We did it! Eight years in a row. Mark Ingram, in the closest finish ever.

For the eighth year in a row, we've correctly projected the winner of the H----- Trophy. Congratulations to Mark Ingram and the Alabama Crimson Tide!

We projected that Ingram would get 1349 points, 48.6% of the maximum points possible. He earned 1304 points, 46.9% of max - just 1.2% off. We had also correctly pegged Toby Gerhart as the second-place finisher, with a projected 1225 points (44.1%) and an actual 1276 points (45.9%, also just 1.2% off.)

Ingram beat Gerhart by the closest margin ever, which validates our final projection: Mark Ingram, in a close one.

We were surprised by the third-place finish of Colt McCoy. He earned 198 points more than we expected. Tim Tebow, who placed fifth (as we projected), earned 100 points more than we expected. In retrospect, it's clear that voters who voted for McCoy and Tebow were underrepresented in our sample - likely because they didn't want public disclosure.

Ndamukong placed fourth; also a surprise. We projected 1191 points, and he earned only 815. (It's worth noting that that's the highest total for a fourth-place finisher in history, according to ESPN.) Why did Suh perform poorly compared to our projection? Most likely, the voters who voted for him - essentially arguing for an historic selection of a defensive lineman - were substantially more likely to publicly disclose their ballots.

It's almost certain that it was a combination of the "embarrassment" factor and the "campaigning" factor that led to McCoy and Suh being swapped in our projection. Over the next few days, we'll continue to dig into the numbers.

In 2010, we're hoping to start our analysis a little earlier in the season, and have some exciting things planned. Stay tuned!

Kari Chisholm | December 12, 2009 | Comment on This Post (128 so far)
Permalink: We did it! Eight years in a row. Mark Ingram, in the closest finish ever.



Great job guys. You have a great website and do a helluva job. Thank you and ..............


Posted by: Bama | Dec 12, 2009 7:43:51 PM

great work and great methodology of projection. Keep it up.

Posted by: Huskerfan | Dec 12, 2009 7:48:18 PM

I am sure plenty of people voted for McCoy before the Big 12 Championship game and were subsequently embarrassed. But congrats to you for your 8 in a row!

But out of curiosity, do you expect any backlash in next years vote. I expect the Heisman officials know about your website and might direct the voters next year to keep silence. Some of the mystique of the Heisman show goes away, when viewers know who will win (and by what results in many cases).

Your success in correctly projecting the results (who won, and how by many votes) might be a catalyst in starting a program in which the Heisman committee requests that the voters not disclose of their selections until the end of the Heisman presentation. This way, there can be a truly surprising show in which no one knows who might win......

Anyway, I love what you do and its obvious you are good at it......Best of luck, Sasha

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 12, 2009 7:57:35 PM

Congratulations not only on projecting the winner, but also for providing entertaining conversation fodder. Great site.

Posted by: Kent | Dec 12, 2009 8:07:40 PM

SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH! Unfortunately the voters didn't put him on top. Be ready to hear about him in the pros! He's going to play a lot of Monday night games! Congrats Ingram, that was a great and exciting Heisman race.

Posted by: Suh-nami | Dec 12, 2009 8:08:18 PM

I believe you guys do a great job,congrats. I also am aware thatr you don't control the outcome or the votes,but I have to say that the Heisman issssssssss not an award for the best player in the country,if it was Suh from nebraska should have won it.Congrats to Ingram ,the second best player on his team ,and in my estimation the 3rd best paler in the country,which is highly debatable at this point in time.I say to the club that gives out the award,please rename your award the ,player who is on offense only award

Posted by: vince foster | Dec 12, 2009 8:12:04 PM

Congrats Kari and everyone else at StiffArmTrophy. See ya next year!

Posted by: Doublenickel | Dec 12, 2009 8:18:04 PM

4th best player on his team won the Heisman. We need to redfine the award. Best offensive player - or two way player- on a top ranked team. The Heisman is a disgrace.

Posted by: Rod Edwards | Dec 12, 2009 8:18:42 PM


Posted by: KC CRAWFORD | Dec 12, 2009 8:19:05 PM

Congrats on an outstanding job! You got it right! ESPN's Heisman Predictor was no match for Stiffarmtrophy.com. They got it wrong. Your combination of actual votes and projecting from there is very interesting, and obviously spot on. And considering how close this was (as you predicted), it's even more impressive that you got it right.
Congrats again!

