Mark Ingram, 2009 Heisman Winner

Ingram Heisman

In the closest race in Heisman history, Mark Ingram, sophomore running back from Alabama, has won the 2009 Heisman Trophy.

Ingram edged Stanford’s Toby Gerhart by just 28 total points, 1,304 to 1,276.   He’s the first Crimson Tide player–and the third-straight sophomore–to win the the trophy.

“I’m a little overwhelmed right now,” said Ingram upon receiving the award.  “I’m honored to be Alabama’s first Heisman winner.”

Ingram won four of the six Heisman regions:  the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, the South and the Midwest (where he was born).  Gerhart won the West, while Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh won the Southwest.

Stay tuned to for more coverage from the 2009 Heisman ceremony.

Final Order of Finish, with total points

1. Mark Ingram, 1,304 points

2. Toby Gerhart, 1,276 points

3. Colt McCoy, 1,145 points

4. Ndamukong Suh, 815 points

5. Tim Tebow, 390 points

6. C.J. Spiller, 223 points

7. Kellen Moore, 100 points

8. Case Keenum, 37 points

9. Mardy Gilyard, 23 points

10. Golden Tate, 21 points

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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21 Responses to Mark Ingram, 2009 Heisman Winner

  1. Geoff December 12, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    Ingram’s a nice kid and a talented athlete, but to earn the title of “least YPG by a Heisman RB” while in the company of NCAA record-setters and statistical leaders like McCoy and Gerhart is just an embarrassing statement for the Heisman Foundation and it’s voters.

  2. Chad December 12, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Congratulations Mark. Well deserved as well. Glad to see the voters took to heart how well he performed in the big games and against the stiffest competition. I couldn’t have argued with Gerhart either…which is probably why it was so close…two great RBs. Alabama has their first Heisman winner in their storied history and glad to see it went to such a class individual.

  3. Marc Webb December 12, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Congratulations to Ingram and Alabama. He is obviously deserving and has a tremendous character.

    However, as a huge Horns fan….

    Remember the Curse!!!

  4. Angie December 12, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Everyone should be proud of Ingram’s win as the newest Heisman winner. He won it with heart and skill. His coach did not over play him, or keep him in, so that they could run up his stats. His coach did the right thing, and put the good of the player above the desire to get his player a trophy. Ingram deserves this award, and people like Geof in his comments should be ashamed. Ingram won it without running up fake stats against subpar teams. So, from the state of Alabama, CONGRATULATIONS, to a true player and an excellent Human.

  5. Geoff December 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    “Obviously deserving”? “Tremendous Character”? Which Heisman race are you watching?

  6. Chad December 12, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Hey Geoff…the Heisman isn’t about racking up big statistics against weak teams. The Navy QB just broke Tebow’s QB rushing TD record today…should they revoke Tebow’s Heisman and give it to that guy? Get a clue. Ingram did his damage against the toughest defenses…and as for the stats, he split time AND he was taken out early in a lot of games. He was saved for a championship run…that doesn’t deminish his talent or how deserving he is of the award.

  7. Geoff December 12, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Angie – making excuses for sub-par-Heisman stats is simply that, excuses. Furthermore, to imply that coaches like Mack Brown don’t put the game and the team before individual stats and don’t pull players like Colt McCoy early would be a very very ignorant and uninformed thing for you to imply (for Colt was pulled in many 4th quarters). And why should I be ashamed of identifying true stats? Ingram going down as one of the worst RB’s in Heisman history is simply fact, not a biased or arrogant opinion.

  8. Thomas December 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    I think it’s safe to say Suh took the trophy away from McCoy. If the UT-Nebraska game wasn’t dominated by Suh, McCoy would have easily won the Southwest vote and easily could have eclipsed both Ingram and Gerhart.

  9. Geoff December 12, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    Chad, I never said the Heisman is about stats. I only bring up the point that he will go down as one of the least statistically significant Heisman winners to ever win the award. And for a Sophomore to win the award AND beat out names like McCoy and Tebow, you would expect a dominating performance – of which Ingram did not have.

    Please don’t confuse my opinions and statements as dislike for Ingram – he is a fantastic running back on the best team in the nation – THIS is why he won the award, and this is the only reason he won the award.

  10. Angie December 12, 2009 at 7:32 pm #


    You are being arrogant and biased. But hey it’s a free country. I never said Ingram ran up subpar stats. I said that other players having higher stats against sub par teams, means a whole lot less than having excellent stats, which make no mistake Ingram has, against hard teams with awesome defenses. Take a minute to consider how Gerhart played all of the time. Over playing your best player because they have no back up, and your trying to get them an award, should not be seen as excellent coaching. Playing smart and keeping your best player healthy instead of causing him a career ending injury for no reason, like has happened in the past to many other players, is good coaching. Just be happy for a great person who worked hard and won.

  11. Geoff December 12, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    Are you reading what you’re saying? You’re essentially down-playing the great play of virtually every past Heisman winner who were statistically dominating while implying the reason that Ingram played horribly in games like Auburn was because of good coaching???

