Heisman Trophy Winner-Snap Judgment
Written by Curt Popejoy on 12/13/2009
First off let me say that I think it's a perfect choice of Mark Ingram for the Heisman Trophy. Ingram really has been the most outstanding player in the country for the bulk of the season. Any discussion of how "deserving" he is, must start with how impactful he's been on an Alabama offense with an under-performaing quarterback and group of wide receivers. Ingram was the focus of that offense for many games, and the opposing teams defenses knew that. But in the games against the best teams, Ingram shined and had his best games.
And if you missed Ingram's speech, you missed the best acceptance speech I've ever seen. He was genuine and emotional and didn't work off cards. He was a young man speaking from his heart and it showed just how much the award meant to him. Compared to some of the canned speeches of recent years it was really refreshing and will make me root for him that much more.
Runner up was Stanford running back Toby Gerhart who was the forgotten guy in all this. Probably the most consistent back in the nation, if Gerhart had won, I don't think anyone could have complained. I think what cost Gerhart in the final analysis is, he didn't play the quality of defenses Ingram did, had much more help from Andrew Luck and that Stanford passing attack. He wasn't the focus that Ingram was to opponents and that allowed him to accumulate better stats. Much respect to Gerhart who looks to have a very promising NFL future.
Now is when things get a little odd. I think most people expected the no.3 vote getter assuming Ingram and Gerhart were 1 and 2 to be Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. He became a public candidate in the Big 12 Title game as worked Colt McCoy like an aerobics video. Other than Demarcus Ware against Missouri in 2004 and Warren Sapp's performance in the Orange Bowl there hasn't been a better individual effort by a defensive player I've ever seen. For myself, I had Suh in my Heisman breakdown in September, so his performance this year doesn't surprise me. The problem was, no one was paying attention until it was too late. Suh didn't become great 2 weeks ago, but by the media comments you'd have thought so. And so what does that mean? It means Colt McCoy, the guy Suh punked finishes third and Suh gets 4th. If he'd have had a gun, they should have arrested him for robbery. McCoy probably wasn't even the most outstanding player on his own team this season. I'd give that to S Earl Thomas. But because the media either was still trying to do a make up for McCoy not winning last season, or because they feel like giving the best QB on the best team the only option, they gave him enough votes to bump a far more deserving candidate. Between last night, and last week in the Big 12 title game, McCoy has been touched by an angel twice in two weeks.
I suppose I must mention Tim Tebow. He got fifth, and shouldn't have been in the discussion. There, I mentioned him.
Onto the broadcast. ESPN does their best job to lull us into a coma for 56 minutes and then try and wake us back up to announce the winner. This year awas no exception. Segment after segment of empty information or information we all aready knew. Last night specifically the bit with McCoy and Tebow at Carnegie Deli was particularly annoying to me. The Carnegie Deli is more famous than Tebow and McCoy will be combined in their lifetimes and how they disrespected those sandwiches makes me want them to do even worse in the NFL. Should have done that interview in a studio with a backdrop of a Burger King and some Whoppers no tomato. it would have seemed just as genuine. That was so forced and so pointless. Neither guy has enough personality to fill a thimble.
But back to happier times. Ingram is the winner and I am a happy guy. He and Gerhart and Suh have been my guys for over a month, and Suh and Ingram since October so I feel vindicated to all the flames I got after the Alabama/Auburn game when these media heads were tweeting that Ingram was off their ballot. Dopes. Ingram is almost a lock not to win it next year, because next season, the entire Alabama offense will be much better. QB Greg McElroy and WR Julio Jones will be more dynamic, and RB Trent Richardson will command more carries. Alabama may be better on offense to the detriment of Ingram's Heisman hopes. But I am guessing he'll take it for his team's success.
Now, it's never too soon for me to think about the 2010 Heisman, so here's some thoughts.
Oregon playmakers Jeremiah Masoli and LaMichael James will cancel each other out. Both on seperate teams would be frontrunners, but together, they will both finish out of the running.
Lots of great individual performances by quarterbacks will go for not because their teams won't be any good. A couple of think about are Jerrod Johnson QB Texas A&M and Blane Gabbert, QB Missouri. Lots of quarterbacks next year who will run up ridiculous numbers on average football teams.
So who are my ten to watch for 2010?
Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
John Brantley, QB Florida
Matt Barkley QB USC
Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas
Christian Ponder, QB Florida State
Dion Lewis RB Pittsburgh
Ryan Williams RB Virginia Tech
Jacquizz Rogers, RB Oregon State
Ryan Broyles, WR Oklahoma
Ricky Elmore, DE Arizona
Last Edited: 12/13/2009