Posted by: Mark | Dec 12, 2009 8:19:55 PM

Why the incessant and pathetic effort to keep referring to a great player as the 2nd best on the team and the 3rd best in the country, immediately after your erroneous opinion has just been eradicatd by the Heisman voters who have correctly recognized Mark Ingram's place in football history. All five finalists are great players. McCoy will have a chance to go up against a great SEC defense in a few weeks. Gerhart finished strong primarily because of a TV performance against Notre Dame, a team that didn't make the top 200. Why does everyone consider Notre Dame unworthy of anything this year except when it comes to Gerhart, then Notre Dame is suddently the standard by which to rate running backs. Gerhart will likely have a great pro career. Suh wasn't mentioned for the Heisman until ESPN decided during the Texas game, that it was time to push him for the award. Again, a great player. But Ingram is also a great player and a worthy and deserving Heisman winner!

Posted by: BearCountry | Dec 12, 2009 8:23:46 PM


Posted by: KC CRAWFORD | Dec 12, 2009 8:27:27 PM

Look Cornholer,

Get a team and shut up about Suuuuuuuueeeeeyyy!!

Perhaps if you guys were not such a suckhole, one of your players might be viewed as a legitimate candidate.

Check your coaches crumbum, Just like TAMU you guys just had to have a better coach. You ran off Frank, TAMU hired Francis. Now you both SUCK, say 'so sorry Callahan'.

Like I said, don't call us ........We'll call you ........Corncobbers!!!!

Posted by: jimbo stinson | Dec 12, 2009 8:32:51 PM

Guys, a huge thank you. A huge, huge thank you.

NCAA Football Futures
Odds to win
Odds to win the 2009 Heisman Trophy 12/12/2009 8:00 PM - (EST)
Mark Ingram (Alabama) -125
Outcome - Contestant Won 500/400 (USD)

I could not have done it so early (the line rose to as high as -650 and was -250 for most of the week without you.

Posted by: Trendon | Dec 12, 2009 8:36:42 PM

Say it Bear Country! Ingram is taking home the hardware and all the other guys can go cry with Tebow. Roll Tide! See you in Pasadena!

Posted by: Todd nicholas | Dec 12, 2009 8:45:50 PM

While we are renaming and redefining things, we should redefine Nebraska's fanbase and rename them the Corn-whiners. I used to consider you guys a proud program with a lot of tradition, but I guess you've been reduced to a bunch of sore losers.

Posted by: obviouslyNOT | Dec 12, 2009 8:46:54 PM

Great job Stiffarmtrophy!

As a numbers guy it was great to see the logic and numbers fall into place. I definitely agree about the Suh campaigning and McCoy/Tebow "shame". Close race, great to see 3 of the top four finishers not be qbs and even better to see a defensive lineman up for the award (I'm a little biased there).

I'll check back for some more of your analysis and if you guys do some tweaking let us know! Should be an interesting NC game between two stiff defenses and two of the nation's top offensive players going head to head. Watch out for that Texas run defense Mark, they are monsters.

Posted by: HuskerEngineer | Dec 12, 2009 8:48:47 PM

Keri, I think you had a lot of people lying about Suh. You had him with around 120 or so votes with only 300 reporting. His actual vote count was about 125. No way he didn't pick up more than 5 or 6 votes out of the other 600. You might want to try and figure out how that happened. RTR!

Posted by: Crimsonite | Dec 12, 2009 8:48:50 PM

great work keri - followed it incessantly all week.

A guy named Jimbo is making 'corn#ole" comments? nice. and where is the whining jimbo? did you have that saved then paste as soon as the winner was announced so you could post it right away without having to take 8 hours to look up the two syllable words first? I didn't see a lot of husker fans "whining" they wanted their dude to win, just like every other fan wants their dude to win. It's called being a fan "jim" "bo" through the good and bad, and during the bad the fans still sold out that stadium. Congrats to Ingram - pleased a non-qb won it.

Posted by: rmn | Dec 12, 2009 9:04:49 PM

You have to under stand a majority the Husker Faithful are just glad to see our All American DT being recognized as a finalist for this prestige’s award. Its tough to compare stats when your dealing with apples and oranges. Many of the Husker Nation are not whiners just the few that are able to post comments in a blog.

