Off Topic: 2009 Sports Blogger Heisman Trophy

Not 100% of the things we write about are all about tailgating. This is one of those times although it does probably interest a vast majority of tailgaters, so read on.

I have been invited by Shotgun Spratling from The Blue Workhorse sports blog to participate in the 2009 Sports Blogger Heisman Trophy balloting.The Downtown Athletic Club will be handing out the Heisman Trophy this Saturday and former winners and a select group of media people are the ones casting the ballots. It really isn’t a democratic process so Shotgun decided to compile his own committee of sports bloggers and I have been included this year.

The rules are simple. Submit a ballot of the top three college football players as if you had a Heisman vote this year. Honorable Mentions are allowed but will not count in the total vote tally. I am choosing to cast my ballot on and share my choices if I were given a vote. So without delay, here is who I would vote for the 2009 Heisman Trophy.

1) Ndamukong Suh – DT – Nebraska
The Heisman Trophy is supposed to be awarded to the “Best College Football Player” for performance in that particular year. Using that criteria and disregarding regional bias and media hype, Ndamukong Suh is the best and single most dominant player in college football today. By just looking at his stats he does not stack up to the more popular players that will probably be invited to New York. 65 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 20 Quarterback hurries is what he has recorded this year. Not eye popping numbers but when you see him play on the field you’ll understand why he deserves the Heisman Trophy. The fact that most teams needed to double and sometimes triple team him frees up other players to record the tackle. He is the single most disruptive force on the field and must be accounted for on every play. He changes the way offenses need to game plan and scheme that week. Take a look at this feature video ESPN’s College Gameday did on him and then you’ll understand why he deserves the Heisman.


2) Toby Gerhart – RB – Stanford
Although Gerhart’s numbers are impressive this is another football player that passes the “eyeball test”. Just looking at his stats on paper does not do him justice on what a terrific football player he really is. Blessed with deceptively fast speed he does not shy away from contact and can deliver a blow for the extra yardage. Another bonus is that he is a fantastic North-South runner and doesn’t jerk around with shifty moves trying to break one to score another Touchdown. He plays the game of football the way it was designed to be played and his numbers, although not gaudy, speak for themselves.

3) Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
Ingram was not really on the Heisman radar when the season started but he definitely gets my third place vote. A fluid runner with good speed he is hard to tackle and also has shown good pass catching ability. Sounds like a solid all around football player to me. The fact that he plays for Alabama who is currently ranked No. 1 and going to play for the National Championship might raise his stock in the real Heisman voting but for me, he is No. 3.

So there you have it. Surprised not to see the likes of Tebow or McCoy on my list? Honestly I just don’t think they did enough to put themselves in that upper echelon this year. They didn’t show how they could completely dominate a game and the opposing team had no answer for their efforts. I am confident they both will have excellent NFL careers but on my Heisman ballot they came up a bit short.

Now it’s your turn. Who would be your top three vote getters if you had a Heisman vote? Feel free to add your answers in the comments section below.