My new Heisman Ballot
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/07/2009
The season is getting far enough along that you usually expect some frontrunners to start to distrance themselves from the pack. This year however, things just aren't working out that way. And because of that, there are two ways we can all go with this.
First, we could look at the Heisman for what it is. The Heisman Trophy is to be awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. This means all positions are open, all classes, and we could actually use this chance to return some credibility to an award that has turned into something more about awarding the highest profile player.
Second we could all become sheeple and just jump on whatever weekly bandwagon is out there, continue to bow at the altar of statistics, and continue to think if it isn't a highly ranked team then it can't have a Heisman contender. I know which I am going to chose, but sadly I know which one more pundits will select.
My front row in the team picture are these guys.
Mark Ingram, RB Alabama-Still my trophy winner. This kid is the definition of outstanding for a couple of reasons. First is, he's the leader of one of the 3 best teams in the nation. Second, he's racking up huge numbers, while having to deal with a passing game, that doesn't keep defenses honest, and two backup running backs who'd start for most teams in the country. But he keeps them on the bench for the most part. There's nothing Ingram can't do on the field, and when I watch him run, you can just see he doesn't care the situation he wants the ball in his hands and he's going to do work when he gets it.
Ryan Mathews, RB Fresno State-An easy choice. The most dominant back in the nation, not named Mark Ingram. What Matthews is doing, might be more impressive when you consider how much opposing teams game plan for him. But that has to be balanced out with the level of competition he goes against. Still, Matthews is an awesome talent, and certainly worthy of discussion.
Jimmy Clausen, RB Notre Dame-I don't just include Clausen because I think he's the best NFL prospect at the position, but because if you want a high profile guy playing a high profile position, then Clausen is your guy. He's put up excellent numbers, and Notre Dame has turned a corner after looking pretty rough the last couple of year. Clausen is handcuffed by the fact that the losses to Michigan and USC seem to be hanging around their necks like anchors, while their wins haven't impressed. Clausen seems to be improving every week and if they can keep winning, especially against Pittsburgh, I think he'll have to be taken seriously.
If they can send a fourth guy
Tim Tebow, QB Florida-Lord is pains me to do this, but Tebow is superhuman. There I said it, and I feel good about it. I've decided I can't just penalize Tebow for lesser stats this year, because he's been every bit as impressive for the most part. He's the undisputed leader of the best team in the nation, and in terms of things like leadership he's certainly outstanding. The last 4 games on the Gators schedule is less than daunting, so I expect to see Coach Urban do all he can to help pad Tebow's stats, and make sure he wins.
If I can send a fifth guy
Colt McCoy, QB Texas-Another guy getting there mostly on cache'. He's not put up great numbers, but once again, he's the leader of a bigtime program that is undefeated. And like Tebow, he's got a stretch of games that doesn't frighten anyone so I expect Coach Brown to give McCoy every chance to run up his numbers in an effort to get to New York.
My ceremonial picks
Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska-I've been on this guys bandwagon all year, and that doesn't change. He's exactly what this award is about. He's outstanding. He impacts everything opposing teams gameplans at all times. He can disrupt every play, without showing up in the box score, and with all the attention he gets he still is able to put up excellent stats. Suh won't get in the mix, but I will continue to pimp him.
Jerry Hughes, DE TCU-Now before I get hate mail about how Von Miller has more sacks, or the down production of Hughes, I ask you to go watch some tape of TCU and the amount of double teams and chips Hughes is getting. He's still the most explosive end in the country, and one on one impossible to block. I realize he has no shot at the award, but like Suh, I think he's the type of player this award is for over some of other names being bantered about.
The Susan Powter, Stop the Insanity list.
Jeremiah Masoli, QB Oregon-I was cheering for Oregon last night, and I think what they did was amazing. But no player should ever be put on a ballot for an award like this for a single game. Masoli is a fine college quarterback, and I hope he's able to close out his season strong, but he's going to have to string together huge games against Stanford and Arizona for be in consideration for me.
Case Keenum, QB Houston-Putting up ridiculous numbers is awesome to watch. I always look forward to watching Keenum play. But does anyone think that the Houston quarterback position isn't just a plug and play position? If you don't, then think again. Those Houston passing stats are less about the man, and more about the system he's playing in.
Tony Pike, QB Cincinnati-I'm a Pike fan. Let me get that out of the way. But with Pike out, the Bearcat offense seems to just keep rolling along, and I'm sure Pike is happier to see his team stay undefeated then him win any award.
C.J. Spiller RB Clemson-Other than Masoli, Spiller is the guy most reactionary types are putting at the top of their ballots now. He's a nice player but putting him on your ballot makes no sense whatsoever. He's not one of the 5 best running backs in the college football right now, he can't be the best football player in the country.
If I assume my top 5 go, first I'll tell you who I'd give it to, and then who I think will win it. I think if that top 5 were in New York together, I would award it to Mark Ingram. He's thrown that Crimson Tide team on his back, and even though there are great players on the team who could spell him, he gets all the important carries. Truly outstanding.
Now, who will win it? It'll come down to Tebow and McCoy, with McCoy edging out Tebow, just as I predicted pre-season. At some point, Tebow's down stats will be picked apart, and McCoy is going to rack 'em up the next month. Regardless, I wont keep the faith that the Heisman committee do the right thing this year and start giving the award to the player it was meant for.
Last Edited: 11/07/2009