On the other hand its entertaining how they are able to get to guys like you.

Posted by: Cornwhiner | Dec 12, 2009 9:05:49 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed your site!! Very nice job & very entertaining...thx again!

Congrats to Mark Ingram!!!! And his acceptance speech was top class & heart felt!! A+

Posted by: snidersmith | Dec 12, 2009 9:08:01 PM

Haters will always hate. Ingram rolls. RMFT!!!

Posted by: Tider27 | Dec 12, 2009 9:08:52 PM

I guess the voters felt sorry for Alabama since in 75 years of the trophy they have not had a winner.

Posted by: Cornhole | Dec 12, 2009 9:13:20 PM

Excellent job of number-crunching. Keep up the good work. See you next year, when Alabama will have another competitive candidate.

Posted by: Jimmy Carl Harris | Dec 12, 2009 9:13:39 PM

The voters did a good job; Ingram deserved the award based on the season so far.

But I sure hope McCoy makes voters wish they could change their minds in Pasadena. Just like Vince Young and Reggie Bush in '05!!!! Hook'em Horns!

Posted by: Matthew in Austin | Dec 12, 2009 9:22:16 PM

rmn, I know you were talking to Jimbo, but the whining is right here on this very thread. Comments like we need to 'rename' the award or 'redefine' the award is the essence of whining. The vote is over, the award has been given and Nebraska fans are still complaining, what else would it be besides whining at this point?

Although you in particular are congratulating Ingram, others are not...defending their standpoint doesn't really follow. After all the trash-talk all week, under the guise of wanting "their dude to win", it's time Nebraska fans to be quiet and accept the fact that (outside of your obviously biased fan base and region) everyone else in the country thought your player was the fourth best...and by quite a large margin.

Posted by: obviouslyNOT | Dec 12, 2009 9:23:28 PM

Ingram winning the heisman just cursed Alabama from winning the national championship game. Texas just might have a chance now. The voters just lit a fire under McCoy's A$$.
Texas 42
Alabama 17

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 12, 2009 9:31:36 PM

Corn-whiner, don't try to play the "ooooh, we got to you" card...next to correcting grammar and spelling on a forum, it's the oldest loser argument in the book. You didn't get to me dude, I'm happy, Ingram won. I can play any role I want at this point, straight man, intelligent poster, obnoxious winner...because my dude won and you guys keep trying to win a losing argument. Keep changing your name, I can play the role all by myself without needing to act like 8 different people.

Posted by: obviouslyNOT | Dec 12, 2009 9:33:01 PM

"Cornhole" I guess the Corn-whiner nation will go feel sorry for themselves for the next 75 years...whining on message boards about Suh like they did for the last week about Frazier.

Posted by: obviouslyNOT | Dec 12, 2009 9:37:32 PM


You might want to check your spelling.

" obnoxious winner"
you forgot the "h" in whinner

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 12, 2009 9:40:39 PM

Kari - congrats. I knew you were into college football but had no idea how heavily. It makes sense in hindsight though. In any case, I too was thoroughly entertained as I checked here multiple times over the last several days.

Congrats to Ingram as well as to the other four! To be singled out as the five best is itself a distinct honor!

That said... it seems to me that the flip side of the "sore loser" coin is the "sore winner". Frankly, I'm tired of reading comments from all of the rabid fans, Ingram's included. Your trash-talking detracted from what was otherwise a very fun experience of watching Kari's numerical wizardry come together.

Posted by: Preemptive Karma | Dec 12, 2009 9:44:51 PM

The difference is Double K, losers whine...since my dude won, so it's called gloating. Nice try though, it was almost a clever argument

Posted by: obviouslyNOT | Dec 12, 2009 9:47:15 PM

You got me I studdered in my own trash talk

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 12, 2009 9:49:15 PM

obviously not - for celebrating Ingrams win you sure are concerned others about other fans being disappointed. you say you can play any role you want - except gracious winner i guess - try following Ingram's lead and go with class instead of name calling and telling people to shut up. notwithstanding your opinion against "redefining" the award, it would be cool if a defensive player won this award for once and even cooler if a lineman won it - wherever he plays at.

