Heisman Committee Got This One Wrong

Ryne DennisContributor IDecember 13, 2009

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Toby Gerhart #7 of the Stanford Cardinal runs with the ball during their game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

According to the football glossary at footballbetting.com, the definition of the Heisman Trophy reads as follows: An award presented annually by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York to the best college football player in the country. Why, then, is Alabama's Mark Ingram the newest member of the prestigious club?

Obviously, it was a tough decision among voters, as it was the closest voting in the history of the award. But If the true meaning of the trophy is to go to the one player that a team could not do without in a season, shouldn't that player have been Toby Gerhart?

Out of 13 games this season, five times did Ingram not reach the 100-yard plateau, including a 50-yard game against Arkansas, and a less-than-spectacular 30-yard performance against Auburn two weeks ago. Only twice did Gerhardt not reach the mark, with his lowest total coming in the second game of the season when he had 82-yards against Wake Forest.

Sure he didn't lead his team to a perfect season, and only has his team in the Sun Bowl, but Gerhart is the reason that Stanford is back to being respected again. When the games were most meaningful for the Cardinal, Gerhart put them on his back and said, "I'll lead you." Ingram had a solid defense behind him to insure that he didn't have to carry the load (see Auburn game above).

Against Oregon, Gerhart rushed a season-high 38 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns in Stanford's victory. The next week at Southern Cal he carried it 29 times for 178 yards in a rout of the Trojans. As for Ingram, see Auburn game above.

The argument by many was that Ingram saved his Heisman by having a solid game against Florida in the SEC championship game. If that's the case, what did Gerhart do in his final game to lose it? Was it his "poor" performance against Notre Dame when he only put up 205 yards on the ground and three touchdowns?

When it came down to it at the end of the season, Alabama proved that without Ingram, they could survive. Stanford showed that they couldn't survive without Gerhart.

If this award is to the best player in the country, then my vote would have gone to the Cardinal phenom.


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