Mark Ingram’s rise up the Heisman ladder has been remarkable. In almost any other season, he would probably not be a prime candidate, but this is not just any ol’ season.
This race is as wide open as any in the last 20 years. Voters have been spoiled by the last two Heisman winners, each of whom ran and passed for 55 touchdowns. But no one is even close to approaching that level this season and so the Heisman electorate finds itself underwhelmed by comparison.
This helps to explain why a relatively unknown sophomore running back with good–but not incredible–stats is getting so much attention.
The question now is whether Ingram can handle all of it. Along with an increased media workload, he’ll have the pressure of performing up to a certain standard every week. Opposing defenses will work harder to stop him. Is he ready?
A lot of people will tune in to the Alabama-Tennessee game to find out. If he passes this test–and then does well against LSU two weeks later–he should be in great shape heading into the home stretch of the season.