Posted by: rmn | Dec 12, 2009 9:50:24 PM

obviouslyNOT is a winner, obviouslyNOT is a winner, obviouslyNOT is a winner,

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 12, 2009 9:50:38 PM

So dude do you think we could like hang out some time cause I know like your way up there and like I'm whale crap scum. I aspire to be like more like you and become whale crap. Dude like I have no chance of making as high as you.

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 12, 2009 9:59:42 PM

do you make any adjustment for skin color? Sports media people are notoriously biased, and some of the older voters who are probably underrepresented in your sample probably hold these biases even closer to their hearts than the average college football reporter. Your system consistently underprojects white players.

Posted by: heismanisajoke | Dec 12, 2009 10:03:24 PM

Great job. You were almost spot on with the 1st and 2nd place. Even tho I am a Suh fan, I think it was fitting McCoy coming in 3rd. I am pleased Suh did get the highest number of votes for a 4th place finisher. I am sure this is why he was invited and gave defensive players some limelight.
I thought all 5 were class acts. Ingram gave a very gracious acceptance speech. Alabama and all their fans should be very proud of their guy.

Posted by: tkk | Dec 12, 2009 10:05:57 PM

I guess Gerhart needed 30 rushing TDs to get him over the hump with the northeast voters. Apparently the third best total in NCAA history not good enough - Wow. Bet if he went to the "University of Spoiled Children" and had a couple more national games he would have had it handily!

Posted by: David | Dec 12, 2009 10:36:24 PM

I have been cruising various boards a lot tonight trying to soak in one of the most historic nights in the history of Alabama athletics. I have consumed every story on the Heisman Trophy, basking in the long over due and well deserved accomplishment of finally being witness to the the Tide bringing home it's first.

Inevitably I always read the comments sections of articles where users can anonymously spout their rhetoric. Alabama faithful, I ask you please do not stoke these fires or tear down these other fine young men. It was not the closest race in Heisman history due to lack of a stand out performer but rather due to a field of athletes so exceptional that it was nearly impossible to choose onw that stood out from his peers.

Ndamukong Suh is without a doubt the most dominate defensive lineman in the game. Could you imagine a line of Cody, Deaderick, and Suh? Oh my, given our LB corps there would be no argument as to the toughest defense in the land. The man is an animal and has opened the Heisman to the interior line. He is a beast.

Toby Gerhart is the leading rusher in college football. That in and of itself is one h*ll of an accomplishment. As with Bama's finest his best performances came against great opponents and he rose to the challenge. He fought for every yard and carried his team to their first bowl appearance in how many years? 8?

Colt McCoy is the most efficient and winning quarterback in college football history. That alone should give the most ardent of Alabama faithful a pause. We face this young man on 1/7/2010 and he will be prepared. He has been a class act on and off the field and leads the best offense we will face, period.

Tim Tebow. What else can you say? Great? Greatest? This young man will be mentioned in the company of Red Grange, Jim, Thorpe, etc, etc when the conversation of the greatest of time is had and he earned it. Years from now when espn shows that grainy footage and your grandkids ask "who is that?" you'll tell them "It was tim Tebow, one of the greatest ever, he beat us once but that next year...... ".

All of these players have represented their schools and college football. All are wonderful ambassadors of the sport and outstanding young men. There could have been no finer to sit by the stage of the Downtown Athletic club.

For the first time ever I felt bad for those that did not win for they were all deserving.

In the face of the fiercest competition in the Heisman race ever, Mark Ingram has at last brought the most coveted individual prize in football home to the University. Is he deserving? Without a doubt. Is he the most deserving? I don't know. No one does. He was chosen. Among such fine competition that is all that can be won.

So, fellow 'Bama fans, do not sink to the lows of the supporters of other schools. Do not tear down any of these tremendous athletes, each deserving of the award, but celebrate the success of the one chosen to receive it and look forward to Mark's and the team's continued success.

The Heisman jinx is broken, Roll Tide Roll, lets bring home the Coach's Trophy next!

Posted by: Woodie | Dec 12, 2009 10:40:35 PM

Great post Woodie, I think all the comments should end on that note. Lock the thread and shut it down...see you all next year.

