Alabama’s Heisman Case for Trent Richardson

I’ve invited the various schools to use to make their case for their Heisman Trophy candidate.

Each player/school will get a featured post to push their player and I’d like my readers to let it be known which argument was the strongest. I’ll put a poll on the sidebar. Please take a minute to vote. Try to be objective if you can (I know, big request).

As for you Heisman voters out there, here’s a chance to see all the arguments laid side by side. Well, at least a few of them, as not all the schools decided to make a case.

We’ll start out with Alabama and Trent Richardson. Take it away, Alabama:

3 • Trent Richardson

RB • 5-11 • 224 • Jr • 2L

Pensacola, Fla. (Escambia)

• Richardson has faced eight teams ranked among the top 50 nationally in total defense — no other Heisman Trophy contender has played more than four

• Average rank of defenses Richardson has faced is 39.4 – no other Heisman Trophy contender’s average rank is better than 61.2 and three players average rank is in the 80s out of 120 teams

• Joins Tim Tebow and Cam Newton as the only players in SEC history to rush for 20 touchdowns

• Accounted for 169 yards from scrimmage against No. 1 LSU’s second-ranked defense, 54 more yards than his closest competition, Oregon’s LaMichael James (115 yards from scrimmage)

• His 1,702 yards from scrimmage accounts for 35.4 percent of the Alabama offense in 2011

• Has eight 100-yard rushing games — No. 2 at Alabama

• Lost just one fumble in 586 career touches

• Has not lost a fumble in his last 522 touches

• Ranks first in the SEC and seventh nationally in rushing, averaging 125.5 yards per game

• Ranks first in the SEC and fifth nationally with 20 rushing touchdowns, the most in UA history

• Accounted for 96 first downs or touchdowns

• Has 42 explosive plays of 12-yards or more

• Get stronger as the game progresses with 57.7 percent of his rushing yards coming after the half

• Averages 5.8 yards per carry and scores a touchdown every 11.8 carries

• Ranks first in the SEC and 10th nationally with 160.7 all-purpose yards per game

• Ranks first in the SEC and sixth nationally in scoring at 12.0 points per game

• His 1,380 yards is the fourth-best total in a single-season at Alabama while his 1,768 all-purpose yards is sixth

• Two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week

• Seven-time Alabama Offensive Player of the Week

Powered by

About Heismanpundit

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.

Follow HP

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube!

21 Responses to Alabama’s Heisman Case for Trent Richardson

  1. CM November 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    The first stat pretty much says it all. TR has faced TWICE as many Top 50 defenses as any other Heisman candidate.

    Competition matters.

    • Sterling November 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      Trent couldn’t help Alabama win their most important game of the season. Trent wasn’t able to get anywhere near the end zone against LSU. That was his chance for a Heisman moment and he struck out. Compare Trent’s rushing stats to that of past running back Heisman trophy winners and Trent’s stats look very mediocre.

      • Trickster November 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

        How can you say he struck out when he got 50% more yards against them than any other team? That’s just silliness. It’s not only touchdowns that count in football. In a great defensive slugfest, like that game was, touchdowns are few and far between.

        There are legit arguments to raise against Richardson winning the Heisman. His performance against LSU is not one of them. He was amazing in that game.

        • Sterling November 22, 2011 at 6:54 am #

          You may call it a defensive slugfest but I’d call it an ugly, sloppy, turnover laden football game with terrible QB play, terrible missed field goals and the snoozefest of the century. Richardson may have accounted for 169 yards (89 Rushing, 80 Receiving) but it was all for nothing because neither LSU or Alabama could do anything in the red zone. LSU didn’t win that game… Alabama handed it to the Tigers.

          • Trickster November 22, 2011 at 8:59 am #

            You’re showing your ignorance of real football, Sterling. How long have you been a football fan? Defense wins championships. That was a classic defensive struggle for the ages, the best pure college football game in a long, long time.

          • Moose November 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

            Sterling-What are you? A bitter auburn fan? A moron? You sound like a jealous idiot.

    • GT Class of '76 November 22, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      RICHARDSON can book his ticket to New York City.

      As the only serious Heisman candidate who will appear in the BCS Championship, RICHARDSON is LUCK’s top challenger.

  2. Not the biggest fan November 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Richardson is a good, not great player. He’s a fine college player a decent pro prospect, but has done nothing to make me sit up and say, “wow,” like Keenum’s 9 touchdowns in one game or even Griffin’s touchdown against Oklahoma. I just don’t see him as a true Heisman winner.

    I really see it as Keenum’s award to lose right now.

