One of the weird anomalies in college football is the fact that, despite being one of the top three or four programs of all time, Alabama has yet to win a Heisman.
Now, there are a few who think this might be the result of some sort of bias against Southern football. But a closer look at it reveals that it can generally be ascribed to the lack of offensive production by Tide players over the years. Whether we like it or not, it takes yards and touchdowns to win a Heisman and the various ’Bama offenses haven’t been prone to producing superlative individual seasons.
As you can see, a good chunk of Alabama’s top 10 Heisman finishers have been defensive players. Hard to win Heismans that way.
But I think things are about to change.
With the Tide’s resurgence under Nick Saban, we’re starting to see an influx of outstanding offensive talent heading to Tuscaloosa. And the talent that was already on hand when he got there is starting to produce, too.
Case in point, junior quarterback Greg McElroy. He’s currently third in the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 175.15 (tops among BCS conference signal callers). He is on pace to become Alabama’s first 3,000-yard passer in his first year as a starter. He’s accurate (68 percent) and has just one interception in his first 93 attempts.
One can properly presume that with a fine season under his belt in 2009, McElroy will be getting some Heisman hype heading into 2010.
Then there is the case of super frosh tailback Trent Richardson. Alabama under Saban will probably always have a strong ground game, but I think there’s a good chance that Richardson will, in the next couple seasons, develop into a great back. Before too long, he might be a legit Heisman contender.
As long as Saban stays at Alabama, the talent will keep coming in and the Tide will be among the nation’s top teams. If the Bama offense continues to improve the way it has in 2009, it’s only natural to think that some of that talent will eventually have a shot at the Heisman Trophy.