Posted by: wonderkind | Dec 12, 2009 11:08:08 PM

Gerhart robbed by Nissan/ESPN just pinin for the Heisman guy in the BCS fake so called Nashional Champ game....just pinin....in fact ... pinin so much as to dis Gerhart by not acknowledging his existence during last weekends McCoy and Tebow flame outs.....Gerhart disappered never to be seen again....all ESPN did was run there f'ing lame as Hesiman predictor across the screen every 5 minutes during the Thursday night Duck/Beaver game ... listing Gerhart as 4th or 5th...throughout...hows that for stacking the vote...those motha f'ing fackers at ESPN oughta be ashamed....kiss my arse ESPN you SUCK...you to NISSAN and BCS....fack off. Can't wait till Congress shuts you down.

Posted by: Justice | Dec 12, 2009 11:18:18 PM

Oh...and i guess that fella who said the SUH voters were shouting out about their votes disproportionately over normal voters...was uh right. Suh's actual vote was dramatically different. Nice call

Posted by: Justice | Dec 12, 2009 11:20:29 PM

Crimsonite, we had 94 #1 votes for Suh. He got 161. Plenty of room there.

PK, yeah, this was an unusual year for all the trash-talk. Probably an outgrowth of the close race.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Dec 12, 2009 11:28:52 PM

GERHaRT RobbED.....???? You's right brotha. The man is in charge. He he he...ha ha ha...who's behind the curtain...the Wizard of Oz...??? No..no...no....it's the Wizard of ESPN/NISSAN gotta set up the money game .... makes it a real championship game if we have two....of the finalists and the "Winner".....even though the winner had way fewer TD's, fewer average yards per game, fewer total yards....the "Winner" is still the most outstanding college football player of Oh Nine....and wow...waddya know... he's in the BCS/NISSAN final game...of the season........not some x-mas day bowl with has been Okies and upstart Card.....yes the Wizard of ESPN/Nissan has delivered....yes.. thank goodness for the ESPN Heisman Predictor...or as we like to call it LIAR...the ESPN/HEISMAN LIAR running across your screen every minute....like the Bush administration pulled off....say it again and again and get fox news to say it and eventually you've crafted national opinion...Yippeeeeeee. Thank you ESPN/NISSAN...Great Job.

Posted by: Amet n Booger | Dec 12, 2009 11:33:32 PM

Good call on why Suh and McCoy switched placed. I think if the voting started right now, it'd look a lot more like your projection.

Posted by: Matt | Dec 12, 2009 11:46:02 PM

Hello, just wanted to share a thought.......I developed a vivid image of that KC CRAWFORD guy who masquerades as "Bear" - a total jerk-whack typin away in his wifee beater T with the all caps button taped down,,fried chicken leg in his mouth and greasy crumbs flyin into his keyboard....what a total douche bag.

Posted by: Reggie | Dec 12, 2009 11:53:27 PM

CONGRATULATIONS, MARK INGRAM! You DESERVED to win the Heisman Trophy. Let's go get national championship #13!

Roll Tide!

Posted by: BamaTom | Dec 13, 2009 12:14:56 AM

Thanks for that image.

I'll be scarred for life.

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 13, 2009 12:18:11 AM

Nice to see Mark take home the hardware and show more class doing it than the petty whiners who try to denigrate him ...

Posted by: Rolling Rolling Rolling | Dec 13, 2009 12:21:26 AM

As a Stanford man, I still must give my congratulations to Mark Ingram, he is one great running back, and will do wonders for Alabama and whichever NFL team he is drafted to. I just wish that my man Toby would have had another chance for yet another amazing game like Ingram did in his SEC championship game, I really think if he had one more game which he would have surely rushed for over 100 yards as usual, and had early season hype like Ingram did, the Heisman would be sitting in his hands. But college football is governed by what ifs and if only, so i can only wish...I am however glad that this race was so close, it really reflected the amazing talent of these finalists.

Posted by: Brian | Dec 13, 2009 1:06:10 AM

Amen Woodie! As a NE fan I was just happy to have Suh invited but not at all sad to see him not win. Do you get that people? Not win because there were no losers tonight. Each guy up there is exactly what college football is about. I am happy to see such a great kid like Ingram take home the Heisman for the state and fans of Alabama. The fact that 28 votes separated Ingram and Gerhart just proves that this was one helluva year for college football.

Congrats to Ingram and Bama. Congrats to all the other guys up there tonight. And as a NE fan, congrats to Turner Gill and Kansas. Here's to a great finale with all the bowls. Go Big Red and thanks for a great year Suh!