    • Trickster November 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Hmmm. . . . I hate to look like I’m arguing at everybody criticizing Richardson, but while he may not win the Heisman and may not deserve it, calling him a “good player” pretty much guarantees you haven’t watched him play much. He is easily the most spectacular player on the list.

      I’ve been watching football for 50 years, and I have NEVER seen a back who can move a pile like Richardson. He’s the most physical star tailback probably since Earl Campbell, and possibly even more powerful than Campbell. He also has near-sprinter speed, and by the way he has moves, too.

      • Sterling November 22, 2011 at 7:02 am #

        Showing that highlight clip against Ole Miss is just like UH showing Case’s highlight reel against Rice with his 9 TD passes.

    • Jeffro November 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      Auburn and planked defenses diagree guess you didn’t see his two runs against them where he broke five tackles during each and broke a guys ankles on the ole miss one

  3. R. November 22, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Journeyman back on a overrated team. Averages 127 yards per game versus SEC but barely broke a hundred against Penn State. Might make a decent back-up for Monte Ball at Wisconsin. Disappeared during the game against LSU – Alabama barely made it past midfield. The SEC isn’t very good this year. Two halfway decent teams and a bunch of also-rans. Georgia, the SEC east champ, was thrashed by Boise State at home. Let me repeat that – a Mountain West team soundly defeated the SEC east champ at home.

    • Trickster November 22, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      I don’t know what makes people who have barely watched Richardson play come into this thread and make comments as if they know what they’re talking about. Really, I KNOW you haven’t watched him much. “Journeyman?” Really? Every NFL scout agrees he is the most talented back at least since Adrian Peterson, and possibly going well back before that.

      I’m an Alabama fan, so I feel the need to defend him against, and I’m sorry but I must say ignorant comments. But I think I have some cred, because I think Griffin should get the Heisman.

      I’m not going to compare Richardson to Ball, because I haven’t watched Ball enough. (There, see how it’s done?) Ball has clearly had an excellent season and deserves Heisman consideration, although being on the same team as another Heisman contender probably sinks his chances. But he is far, far far from a “journeyman” back. He is an elite talent, and although he still has a couple of holes in his game to work on, I will say without hestiation that he is one of the best athletes I have ever seen in any sport, and I’m a 56-year-old sports fan. I mean really, just look at the dude. While he’s standing there. Just look at him.

      • Sterling November 22, 2011 at 10:14 am #

        If Defense wins championships then what I’m gathering from your statements is that Alabama should be able to win without Richardson. That and you stating that RG3 deserves the Heisman is my proof that Richardson doesn’t deserve to be in the discussion. Richardson doesn’t lead the NCAA in total yards and he’s far behind Montee Ball in both yards/carry and rushing TDs.

        I’m not saying Richardson isn’t a good RB but he doesn’t stand up to past RBs that have won the Heisman. Even Mark Ingram had 300 more yards than Richardson and averaged nearly a half yard more per carry than Richardson. Richardson simply isn’t the most outstanding player in the NCAA this year.

        • Trickster November 22, 2011 at 10:39 am #

          Ball has had a deserving year, but I would vote Richardson 2nd behind Griffin. Ball’s stats are better, but they aren’t way better, and you always get a boost in the Heisman voting for playing for a championship contender. Richardson gets that, Ball doesn’t.

          I think the contender boost is enough to make up for a fairly small statistical edge that Ball gets, and the deciding factor is that Richardson’s stats were put up against much stouter defenses.

          I know two places to readily find strength of schedule (SOS) rankings: the official NCAA stats, and the Sagarin rankings.

          Alabama’s SOS is 24th, Wisconsin’s is 79th

          Alabama’s SOS is 23rd, Wisconsin’s is 83rd

          That SOS disparity more than makes up for the stats difference. Richardson is on a contender, so he is and SHOULD BE ahead of Ball.

          Ball has had an excellent season, but it’s not Heisman-worthy under the traditional metrics. He might have SOME chance, but since the QB on the same team is leading the nation in passing efficiency (which, by the way, is another sign of the weak defenses Wisconsin has gone up against), some of his vote will be split.

          Currently, he has zero chance to win the Heisman. If he goes hog-wild-crazy against Penn St. he could enter the picture, but Penn St. will not be as easy to run on as UNLV, Oregon St., Northern Illinois, South Dakota, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, or Illinois.

          Frankly, that is a pitiful collection of defenses they have gone against. Give Ball credit for having pretty good games against the three teams with a pulse he has faced – 351 yards rushing in the three games against Nebraska, Michigan St. and Ohio St. combined, plus a combined 6 TDs. But those were good performances, not great, and not good enough to come out of two of those games with a W. To be a real Heisman contender he would have to have either had great performances in those games or else gone ballistic against the rest of those weak sisters, and he hasn’t done either.

