Friday, December 11, 2009

The Race for the Heisman


It has been awhile since there was so much uncertainty concerning who should win the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman is usually given to the best player in the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision -- or, for most of us, Division 1A). I have always found it ironic that, in most years, the Heisman has gone to the best player on the best team. This may make sense some years, but in other years, there are some outstanding players that would not sniff the Heisman because they play for an average or mediocre team. With this said, I offer some praise for Boise State's, Kellen Moore, who, if he played for Alabama, USC or Texas would win this year's Heisman hands down. He had the best passer efficiency rating, by a great distance, of any of the major quarterbacks in the competition, leading his team to a 13-0 record. He has also thrown 39 touchdown passes against only 3 interceptions...the best percentage of any of the best quarterbacks in the nation.

With all of the above said, let's look at the five actual candidates, and I will tell you who should win it and who probably will win it. Two quarterbacks -- Colt McCoy, Texas and Tim Tebow, Florida, two running backs -- Toby Gerhart, Stanford and Mark Ingram, Alabama, and a defensive lineman -- Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska.

I will start with the most outstanding defensive player in the nation. Suh came on the scene at the 11th hour thanks to a nationally televised, dominating performance in the Big 12 Championship Game. A lot of voters are going to jump on the Suh bandwagon, and this is their prerogative, for certain, but...very few people had even heard of him before the championship game. Some do not like it that a Johnny-Come-Lately could win it without all of the publicity all year long, but...once again...the award is for the best player in college football.

Both quarterbacks had great statistical years, but forgettable conference championship games, really. Neither led their teams well -- Florida lost, and Texas would have, if not for a minor miracle. Still, even though the poor performances are going to stand out in many voter's minds, the award is for the entire year...and either would be deserving, although McCoy had a better year, overall, I believe.

The running backs were each outstanding in their own way. Gerhart carried the Stanford offense on his back all year long to an 8-4 record. Ingram helped to lead Alabama to an undefeated record in the SEC and a win in the championship. It is my opinion that most voters will go for Ingram, because he is the "best player" on the "best team," which, as I have said, is usually enough to do the trick. I think was a very good player, but I would beg to differ on this perspective a bit, because I believe that Alabama is 12 -0 primarily because of their outstanding defense. So, if a team Heisman could be given, it should be to this unit that just shut down Tim Tebow, as well as everone else this year. With regard to this, I believe that Gerhart was more valuable to his team, leading the nation in statistics for running backs and just won the Doak Walker Award recognizing him as the nation's best running back.

So, with all of this said...I would love to see Colt McCoy win the Heisman for sentimental reasons, but I do not believe that it will happen due to the Big 12 Championship performance, which is unfortunate, because I believe before that game he was the leading contender. He would be third on my list. Gerhart was a beast, and as the nations acclaimed best running back, he would be second on my list. Because he was so dominating all year long, and given his championship game performance -- even though he is on the defensive side of the ball -- Ndamukong Suh should win the Heisman as the best player in the land. In my opinion, he is the most dominant player at his position since we saw Mr. Reggie White dominate at the collegiate level and in the NFL. It will be interesting to see how it nturns out. Blessings,


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