Posted by: James | Dec 13, 2009 1:16:18 AM

GERHaRT RobbED.....???? You's right brotha. The man is in charge. He he he...ha ha ha...who's behind the curtain...the Wizard of Oz...??? No..no...no....it's the Wizard of ESPN/NISSAN gotta set up the money game .... makes it a real championship game if we have two....of the finalists and the "Winner".....even though the winner had way fewer TD's, fewer average yards per game, fewer total yards....the "Winner" is still the most outstanding college football player of Oh Nine....and wow...waddya know... he's in the BCS/NISSAN final game...of the season........not some x-mas day bowl with has been Okies and upstart Card.....yes the Wizard of ESPN/Nissan has delivered....yes.. thank goodness for the ESPN Heisman Predictor...or as we like to call it LIAR...the ESPN/HEISMAN LIAR running across your screen every minute....like the Bush administration pulled off....say it again and again and get fox news to say it and eventually you've crafted national opinion...Yippeeeeeee. Thank you ESPN/NISSAN...Great Job.

Posted by: Booger Back | Dec 13, 2009 1:16:36 AM

I kind of think the Boogerism above is hittin the nail on the head. Nice work Booger. Astute n all.

Posted by: Reggie | Dec 13, 2009 1:18:39 AM

Thanks for all the hard work. Great projections!! I hope that this year will set the example to voters for future campaigns. It's absolutely ridiculous to cast a Heisman vote for someone before that person has played in perhaps their biggest game of the year. There is no reason, whatsoever, that Tim Tebow should have even been at this year's ceremony. C.J. Spiller deserved that honor more so than Tebow. Anyway, it was incredible at how close the vote totals were this year. Congratulations to Mark Ingram the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner ... ROLL TIDE!!!

Posted by: navytag | Dec 13, 2009 1:36:13 AM

First Heisman Running back not to win the Doak Walker award????...What was Ingrams HS record like?...Toby Gerhart broke Emmet Smith's mark and now sits at 3rd all time national HS rushing record...Ingram wins because Toby gets 1 less TD than the entire Tide rushing offence using that handy extra game to do it. Ingram - less yards, less TDs, worse avg down the November stretch in a conference that doesn't play round robin or have 5 extra guaranteed losses, and has a guaranteed extra game to build stats. What a joke, there sure are a lot of idiots east of the rockies, but there is one huge one out west, his name is Pete Carroll and he wanted to make Toby a linebacker. LOL... how'd that work out?

Posted by: crimson terd | Dec 13, 2009 3:44:39 AM

Just a simple examination of the stats brings even more hilarities, In rushing production Toby Gerhart ranks 15th against every team playing in a bowl, Guess where the entire Bama bloody terd Ranks? LOL 14th that includes the QB and every other rusher on the terd squad... LOL. Florida ranks 18th, Texas 10th...thats entire offenses against one guy, Where does Ingram rank? LOL.. not 15th. Has any running back ever not won the Heisman when the rank 15th against all bowl team offenses combined? and what's even more amazing is he did it against teams with a combined avg defense ranking of 59.1, yet Ingram wins the Heisman by doing it against teams with a CADR of 66.6 and an extra game, and less yards, less TDs??? Did Jones Ramsey direct Ingrams PR campaign? LOL

Posted by: crimson terd | Dec 13, 2009 4:18:24 AM


Posted by: lion89 | Dec 13, 2009 5:11:33 AM

Enjoyed watching the results unfold, but just shows that the Heisman has become pretty useless in defining the "best player". It's easy when most everybody agrees that one player outshines all others and then we don't need the Heisman to tell us that. This time we had 5 "best players" plus some others that were just as good but didn't make the top 5. This year it was awarded to "one of the best players" since a 28 point margin is in the noise level. Please don't give me an analysis of best conferences, defenses, won-loss record, etc. Let's just agree that all of these guys are "best players" and each deserved to win on their our particular efforts.

Posted by: jaspk | Dec 13, 2009 6:07:57 AM

Well done. Great website - called the closest race ever. You MUST be doing something right. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: nodoginnafight | Dec 13, 2009 6:20:06 AM

I also have to agree with your analysis of the over-representation of Suh voters. Might be something for you to keep in mind for the future: The boutique pick among folks who like to pretend they know more than they do, is most likely to be announced loudly. It fits the whole insecurity/self-congratulatory model.

