NEW YORK — It was just two guys talking football and posing for pictures with a big bronze trophy on Friday.

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 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 a 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 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.

Mariota was not in New York on Friday because he was picking up another trophy. The junior was in Baltimore for the presentation of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

WISCONSIN: Athletic director Barry Alvarez said he hasn’t offered the Badgers’ football coaching job to anyone, including current Pittsburgh coach and apparent front-runner Paul Chryst.

Alvarez said state law prevents the university from making an offer to anyone before Wednesday, the date given in a job posting that went up after Gary Andersen’s departure this week for Oregon State.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Alvarez met with Chryst in Florida, where Alvarez was attending an Outback Bowl promotion.

OKLAHOMA STATE: Star running back Tyreek Hill was arrested Thursday night, accused of punching and choking his girlfriend.

According to a report from the Stillwater Police department, the woman said she and Hill had an argument that escalated into physical violence. She said she was punched in the face and stomach, had a busted lip and was choked.