What: Heisman Trophy Ceremony
When: 8 p.m.
NEW YORK — It was just two guys talking football and posing for pictures with a big bronze trophy.
The day before the Heisman Trophy presentation, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper answered questions about their sensational seasons, their coaches, their chances to upset Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and win college football's most famous individual award and who might win the national championship.
Cooper wisely passed on making a prediction about how the top-ranked Crimson Tide will do in the College Football Playoff against Ohio State.
Gordon, however, said Friday he's leaning toward 'Bama. So much for Big Ten solidarity.
That was about as close to a scandal as you will find at this year's Heisman ceremony, a welcome departure from recent years for many fans and voters.
"You hate to think the guy you're voting for might have done something awful in his personal life away from football," said Kyle Ringo, a Heisman voter who works for the Boulder Daily Camera in Colorado.
Whether character should count in Heisman voting has been a hot topic in three of the last four years.
Not so much this time around as Mariota, Gordon and Cooper have steered clear of serious public missteps.
"I think character is really important in everything," Cooper said.
Last season, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the Heisman in a landslide, a little more than a week after a Florida prosecutor decided not to charge him with sexual assault. Winston was accused of rape by female Florida State student.
This year Winston was cited for shoplifting in the offseason and suspended for a game in September for shouting an obscene internet meme in a campus cafeteria.
"Once those events happened, I decided to exclude him this year," said Gene Frenette, of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.
Winston's numbers have fallen off in his sophomore season, he has 17 interceptions in 13 games compared to 10 in 14 last year, but he also has guided the Seminoles to another unbeaten regular season and a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Oregon and Mariota.
"He's probably not here because of the off-the-field issues," Gordon said about Winston before praising the quarterback's play.
In 2012, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel came to the Heisman presentation with a preseason arrest on his record that nearly got him thrown off the team before he could become Johnny Football.
Two years before that, Auburn's Cam Newton was asked if he thought he would get to keep the Heisman at the news conference following his victory. The NCAA had investigated Newton's recruitment, found his father had tried to peddle his son's commitment for money, but cleared the quarterback of any wrongdoing.
"The lack of any off-the-field stuff did make (voting) much easier and I think better for college football in general," said voter Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News.