Posted by: nodoginnafight | Dec 13, 2009 6:30:57 AM

I'm really at a loss for words, Gerhart played more top 40 defenses, was consistent year-round, had more yards, touchdowns, and yards after hit, I mean the list is really embarrassing. What made it most glaring was when his stats were put up, he was ranked 1st in every category for RB's on the night of the Heisman presentation. There isn't a statistical argument you can make for Ingram's stats being superior to Gerhart, when all the categorical rankings are placed side by side.

and I am from Georgia, and am an SEC fan.

Posted by: edem | Dec 13, 2009 6:34:23 AM

edem, I highly doubt you are a Georgia Fan, if you were you'd know Alabama faced the better defenses. The Pac-10 is not known for defense, but for offense. The defenses Alabama faced lost their top 40 ranking after we played them, is it really that hard to understand?

Posted by: nd | Dec 13, 2009 6:58:09 AM

Edem, do you not take into account that Ingram had less carries but still had more yards per carry? He also came out of a few games in the second or 3rd quarter. He had almost 100 yards and 2 TDs in the first quarter against UTC and came out of the game. He probably would have rushed for close to 400 yards and 5 TDs had he stayed in. At any rate, congrats Mark Ingram and Roll Tide!!!

Posted by: Rick | Dec 13, 2009 7:04:52 AM

Looking at the votes in another way, consider the percentage of the total points (5334) won by each:

Ingram = 24.45%
Gerhart = 23.92%
McCoy = 21.47%
Suh = 15.28%
Tebow = 7.31%
Others = 7.57%

If this had been a political campaign, we would be going through recounts for the next month. Thank God these guys, all true winners, are more gracious than politicians. One the other hand, who isn't?

Posted by: jaspk | Dec 13, 2009 7:08:28 AM

nd is talking out his arse and I'll prove it:

I took Stanford's schedule, and found the statistical rankings for rushing defense for the 12 teams they played.

Team Rushing Defense Ranking

Washinton State 117

Wake Forest 82

San Jose State 119

Washington 67


Oregon State 25

Arizona 22

Arizona State 18

Oregon 38

USC 42

California 27

Notre Dame 90

Ok, I took those numbers along with some elementary math, found the average rush defense Gerhart faced would be ranked 59.1 in the nation against the run.

I then did the same thing for Alabama, except I dropped the one FCS team, and kept the number of games at 12.

Team Rushing Defense Ranking

Virginia Tech 52

Florida Int. 116

North Texas 104

Arkansas 69

Kentucky 100

Mississippi 55

South Carolina 46

Tennessee 58

LSU 44

Miss. State 63

Auburn 80

Florida 13

The numbers show here that Ingram and Co. faced an average rush defense of 66.6.
Pretty mind numbing for the SEC homer isn't it.
Before you get ready to hit your next point in your argument, I'll take care of it for you.

What about just conference games then?
If you take Stanford's nine conference games, you get an average of 46.2.
Alabama's 9 conference games gives us an average of 58.6.
So either way you look at it Gerhart, by the numbers, faced better run defenses on the year.

Posted by: crimson terd | Dec 13, 2009 7:38:07 AM

Great job!! I actually posted your URL on tweeter and got retweeted a lot.

Impressive numbers, so next year, I will be here to know who wins. Keep up the good work!!

Posted by: kelitos_way | Dec 13, 2009 7:45:02 AM

crimson terd get over it he lost, Ingram won. All were deserving but only one could win.

Posted by: Greg | Dec 13, 2009 8:05:32 AM

Losers. Ingram won, get over it. Go find something else to whine and gripe about until next September. Good job StiffArm.

Posted by: layedbak | Dec 13, 2009 8:39:34 AM

Roll Tide!! Looking at the numbers Mark Ingram is deserving as any of them, but he should include SUH on his Christmas card list as the split vote in the SW opened the door for him to win!!

