Why is Mark Ingram of Alabama a big Heisman contender?
I like this guy a lot, but there are plenty of running back's with more yardage and touchdowns: toby gerhart and ryan matthews. Is it just because he's part of Alabama?
- Veto RLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
Me, personally, I would like to see a defensive player win the award -- someone like Renaldo McClain, who has anchored the Alabama defense for two years, or Eric Berry, or the defensive lineman from Nebraska. However, the Heisman Trophy usually goes to a dominant offensive player from a Top 10 school. And, in spite of 12 national championships, Alabama has never had a Heisman winner, never even a player who finished second in the Heisman balloting, so it's not that Mark Ingram is from 'Bama that is giving him juice.
First, there is not a dominant player in college football this year... no one from a BCS team is threatening with 3,500/4,000 plus yards throwing the ball or 2,000 plus yards running the ball. If Houston, which is not a BCS team, hadn't lost to UTEP or Central Florida, or if the Cougars were not running the spread, which many voters see as a system offense, Casey Keenum would be the easy choice for Heisman this year with 4194 passing yards and 31 touchdowns against just six picks. And, had Central Michigan -- another nonBCS team, playing in the Mid-American Conference -- not lost to Arizona and/or Boston College, Dan LeFevour with 2533 passing yards (22 TDs against five picks) and 626 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, would be a frontrunner. So the players who are putting up big numbers are playing for lesser teams that have flaws.
What makes Ingram attractive is that he has delivered in the big games. In the five games against Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, and LSU, he has 809 of his 1,257 yards and runs for 6.86 yards per carry. These five teams give up an average of 139.2 yards a game (Ingram has averaged 161.8 yards per game against these teams) and allow only 3.82 yards per carry (take out Ingram's numbers and these five defenses give up only 3.61 yards per carry). In the two games where Ingram could have easily padded his stats -- North Texas, ranked 102nd against the rush, and Florida International, ranked 117th against the rush -- Ingram has rushed a combined 18 times.
For the season, Alabama opponents give up an average of 159.1 yards per game rushing and allow 4.2 yards per carry. Ingram is averaging over 125 yards a game rushing and is picking up 6.69 yards per carry -- almost 50 percent more than the average yards per carry against the defenses he has faced. If you take away Ingram's stats from the opposing defenses, they allow only 4.07 yards per carry (14,771 yards on 3,629 carries).
Ingram is also the classic power back -- he chips away, chips away and chips away through the first two-and-a-half to three quarters before piling up big yardage late. And, this, historically, is the MO of power-running teams -- abuse the defense with short- and medium-length runs for two/three quarters and dominate an exhausted defense in the fourth quarter. And, Ingram is best in the fourth quarter.
Finally, Ingram is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He is tied for second on Alabama in receptions with 25. He averages 9 yards a catch and has scored three times as a receiver. He is a great blocker who takes greater pride in picking up the blitz than he does in running for 70 yards. In short, he is an all-around runningback.
Alabama's success doesn't hurt. Usually the Heisman trophy goes to a dominant player from a dominant team. In a year where there haven't been any dominant players on dominant teams, and when the guys putting up the really good numbers are playing outside the BCS and have not performed, or led their teams to wins against BCS opponents, Ingram is putting up very good numbers for a dominant team -- or at least a dominant team so far as any team, including TCU and Boise State, that is undefeated through 10 games is a dominant team. Because Alabama is ranked so highly and there are no clear frontrunners, a player like Ingram, who doesn't have dominant running stats (IMHO, that would be a runningback closing in or surpassing 2,000 yards), is a good frontrunner.
Look for Ingram to get limited carries against Chattanooga, which will mean his yards will be down. However, if he performs against Auburn and Florida the way that he has played against Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, and LSU, he has a very good chance of winning the Heisman.
- 1 decade ago
Because his team is very good and he is the MVP of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I agree with you that he isn't the best player. The Heisman is suppose to go to the most outstanding player and far as I am concerned, CJ Spiller is the best player this year in college football
- Anonymous1 decade ago
you have to realize that the heisman is not usually awarded to the best player but the best player on the best or one of the best teams. the last time the #1 pick in the draft was the heisman winner was carson palmer in 2002 and before that it was Vinny Testaverde in 1986. Usually, the heisman winner is someone playing in the championship game
- D-MillsLv 71 decade ago
Part of it is because he plays for a top ranked team. But he's putting up big numbers in one of the toughest defensive conferences in the nation (in my opinion THE toughest), and its not just that he's making plays but he's making plays in big spots.
Ryan Matthews is putting up ridonkulous numbers, but he plays pretty weak competition and doesn't play for a contender.