The final HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll of the season is in and Alabama running back Mark Ingram is the leader following his 113-yard rushing performance against No. 1 Florida in the SEC title game.
Ingram grabbed four first-place votes and totaled 46 points to retake the top spot back from Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.
“I moved Ingram to the top of my ballot around mid-season, and nothing has made me change my mind,” said one voter. “What he did Saturday against a quality Florida defense was my final validation.”
The vote by the weekly panel of 13 Heisman voters was hardly a slam dunk for the sophomore running back, however, and the race appears to be very muddled going into Saturday’s Heisman ceremony. Stanford’s Toby Gerhart (43 points, 2 first-place votes), Texas’ McCoy (36 points, 1 first-place vote) and Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh (36 points, 4 first-place votes) all garnered significant support. A total of six different players received first-place votes, tying the poll’s season high.
Voter commentary reflected the split:
“It’s long past time Heisman voters abandon their traditional, restrictive criteria and award the “most outstanding player,” regardless of position. Suh was hands down the most dominant player in the country on either side of the ball, and his performance in the Big 12 title game firmly solidified his stature. ”
“C.J. Spiller may be more exciting and Toby Gerhart more punishing, but no running back has been more effective against a tougher schedule than Ingram.”
“Golden Tate is as outstanding as he is underrated. Why he isn’t getting more Heisman love is beyond me. He should not be penalized because his team stunk.”
“Toby Gerhart was consistently excellent this season. He never had a bad game. Stanford’s four losses or his lack of playing on the final weekend should not be held against him.”
Since ultimately you can’t take a cash advance to buy more votes, some sort of history is sure to be made on Saturday. Ingram could become Alabama’s first Heisman winner or runner up, while McCoy could become the first Heisman runner up to come back and win the award since Herschel Walker did it in 1982. Meanwhile, Gerhart would be the first non-USC winner from the Pac-10 since 1970 and Suh would be the first pure defensive player to win.
About the Poll
The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on. Last year’s final Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote, including the winner.
Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.
Chris Huston of HeismanPundit.com coordinates and also votes in the poll.
The Final HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, 12/7/09
Total points, with first place votes in parantheses
1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama–46 (4)
2. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford–43 (2)
3. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–36 (1)
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska–36 (4)
5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State–11 (1)
6. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–7
C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson–7
8. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame–5 (1)
9. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon–2
10. Case Keenum, QB, Houston–1
Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon–1