Based on his junior campaign, Montee Ball deserves a Heisman invite.
As a sophomore in 2010, Ball was passed by true freshman James White. As the third back on the depth chart behind White and John Clay, Ball didn't see carries for the first half of the season.
An injury to White and Clay catapulted Ball into an expanded role and saw him rush for 777 yards and 14 touchdowns in just four starts.
He was rewarded and has since become Wisconsin's featured running back.
Though Wisconsin has been criticized for "running up the score" on defenseless opponents, Ball has not played in more than half of the Badgers' fourth quarters in 2011.
Here is why "Money Ball" deserves a Heisman invite...
Trent Richardson is an incredible NFL prospect with a blend of size and speed. He is also the best player on an Alabama team poised for a shot at the national championship.
Many experts and members of the media believe that Richardson is the front-runner for college football's most coveted award.
Montee Ball is more impressive at the college level.
248 carries, 1,622 yards, 6.5 yards per carry, 29 touchdowns
17 receptions, 248 yards, 14.6 yards per reception, five touchdowns
1/1 passing, 25 yards, one touchdown
263 carries, 1,583 yards, 6.0 yards per carry, 20 touchdowns
27 receptions, 327 yards, 12.1 yards per reception, three touchdowns
Because it is popularly stated that Trent Richardson is a Heisman front-runner, the comparisons between he and Montee Ball will be continued.
Against four top 50 defenses, Montee Ball has averaged 145 yards rushing and found the end zone eight times.
In comparison, Richardson has also faced four top 50 defenses. In those games, Richardson averages 89 yards on the ground and six scores.
Their only common opponent was Penn State, a game where Ball dashed his way to 156 yards and four scores. On the other hand, Richardson rushed for 111 yards and two scores against the Nittany Lions.
Barry Sanders holds the NCAA Division I record of 39 total touchdowns.
With two more games to be played, Montee Ball is sitting at 34 total touchdowns (29 rushing, five receiving).
Critics will be quick to point out that Sanders had five touchdowns in Oklahoma State's Holiday Bowl win over Wyoming that were not counted at the time. While true, it should be noted that Ball has scored his 34 touchdowns on just 265 touches. In comparison, Sanders accumulated his 39 total touchdowns in 394 touches.
Ball's lowest touchdown output in 2011 has been two scores. This makes Sanders' record a very realistic possibility for the junior.
Ball is on the verge of breaking an incredible record. He should be recognized for that accomplishment.
Montee Ball not only has better statistics than Trent Richardson, but he is ahead of his peers in just about every rushing category.
Ball ranks second in the country in rush yards (1,622), third in yards per carry at 6.5 (min. 150 attempts) and first in rushing touchdowns (29).
On a Wisconsin team that boasts impressive statistics year in and year out at the tailback position, Ball has clearly separated himself and can stake his claim as one of the best turnarounds in program history.
It is time to reward Ball for all he has accomplished.