The Most Outstanding Player in College Football Is Mark Ingram!!

Jonathan KelleyCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 10: Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs for a 36-yard touchdown in their college football game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)

It does not matter if Alabama has never had a Heisman winner. It does not matter if the Heisman Trophy is good for the team or not.

Even more, it does not matter how well the receivers, lineman, or anybody else is playing, because the only reason Alabama is 7-0 instead of at least 6-1 or worse is Mark Ingram.

No matter what your feelings on the Heisman Trophy, are you still must admit that fair is fair. Right now it is only fair to acknowledge that Mark Ingram is the greatest player on the Alabama Crimson Tide roster.

Rolondo McClain is close and he is the star of a rock solid defense but Mark Ingram is the lifeblood of this offense.

His performance against South Carolina may be the greatest single performance in Alabama football history. I know Bobby Humphrey (284) and Shaun Alexander (291) have rushed for more yards and TD's in a game, but neither of them have ever had over 110 yards after contact. This performance was the epitome of picking up the offense and carrying them on your back.

246 yards on 24 carries!! That is 10.6 yards per carry against a top 25 defense. He may have only scored on touchdown but that was not his fault. This offense bombed badly and it's only shinning spot was the performance of the most complete running back outside of the NFL.

He gashed, slashed, ran through, and flat ran over the South Carolina defense. There is no truth to the rumor that the South Carolina defense filed an assault and battery charge against Mark Ingram either.

Mark Ingram over the course of 7 games has amassed 905 yards rushing which is 3rd most nationally. He is rushing for an average of 129 yards per game at 6.7 yards per carry.

Mark now has 11 total touchdowns, 8 rushing, and 3 receiving. He leads the team in receptions at 19, receiving touchdowns 3, and is averaging 9.8 yards per catch. He is the most versatile and dangerous weapon on the Alabama offense and without his contributions the Tide would be abysmal offensively.

To fully understand how incredible Ingram’s performance has been we need to examine his competition. Alabama has played 3 ranked teams all 3 of which have defenses ranked in the top 35.

In those games Marked had 568 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns, that is an average of 189 yards per game and 7.2 yards per rush. Against Big 6 opponents he has 758 yards rushing, 151.6 yards per game, 6.5 yards per rush, and 1.5 touchdowns per game.

He was used sparingly against North Texas and FIU getting only 18 carries but still averaging 8.1 yards per carry and 147 with 2 touchdowns. Mark has scored at least 1 touchdown in each of the Tides 7 games.

This young man is the type of man that teams wish they could have on their team, and Nick Saban holds him in very high praise.

Saying “If we had a team full of Mark's the sky would be limit" for a perfectionist that is almost the highest praise one can receive. The University of Alabama may not promote the individual, but Mark Ingram needs no promotion he only needs the ball to draw national attention.

At the beginning of the year people wondered if anyone could replace Glen Coffee and now people outside of Alabama couldn't tell you who the other running back was last year.

Mark Ingram is so humble and does not want praise or admiration. He is simply a team player who is playing above his team’s level. Alabama is filled with NFL talent but Mark Ingram is All Pro level talent.

He is a blocker and a darn good one to, he never goes down on first contact, and most importantly he has vision. He has already started to draw praise from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay who are not known for kind words.

All of this NFL talk has anything to do with wither or not Mark Ingram is Heisman worthy, but it does however speak volumes to his style of play. He is the ultimate professional who goes out and does his job and makes no excuses when he messes up.

This can be seen in his disappointment of his performance against Ole Miss because he missed ONE block. Mark Ingram is the embodiment of team play and is the perfect symbol of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Football Tradition is all about.

If Alabama goes undefeated Mark Ingram will be in serious Heisman consideration. It will all be for not if Alabama does not win the SEC championship and the National Title.

Mark Ingram does not want the Heisman Trophy he wants himself and his team to hold up a crystal trophy at the end of the year not a bronze one.

However, he does absolutely deserve to be in ever consideration and discussion of Heisman talk, he and his team have earned that right.

If the Heisman Trophy is truly for the most outstanding player in college football then Mark Ingram will be in New York for its presentation.

Whether or not he holds up the Trophy will rely on the voters but they will have a hard time justifying anyone else above Mark Ingram. There are other players who deserve the Heisman and have carried their teams just as well as Mark Ingram.

However, none of those men have faced the level of competition that the Crimson Tide and Mark Ingram have faced. It is in the darkest of hours and against the toughest competition that the true measure of a man is discovered, and as it turns out this is when Mark Ingram rises above the measure of all competition.