don't have to do that. I tell our kids, if you don't make All-American, it's your fault, because we're going to be on television every Saturday.''
The good news for FSU players: all their games are on TV this season. The bad news: none of them are considered Heisman candidates.