The real Heisman Trophy, given to the best player in college football, won't be given out until Saturday night in New York City. But, here at Bleacher Report, the votes have already been cast. The Bleacher Report College Football Featured Columnists voted for their Top Three candidates and each candidate was given three points for a first place vote, two points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote. The voting was hardly unanimous, but Stanford running back Toby Gerhart edged Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh for the win. The voting went as follows:
1. Toby Gerhart, Stanford 60
2. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska 55
3. Mark Ingram, Alabama 38
4. Colt McCoy, Texas 16
5. Kellen Moore, Boise State 7
5. CJ Spiller, Clemson 7
7. Tim Tebow, Florida 4
Endorsing the Candidates:
1. Toby Gerhart, Stanford
Not only was Gerhart the winner of the Bleacher Report Heisman, but he has a good chance of winning the real award as well. Coming from a non-powerhouse team with an 8-4 record won't help him, but the numbers don't lie. He holds the Pac-10 and Stanford records with 1,736 rushing yards this season and 26 touchdowns, leads the nation with 13.3 points per game, and is second in the country with 144.7 yards per game. He was even more impressive in big games, with 223, 178, and 205 yards against Oregon, USC, and Notre Dame respectively. Plus, he won the Doak Walker award for the nation's best running back; not a bad resume to hand to the Heisman voters.
2. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
If there was any time this decade for a defensive player to win the Heisman, this would be the year. With the pre-season favorites turning in somewhat disappointing performances and offenses as a whole being down this year, Suh has the chance to make history and become just the second defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He has the numbers to do so, with 82 tackles and 12 sacks, outstanding stats for a defensive tackle. He turned in arguably his best game against Texas in the Big 12 Championship game with 12 tackles and four sacks.
3. Mark Ingram, Alabama
While his numbers aren't the greatest, Mark Ingram may be even more important to Alabama than Gerhart is to Stanford or Suh is to Nebraska. He has 1,542 yards on the year and 15 touchdowns, boasting a 6.2 yards per carry average. But Ingram meant much more to the Crimson Tide than his numbers indicate. While the rest of the offense was sputtering, he carried them through the season and now has his team in Pasadena on Jan. 7. And Ingram supporters can argue that while stats are nice, Alabama is 13-0 and in the National Championship while Stanford is 8-4 and Nebraska is 9-4.
4. Colt McCoy, Texas
McCoy entered the year with high expectations and, for the most part, lived up to those expectations. His performance definitely wasn't great at either end of the year, but he was outstanding in the middle of the season. Likely the favorite out of the quarterbacks, his stats were impressive, with 3,512 passing yards, a 70.5 percent completion percentage, 27 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions, and a 147.5 passer rating. He also can boast a 13-0 record and a National Championship birth.
5. Kellen Moore, Boise State
Although Moore doesn't have a realistic chance at winning the Heisman, he has done wonders for Boise State in an undefeated season. Moore's stats are just as impressive as McCoy's with 3,325 yards, a 64.8 percent completion percentage, a nation's best 167.25 passer rating, and an outstanding 39 touchdowns compared with only three interceptions. Other teams will claim that Moore had a chance to pad his stats playing in the WAC, which probably is true, but nevertheless, he has had a very impressive season.
6. CJ Spiller, Clemson
If it weren't for Spiller, Clemson would have been in trouble in 2009. He is the main reason the Tigers reached the ACC Championship game, and while his numbers aren't overly impressive, he certainly deserves consideration. Spiller compiled 1,146 rushing yards this season, along with 11 touchdowns and a 5.7 yards per carry average. He is a longshot to win the award, but may have finally helped Clemson get over the hump.
7. Tim Tebow, Florida
There really is no reason that Tim Tebow should win the Heisman this year, other than the fact that he's Tim Tebow. Tebow won the award as a sophomore, and while his team has done better during his junior and senior seasons, it looks like the award was a one time deal for him. While his numbers aren't outstanding, they are still extremely impressive. Along with his 2,413 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, he led his team in rushing with 859 yards and 13 touchdowns. His dual-threat ability makes him an extremely dangerous quarterback to play against and Cincinnati's defense will have its hands full in the Sugar Bowl.
Other Things of Note:
So much for preseason Heisman hype. After finishing first, second, and third in last year's Heisman voting, the "Big Three" or Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow were supposed to sweep the voting once again in 2009. Clearly, that didn't happen. Bradford went down with an injured shoulder in week one, and while McCoy and Tebow are in the running, they aren't even close to favorites.
Along the same lines as the point above, what happened to the Heisman supposedly becoming a glorified quarterback award. Bleacher Report's Top Three consist of two running backs and a defensive tackle, once again evening the playing field for any player, not just a quarterback, to win the award.
You can't help but think what would have happened if Shonn Greene had stayed another year. Although Bradford's injury will likely convince even more players to leave college early for the NFL, if Greene had put up even close to last years numbers he would have almost certainly been a Heisman lock. He rushed for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns and is the only player in college football history to rush for more than 100 yards in every game. Plus his Iowa Hawkeyes are 10-2 and headed for the Orange Bowl. But with their former star running back, its possible that Iowa would be 12-0 and on their way to the National Championship in Pasadena.