  12. Tim December 12, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    The second Heismandment is going to have to be simply destroyed. It is obvious that sophomores are no longer subject to the crippling bias they once faced. Tebow broke the mold by having a statistically overpowering season against relatively weak competition for the award. Bradford carved out more space for sophomores by having a brilliant season against good competition for the award. Now Mark Ingram, who had no name recognition prior to this season and was very weak statistically speaking, has pretty much erased the second Heismandment. He won against a senior with superior name recognition and a senior with superior statistics.

    Also, to throw my two cents in, I think he is going to go down as one of the weaker winners in Heisman history. This isn’t meant to slight him, but his statistics really will affect his legacy. I think he’s going to be looked at like a Troy Smith — very good player, maybe even a great player (a lot of his greatness is not measurable with stats). But you would never confuse his legacy with the one that surrounds former winners like Tebow (2007) and Reggie Bush.

    I don’t know if Ingram was more deserving of the award than Suh or Gerhart (or even Case Keenum), but he certainly wasn’t less deserving. Really, when you consider all the politics involved in this award and the difference in the way people view the criteria, it is impossible to say who is the MOST OUTSTANDING player. Congrats to Ingram, even though he ran all over my beloved Gators.

  13. Anonymous December 12, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    What did Ingram do against Auburn?
    What did Ingram do against Arkansas?

    He shouldn’t have won, he was probably the least deserving of the group. Gerhart was a better running back, Colt actually carried his team to the national championship, Suh was the most dominant defensive player in the league.

    Tebow and Ingram even going is a joke. Enjoy your undeserved award overrated SEC player.

  14. Elizabeth December 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Geoff, not trying to butt heads with you or anything, but what is the point of disputing what can’t be changed? There’s no changing the fact that Mark Ingram won the Heisman for 2009, so let’s all be happy for him and support him.
    (: rtr

  15. no names please December 12, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    wowww anon.

  16. Anonymous December 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    First off, congratulations to Mark Ingram on winning the trophy. He is an excellent player, on an excellent team, who gets plenty of national exposure. All of the ingredients to be the winner.

    I’m reading these disputes on the subject and some people are missing the point of the Heisman. Great coaching made his stats go down? Okay, I buy that. It’s true, Alabama crushed many opponents. The problem with that is, the entire team had great numbers in those games, whether it was a good team or not. Ingram just wasn’t needed as much in those games. The subtext of the “great coaching” comment is; Ingram is a great roll player on a great team. Yes, he was taken out during blowouts, but showed weaknesses during closer games (Ex. Auburn and Arkansas). This is the Heisman Trophy, not best roll player in the country award. No, it shouldn’t be based all on stats, but it should be about who is the best player in college football. I feel this award is all about national exposure now. I am not only talking about this year, I’m also talking about previous years. If this trend continues, the trophy won’t mean near as much in the future.

    The Heisman Trophy should be about, if you take this one player off of the field, will that team succeed? I believe in Alabama and Ingram’s case, the team would still be just as lethal without him. I guess that definition is also pretty vague, as many players are like that for different teams, but that should be a starting point to build from. The next step should be to determine where this player stands apart from other players. Its a difficult task, but thats why the Heisman Trophy was created. I feel that, if using this criteria, some of the others should have won.

    I hate to sound like I’m taking anything away from Ingram, but he just didn’t prove anything to me this year as far as winning the most prestigious of awards in college football. I know for a fact he is a GREAT player and deserves tons of recognition for being as great of a player as he is. Just not the Heisman.

  17. Scott December 13, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    C.J. SPILLER was the best player in college football this year. The proof is in the stats. Ingram had decent games against 2nd rate defenses (Florida the only exception). Spiller AVERAGED 270 yards per game for the 4 games Clemson played against top 15 ranked teams. Unheard of.

  18. philnotfil December 13, 2009 at 5:25 am #

    Heismandment #2 is dead and buried. A sophomore won over a senior who put up better numbers at the same position.

  19. sandymex December 13, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Geoff said: “least YPG by a Heisman RB.”

    Ingram averaged 22 more yards per game with fewer carries than Archie Griffin.

    Archie Griffin 1975:
    1450 yards, 121/game, 5.5 ypc, 4 TDs
    Mark Ingram 2009:
    1864 yards, 143/game, 6.2 ypc, 18 TDs

    Ingram is the first rb to have 13 wins at time of Heisman. Has any Heisman winning RB ever had as few fumbles over the course of the season?

  20. Jennifer December 14, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    Does anyone know, or know how to find the statistics of Heisman winners actually winning the national championship game? I found that only 4 Heisman winners in the past 3 decades have won the national championship, but I’m not sure how up to date that info is.


  21. sandymex December 14, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Here are the Heisman recipients who won national championships (BCS or AP):
    Davey OBrien – 1938
    Bruce Smith – 1941
    Angelo Bertelli – 1943
    Doc Blanchard – 1945
    John Lujack – 1947
    Leon Hart – 1949
    Tony Dorset – 1976
    Charlie Ward – 1993
    Danny Wuerffel – 1996
    Charles Woodson – 1997
    Matt Leinart – 2004

    WINNING is an important stated element of the Heisman. There has only been 1 Heisman winner on a team with a losing record (1956). And only in 1935 and 1969 did the Heisman recipient have 4 losses at the time of the vote.