Why Wisconsin Badgers Running Back Montee Ball Deserves to Win the 2011 Heisman

Randy ChambersAnalyst IDecember 3, 2011

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 28-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last week I wrote an article on why Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III should win the Heisman Trophy. I honestly believed that he should win the award, but taking a much harder look at another player's accomplishments and numbers may have changed my mind.

Well, it's more of the fact that he is not really receiving any Heisman love is the reason for this article. It really boggles my mind that this player is at the bottom of most people's lists. And after you hear these numbers, it may make you sick to your stomach as well.

The player is Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, and the kid is a flat-out beast. There's really no other way to described him other than a monster that has taken over college football this season. He is a huge reason for the Badgers' success this year.

He has 1,622 rushing yards, which is the second most in the country. Only Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey has more, but he's touched the ball at least 60 more times than everybody else in the country.

That means Ball has more rushing yards than running back Trent Richardson and LaMichael James. Both of those backs are higher than Ball is on most voters' Heisman lists.

Speaking of Trent Richardson, Ball has 15 fewer carries than him but 39 more rushing yards, which means his 6.5 yards per touch is also more impressive than Richardson's 5.8. Ball and LaMichael James share the same yards per touch average.

You want to talk about rushing touchdowns? There is nobody that is close to Ball. He has 29 this season. That's nine more than Trent Richardson. He now holds the Big Ten record for the most rushing touchdowns in a single season, which was held by three guys and nobody has come close to beating it since 1994.

He is also just the fifth player in NCAA Division I history to score at least 30 touchdowns in a single season. That's right. Ball is not just a runner, he also has 17 receptions for 248 yards and an extra five touchdowns for good measure.

And just to show off, he also threw a pass this season and completed it for a 25-yard touchdown.

Still not impressed?

He has 35 touchdowns total, which is the most of any skill position player in the country by far. When you factor in quarterbacks, he has the same amount of touchdowns as Andrew Luck, who is another Heisman candidate that many want to put over the Badgers running back.

Only quarterbacks Kellen Moore, Matt Barkley and Case Keenum have more touchdowns than running back Montee Ball this season. That doesn't even sound right.

Michigan State has the best run defense in the Big Ten and the 11th best in the country at 102 yards a game. Ball must not have gotten the memo as he averaged 6.4 yards per touch and finished with 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

If that doesn't convince you, maybe this will.

In the last four games, Ball has rushed for 769 yards and totaled 13 touchdowns. That means in four games he had more rushing yards than 98 players have had the entire season with at least 100 carries. Ball touched the ball 103 times. Those 11 rushing touchdowns is more than half of what Richardson has on the year.

Ball has yet to be shut down this season and has at least two total touchdowns in every game and has had 3 four-touchdown games.

It would really not surprise me if Ball is able to join a select group of collegiate players to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. It's also not too far-fetched to believe he can give Barry Sanders' single-season rushing touchdown record (37) a run for its money.

So, why is Montee Ball at the bottom of most Heisman lists? Is it really because he doesn't have the same popularity that other players have? Last time I checked, the award went to the "most outstanding player of the year" not most popular player that had a decent season.

Montee Ball should receive some Heisman votes or at the very least an invite to New York. But if the voters sit down and look over the numbers like I did, he'll become the third Badger to win the Heisman Trophy. 

Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com


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