As we know, Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009. He was the best player for the best team in the country, as Alabama would win the BCS Championship that year.
Overlooked in all that was Case Keenum.
The least they could do was send Keenum to New York to be a Heisman candidate. But no, while several other QBs went to be considered, Keenum was stuck watching the live announcement on TV.
How good was Case Keenum? Outstanding.
Should he have won?
Mark Ingram is the running back for Alabama. Well, was the running back. Now he's gone to the NFL Draft and is likely a first-round draft pick.
Rushing: 271 carries for 1,658 yards and 17 TDs averaging 6.1 per carry with a long of 70. Low on fumbles (only 1).
Passing: 0-for-1, zero yards.
Receiving: 32 receptions for 334 yards and three TDs. Average of 10.4 yards per catch.
Case Keenum redshirted his first year, as Kevin Kolb was the starter. Keenum then won a battle between him and Blake Joseph to play his redshirt freshman season. Keenum was injured last season and has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.
Passing: 492-for-700 for 5,671 yards. TD-to-INT ratio was 44:15, 70.3% completion percentage and averaged 8.1 yards per throw.
Rushing: 60 attempts for 158 yards and four TDs. Long of 17 and an average of 2.6 yards per carry.
Punting: one punt for 49 yards.
Mark Ingram was solid in the 2009 season. Alabama went undefeated and won the BCS Championship. He was their best player, always a threat whether Alabama was running or if he was an option out of the backfield.
Ingram ran for over 100 yards in nine of his 14 games. He never had a 100-yard receiving game, but that isn't expected out of a back and he came close with 76 yards in one game. He consistently had around three catches out of the backfield a game.
His best game came against then-No. 22 South Carolina, when he torched them for 246 rushing yards.
His numbers may not have been the best in the country (Toby Gerhart's were), but he played against rough SEC competition.
Simply, Ingram was the best player on the best team.
Case Keenum had one of the best seasons any QB has ever had in college football.
Rarely does a QB ever get over 5,000 yards passing. Rarely does anyone get over 40 TDs passing. His interception numbers could have been better, but six of them came in a windy bowl game against Air Force.
There were only three games in which he failed to pass for over 350 yards. One of them, as you can guess, was the Air Force game. His completion percentage was high for the season, showing his accuracy.
The only problem is that Keenum plays in the C-USA. The competition there isn't at a high level. It isn't a complete joke, but they aren't what you would call elite by any standards.
Against No. 5 OK State at the time, he passed for three TDs, one INT and 366 yards.
So it's not like he couldn't perform well when given higher competition.
Toby Gerhart: Led all RBs with 1,871 yards on the ground and 28 TDs.
Colt McCoy: Led team to National Championship and undefeated season. Injured in the championship. Passed for over 3,500 yards.
Ndamukong Suh: 12 Sacks, 85 tackles, one forced fumble, one INT and 24 tackles for loss. To say the least, he was a dominant force on the line and had his way with lineman.
Tim Tebow: 21 Pass TD and 14 Rush TD. Almost 1,000 yards rushing and almost 3,000 yards passing. He was the premier dual-threat QB of that season.
Now, statistically this is easy. Keenum wins by a mile.
But factor in strength of schedule and winning, then things become a bit difficult. The SEC is a better conference than the C-USA. Ingram went undefeated while Keenum lost his bowl game.
Another debate could be how valuable is the player to his team or how valuable is he to the league as a whole.
One problem is that there were two or three games in which Ingram was a complete non-factor. It could be argued that that is because he is playing against better defenses. But the thing is, Ingram wasn't even the best RB in the nation and Toby Gerhart was while playing stiff competition as well.
Who's team was more successful? Ingram's.
But in the end, it is Case Keenum who should've won, as he was simply dominant.