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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Keegan

Stanford RB earns my vote

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Voter’s remorse. It happens nearly every year. It used to hit when the envelope containing a Heisman Trophy ballot fell into the mailbox. Now it occurs upon stroking the send button.

I had no such regrets in 1992, when I gave my first-place vote to eventual third-place winner Garrison Hearst, a Georgia running back, and left Gino Torretta off my three-deep ballot. Torretta didn’t have nearly as strong a case as Hearst. Back then, Heisman hype seemed to figure more in the voting.

Now the outcomes seem less about hype and more about substance. Nobody was hyped harder this year than four-year Texas starter Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, but he won’t win.

Predicted results to be announced on tonight’s 7 p.m. ESPN show: 1. Alabama running back Mark Ingram, 2. Stanford RB Toby Gerhart, 3. McCoy, 4. Florida QB Tim Tebow, 5. Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

My ballot: 1. Gerhart, 2. Boise State sophomore quarterback Kellen Moore, 3. Ingram.

Hype still has influence, and strangely, Moore, a 6-foot, 187-pound sophomore from Prosser, Wash., received little of it. His numbers were nothing short of phenomenal, starting with a 13-0 record. He threw 39 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. Five of his TD strikes came on Nov. 27 against a Nevada team that had not lost a game in conference play until that day. Just a sophomore who plays in the thin Western Athletic Conference, Moore never was a serious contender. Maybe next year.

The toughest call came when casting a third-place vote. Should it go to Suh or Ingram? The battle waged in my brain went something like this: If I give it to Suh and omit Ingram, am I subconsciously doing so to try to rig the deck for Gerhart, the guy I’ve backed for the past month? If I vote for Ingram, am I putting too much emphasis on Suh’s quiet day against Kansas because I was at the game and not enough on Suh’s effort against Texas (41⁄2 sacks) in the Big 12 title game?

Unable to watch it because I was in the air, flying to Los Angeles to cover the KU-UCLA basketball game, I only read about it.

As soon as I pressed the button, I wondered if I had done the right thing and hoped the third-place waffle wouldn’t affect the outcome, which in theory could happen if Ingram edges Gerhart by a vote.

Putting Gerhart on top was the easiest decision. He led the nation with 1,736 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns. He gained 200 yards on the ground against Washington, 223 against Oregon, 205 vs. Notre Dame. Against strong competition in the final four weeks — Oregon, USC, California and Notre Dame — he averaged 185.5 yards rushing and scored 13 touchdowns. Gerhart’s first pass of his college career went for a TD against ND.

Gerhart wears No. 7, stands 6-1, and weighs 235 pounds. He comes from Norco, as country a town as there is in Southern California. He played for his father at Norco High, where Toby’s parents were high school sweethearts.

Gerhart deserves to become Stanford’s second Heisman Trophy winner, following quarterback Jim Plunkett (1970). John Elway? He finished second to Herschel Walker in 1982.

Comments

Mike Kendall 7 years, 11 months ago

My vote goes to Ingram--second place= Colt McCoy.

rgreene 7 years, 11 months ago

I'd vote Gerhart. Of the five players listed, he was the most outstanding this season, plain and simple. Then again, the most outstanding player in ALL of FBS football was left off the ballot -- C.J. Spiller of Clemson.

sshroyer 7 years, 11 months ago

How can someone who covers the Big 12 leave Suh completely off their ballot? It's difficult to pick just one player from this year's crop, but it simply comes down to two: Suh or Ingram. Suh was the most outstanding player at any position from start to finish. Considering the competition he faced and the lack of a consistent passing game to take the pressure off him, Ingram had the most impressive offensive season. And, I should mention that all projections have Suh finishing no lower than third in the voting. Not bad considering even writers in his own conference didn't notice him...

Jayhawksrule2009 7 years, 11 months ago

What does a Stanford RB. Have to do with the Kansas Jayhawks football team coach search.

I just dont get it

Ryan Mullen 7 years, 11 months ago

Keegan, I know you don't care about what people like I think but, if you can cover the big 12 and not put Suh on your heisman ballot then I will not read any more of your blogs. Yes I said blogs because that is what you are is a blog writer you are oblivious to the sports world around you and thus you right crap kinda like a blog.

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

Suh, and it isn't close. There wasn't another dominant player this season.

Suh was the one and only unstoppable player. I've never seen a nose tackle consistently drop back into coverage and make interceptions. He's a machine.

Moore's numbers and record put him at 2.

The rest of them all fall in one group. "Good".

Justin Diederich 7 years, 11 months ago

The Heisman is suppost to go to the best player. Hands down it is SUH. Hopefully one of these years the voters will look outside the box.

ajs10 7 years, 11 months ago

How can you not vote for Suh? Did you watch the Big XII championship?

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