07 December 2009
The folks at our Bloguin brothers the Blue Workhorse have asked us to submit a ballot for the Sports Blog Heisman trophy... and we're glad to oblige. When talking about postseason awards, the Heisman is clearly the grandaddy of all the awards. And, it's the one that has eluded Alabama throughout its storied history. Alabama's highest finish in Heisman balloting was in 1993, when David Palmer finished third. Alabama and Tennessee are the only schools in the top 10 in all time victories to never recieve the trophy.
This year, Alabama has the best shot in many years with tailback Mark Ingram among the finalists for the award. What would my ballot look like?
Ndamukong Suh - 82 Tackles, 12 sacks (for 77 yards), 1 INTSuh is dominant - an exceptional talent. But as a whole, his numbers are very... average. He had a huge game against Missouri (on a Thursday night when everyone was watching). He followed that by an unbelievable game at the end of the season against Texas (4.5 sacks and constantly on Colt McCoy.
Colt McCoy - 70.5 Completion %, 3512 yards, 27 TD, 12 INT
McCoy is clearly an accomplished player... who had a much worse season in 2009 than in 2008. His numbers in every meaningful category are down. Many (Lou Holtz) want to make this a lifetime achievement award - it is, after all, his turn! Tebow the year before, Bradford last year... it's McCoy's turn! Sorry - he's not the best player in the country this year. Not by a long shot.
3. CJ Spiller - 201 attempts, 1145 yards (5.6 yards per carry), 11 TD
Those numbers are not overly impressive on their own... until you factor in the 210 punt return yards (on 13 attempts with 1 TD), and 708 kickoff return yards (on 21 attempts with 4 TD). He's also got 33 catches for another 445 yards and 4 touchdowns. Oh, by the way, he's Clemson's offense. If Dabo Sweeney had gotten him the ball more this season out of the backfield, we might have him even higher.
2. Toby Gerhart - 311 attempts, 1736 yards (5.6 yards per carry), 26 TD
That's an impressive stat line. No doubt about it. Gerhart adds another 149 yards (on 10 catches - no touchdowns) through the air. The next back for Stanford carried the ball 61 times, and the third leading rusher carried 55 times. Gerhart carried the load. It's a great year for an outstanding back.
1. Mark Ingram - 249 attempts, 1542 yards (6.2 yards per carry), 15 TD
When you factor in Ingrams 30 catches for 322 yards and 3 more touchdowns, it looks even better. And, when you consider that he split carries with a very talented Trent Richardson (who had 126 Carries for 642 yards and 6 TDs), those numbers could easily be as gaudy as Gerhart's against much stiffer defenses.
While Gerhart rang up 439 against 3 teams outside the top 90 in rushing defense, Bama minimized Ingram's carries in those games (also three) - he had only 287 yards against the three teams outside the top 90 Alabama faced. He didn't get nearly as many carries in those games, and the numbers show it.
There's no padding here. Ingram's yards were hard fought, against SEC defenses who routinely stacked the box and dared QB Greg McElroy to beat them. Ingram also tallied over 1,000 yards of total offense after contact - more than half of his yards.
In short, Ingram had harder yards against better competition, with 62 less carries. The Tide's superior team put games out of contention sooner, meaning less carries in garbage time for Ingram.
He's the better back and deserving of Alabama's first Heisman Trophy.
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