Robert Griffin III and Montee Ball: Will Heisman Trophy Voters Respect Them?

David BurnettCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2011

Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin IIISarah Glenn/Getty Images

Less than a week remains before college football’s most prestigious prize, the Heisman Trophy, is awarded.    

I just hope that the Heisman voters do the right thing.  Occasionally they do, like last year when Cam Newton was rightly presented the Heisman.  Often the voters fail, as they did in 2009 when the most nation’s most dominant player, Nebraska’s standout defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh wasn’t awarded the prize, losing to Alabama’s Mark Ingram.  

This is what we know about the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner. 

He will either be a quarterback or a running back. The winner almost always is—historically, more than 90 percent of the time.  That is my main gripe with the Heisman.  How is it that college football’s best player usually plays one of those two positions? 

But I digress.  

Some things never change.      

That said, let’s deal with the way it is and talk about the quarterbacks and running backs who have a chance to win.  

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I have two favorites, but I’m not sure based on the season long Heisman hype-fest that either guy will get a fair hearing and one of them, based on how the so-called experts have looked at it, might not even be invited to New York for the ceremony.    

I’m pulling for Wisconsin’s Montee Ball and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.    

Let me start with Griffin III.  He had nearly four thousand yards passing, and more than 600 yards rushing.  That goes with 38 touchdown passes and nine TDs on the ground.  He only threw six interceptions.  He completed 72 percent of his passes. 

Montee Ball
Montee BallAndy Lyons/Getty Images

Griffin is simply an electric talent, with a live arm and supreme athleticism.  As gifted as he is with his legs and his speed, he is a pass-first quarterback and whether he wins the Heisman or not, will be a prize for years to come for whatever NFL team that selects him.  

My other pick, Montee Ball, is the guy left off of most Heisman watch lists.  Why, I don’t know. 

What does he have to do to get respect? 

With 38 touchdowns this season he came within one of  tying Barry Sanders for the all-time major college TD record. 

Again, I ask, what does he have to do?  

Ball also rushed for 1759 yards this season and scored four touchdowns in Wisconsin’s Big Ten championship win Saturday over Michigan State.   Ball’s main problem might come from the fact that he’s teamed with one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, Russell Wilson, who broke Wisconsin’s single season passing records and is by acclamation the best QB in the Big Ten.    

It appears though if you believe the noise coming from the so-called experts that either Stanford’s superstar quarterback Andrew Luck or Alabama’s great running back Trent Richardson will win the Heisman based on their three-year bodies of work.  Both are outstanding players but neither were the best this year at their respective positions.    

The best quarterback this year is Robert Griffin III.  The best running back this year is Montee Ball.  I don’t think there is any doubt about that.  

But sadly, there is a chance that neither will win the Heisman and that’s a shame.