    • Jeffro November 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Richardson didn’t play in forth quarter against Penn state and sec is still the best conference lsu lever with thrashing of Oregon bama proved it with thrashing of Penn state Arkansas proved it by beating Tex a&m Georgia proved it by thrashing of ga tech south Carolina proved it with thrashing of Clemson and bama and lsu are clearly the two best teams in college football and Richardson had 169 yards from scrimmage whimsy lsu….plus Boise has beaten Oklahoma Oregon and others in the past

  4. R. November 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Okay, I admit the only game I watched him play this year was Alabama/LSU and I was biased by my recollections of the overtime. I defy anyone to watch that overtime and think that TR is any good (first pass bounced off his chest and the second went right through his arms) or that Alabama deserves a rematch (in fact, if he is so good why didn’t they just hand-off to him?). So i just watched a bunch of youtube clips. Okay, he is better than journeyman in the other games and and can run after contact (and doesn’t fumble much). But still I don’t see him as the best college player or the best running back. Look at the stats. He had 4.3 average against penn state; boom herron (OSU), for example, had 4.2 (and OSU passes maybe 10 times a game – everyone knows a run is coming). I’d call Boom a journeyman back, too. But I do agree that RG3 should get the Heisman, of all the candidates listed here. Basically, neither Monte nor Trent are exceptional enough to deserve it.Put either of them on Baylor and no-one would be saying one word about Heisman.

  5. AUman76 November 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    R., you’re a fn moron! No ..change that, you’re so frickin stupid you’re a morcrawler cause you can’t stand up straight to run! I hate anything bammer with a passion but TR is head and shoulders above Ingram in 2009 and 2010. He has sat a lot cause bammer don’t have to run up the score to get Poll Votes. Their name does it for em. So far as the bammer Pervert State game? lil nicky took it easy on the old man that day. The turds could have named the score and PSEww were defenseless to stop em.
    Like it or not… and I don’t…but bammer and LSU are the two best teams in the nation. Arky is good but one dementional. If the hogs can’t win force a shootout they lose! Get this straight…last season my Tigers handled the so called greatest offense ever and this season LSU had it’s way with that same Oregon high school offense. Someday someone will be good enough to challenge the top SEC teams but it sure as hell ain’t in 2011 or January 2012! 5 in a row and you idiots still don’t get it? LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Chuck November 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    The thing to remember with Trent Richardson is that he is sharing the backfield with the likes of Eddie Lacy, and Justin Fowler. He also is balancing out a passing game that has shown signs of greatness, but lacks consistency. Teams would put 8 or 9 in the box, and he still managed to put up the stats he has. No other back in college football under those conditions, playing the teams that Alabama has could match those stats.
    But lets give credit where credit is due. Monte Balls stat sheet alone is worthy of consideration, and he plays with the same strength and aggressiveness that TR does. But the real challenge… can he do it when they know he is coming. TR can. Take him away from Alabama, and he is still likely the strongest running back the game has seen in years. His top end speed leaves a little to be desired, but his quickness is phenomenal. Watch some game film if you really think he is average.

    As to the LSU vs Bama game. If you watched that, the beauty of the game was played out before the ball was snapped. The audibles and adjustments… that game was a chess match. Neither side could get anything done. Mainly because the other side was constantly countering. If you did not appreciate that game for what it was, then likely you have never played college ball. I understand that it was not highlight material, but you better believe it was film room material.

  7. BamaFan62 November 30, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    I have been watching college football for 50+ years and have seen the contenders and the prtenders. TR is, without a doubt, a contender. The Heisman is supposed to be for the best player of the year. The best is the one who puts his team 1st in all situations. TR puts as much into blocking to spring a run or protect the QB as he does in running the ball. Watching TR run is a sight that can only be described as awsome. His quick and sudden change of direction leaves a defense grabbing thin air and very seldom is he stopped by less than 3+ tacklers. Does he deserve the Heisman? According to several polls that track the race he should. According to this Tide loyalist there is no dout that TR should take home the Heisman this year.

  8. BamaFan62 November 30, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Here is an interesting thought. How about measuring a QBs passing yardage from the line of scrimmage to where the ball is actually caught? That way a pass for 10 yards that the receiver turns into a 50 yard gain actually shows what part the QB played in the gain, 10 yards. Talk about a change in QB stats! The receiver would then get credit for the 50 yards because he was involved in both parts of the play. Radical idea but I’m just saying.