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The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll–Final Call!

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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

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The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, 11/24

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, 11/24/09
Total Points, (with first-place votes in parantheses)
 
1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama–58 (10)

2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–40 (1)

3. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford–33 (1)

4. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–20

5. C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson–13

6. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State–9

7. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame–7 (1)

Case Keenum, QB, Houston–7

9. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska–3

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State–3

11. Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon–1

Dexter McCluster, RB, Mississippi–1

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.
 
HP’s Thoughts

It looks like this twisting and turning race has finally come down to Ingram and McCoy.  Whichever of these two can finish strongest will win the Heisman.  While Gerhart, Tebow and Spiller aren’t in position to take the top prize, they can still influence the outcome based on how they close out their seasons.  To wit: A vote for Gerhart or Spiller could be a vote otherwise meant for Ingram, while a vote for Tebow might’ve gone for McCoy.  This one is going down to the wire and could be the closest Heisman race since 2001.

Heisman Game of the Week

Texas vs. Texas A&M–The nation will tune in to the annual battle between the Aggies and Longhorns while stuffed on turkey and mashed potatoes.  It’s the only college game on Thanksgiving Day, so McCoy will have the Heisman spotlight to himself.  He’d better get off to a fast start in this one before the tryptophan kicks in.

Player to Watch

Mark Ingram–Mr. Ingram, get ready for your Heisman close up.  While McCoy takes center stage on Thursday, the big game on Friday will be between Auburn and Alabama.  Heisman ballots have been sent out, so many of the voters will be taking a close look at Ingram for the first time.  If they like what they see, he’ll be set up to clinch the Heisman one week later against Florida in the SEC title game. 

This Week in Heisman History

Playing with two broken ribs on his 23rd birthday, Auburn’s Bo Jackson ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns…all to no avail as the Tigers lost, 25-23, to Alabama on a last-second, 52-yard field goal by Van Tiffin in 1985.   Jackson would go on to win the Heisman by the smallest margin ever–a mere 45 points over Iowa’s Chuck Long.

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The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, 11/10

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, 11/10
Total Points with first place votes in parantheses

1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama–55 (9)

2. Case Keenum, QB, Houston–29 (1)

3. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–28 (2)

4. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–24

5. C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson–16

6. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford–11

7. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska–8

8. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame–7 (1)

    Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State–7

10. Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas–6

11. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame–3

12. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon–1

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.
 
HP’s Thoughts
 
Mark Ingram appears to be in firm control of this race after his 144-yard rushing effort in the Tide’s win over LSU.  This means he’s on track to win the Heisman as long as he finishes strong and doesn’t slip up against Florida in the SEC Title game.  However, keep an eye on Colt McCoy of Texas, who is making a late run for the trophy.  I see the race as being between these two candidates, though as many as five players could be invited to New York for the award ceremony. 
 
From a Voter
 
“Julio made the highlight reel, but for the fourth or fifth game in a row, it was Ingram piling up yards when ‘Bama had to have them–especially with Greg McElroy continuing to struggle.  Yes, Tebow and McCOy had nice games, but they’ve lacked the consistency of Ingram, who in my mind is consolidating his grip on the award.”  —  a Heisman voter.

Heisman Game of the Week
 
No. 1 Florida at South Carolina–The Gators haven’t been the same offensively this season.  As a result, Tebow’s numbers have decline markedly and now he needs a jolt to kickstart his campaign.  A stellar performance against a good South Carolina defense would do just that.  However, a poor outing would, for all intents and purposes, bring his run for a second Heisman to a close.  If history is any guide, I wouldn’t count him out just yet.        

Player to Watch

C. J. Spiller, Clemson–Spiller is coming off a school-record 312 all-purpose yards against Florida State and now he’s beginning to make some noise in the Heisman race.  He is as spectacular a player as there is in college football.  He is on pace to become one of just five players to crack the 7,000-yard career mark in all-purpose yardage and he’s just one kickoff return touchdown away from the owning the NCAA career mark in that category.  If he puts together some more games like he had against FSU and Clemson wins the ACC, look out.

This Week in Heisman History

Ron Dayne rumbled 31 yards off right tackle to break Ricky Williams’ one-year-old NCAA career-rushing record, part of a 216-yard effort by the senior tailback in Wisconsin’s 41-3 win over Iowa in 1999.  He went on to handily beat out Joey Hamilton and Michael Vick in the 1999 Heisman voting.  Dayne’s final total of 6,397 career rushing yards still stands today.

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