Bama 27 Texas 23

Posted by: Mike | Dec 13, 2009 8:53:59 AM

Whatever crimson terd, you're just a biased piece of shit, the right person won, Stanford doesn't play anybody, go cry in your corner. =)

Posted by: nd | Dec 13, 2009 9:30:36 AM

GERHaRT RobbED.....???? You's right brotha. The man is in charge. He he he...ha ha ha...who's behind the curtain...the Wizard of Oz...??? No..no...no....it's the Wizard of ESPN/NISSAN gotta set up the money game .... makes it a real championship game if we have two....of the finalists and the "Winner".....even though the winner had way fewer TD's, fewer average yards per game, fewer total yards....the "Winner" is still the most outstanding college football player of Oh Nine....and wow...waddya know... he's in the BCS/NISSAN final game...of the season........not some x-mas day bowl with has been Okies and upstart Card.....yes the Wizard of ESPN/Nissan has delivered....yes.. thank goodness for the ESPN Heisman Predictor...or as we like to call it LIAR...the ESPN/HEISMAN LIAR running across your screen every minute....like the Bush administration pulled off....say it again and again and get fox news to say it and eventually you've crafted national opinion...Yippeeeeeee. Thank you ESPN/NISSAN...Great Job.

Posted by: Reggie | Dec 13, 2009 9:46:10 AM

If the Crimson Terd is not a lawyer he oughta be...nice work Crimson Terd...Do you want to help me make a documentary about the Year Gerhart was Robbed of the Heisman....will be an expose of the faulty system and the money/power driving opinion. I'm serious about this. It wont really be about Gerhart but about how the system is stacked against a guy like Gerhart.

also..... I thought when Stanford played ASU at the time ASU had the second best ranked run DEFENSE in the YOU ESS EH. If that's true then the average for The Mighty Cardinal for Run D's opposed goes up a bit.

Thanks for the great work Crimson Terd...

Posted by: JON Madden | Dec 13, 2009 9:51:48 AM

Crimson Terd's right. SEC D's are always overrated. They SEC d myth is always exposed as a fraud when the step away from the community college non conference opponents (see UCLA v. Tennessee in jesusland)...see UTAH v. bama last year....(bama ? is that a university or a child care facility?) It's the same thing as the ESPN heisman fix.......say it over and over and over....brainwash the pea brained masses and soon you have reality...sort of...until the teams actually compete. What a bunch or crap.

Posted by: Lnrd Skynrd | Dec 13, 2009 9:57:52 AM

All I can say is the ESPN HEISMAN PREDICTOR is a crime. It began running across the screen of ball games around that Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers Thursday night game....after a guy like Gerhart had already finished his regular season. Listing Gerhart as 4th the whole time...what crap...how's the kid supposed to compete against that, especially with no more games to play. ESPN really did want Ingram or McCoy to take it...they made it happen. And NISSAN says...hello money.

Posted by: Fred | Dec 13, 2009 10:07:49 AM

All I can say is the ESPN HEISMAN PREDICTOR is a crime. It began running across the screen of ball games around that Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers Thursday night game....after a guy like Gerhart had already finished his regular season. Listing Gerhart as 4th the whole time...what crap...how's the kid supposed to compete against that, especially with no more games to play. ESPN really did want Ingram or McCoy to take it...they made it happen. And NISSAN says...hello money.

Posted by: Fred | Dec 13, 2009 10:07:49 AM

I think it would be interesting to analyze the actual ballots not just for first second or 3rd place but also how many voters left off a particular candidate. In such a tight race this could make a big difference.

Posted by: JGF | Dec 13, 2009 10:18:51 AM

Plus some number of voters did not vote...i thought it was like 20 or 30 voters...plus the whack jobs who voted their 3rd cousin in because they were sleepin with the local teams best players sister.

Posted by: Reggie | Dec 13, 2009 10:21:07 AM

Numbers, numbers, numbers, wow. Numbers are great, but without all the data, useless. here's an example, imaginary of course. Team A faces 50 run plays per game and averages 2 ypc.That's 100 ypg. Team B faces 20 run plays per game and averages 4 ypc.That's 80 ypg. Now, according to stats, Team B is ranked higher and seems the better defence, but in reality, team A is the better defence.Its all relative.Its a shame Gerhart doesn't have to face an SEC opponent and see what a REAL run defence is all about.Don't get me wrong, Gerhart is a beast.But Ingram at stanford would have easily racked up 200+ ypg in that conference.I understand rooting and standing behind "your guy" but let's be real folks.Stats are fun, but without all of them, they become skewed. Strength of schedule is supposed to play a role somewhere.As for Auburn, they came out with one thing in mind, stop ingram, they didn't care if they lost. An 8 man SEC front will stop anyone, I mean anyone.But to truly understand and place a nonbiased opinion, you have to watch all the games and take into consideration everything involved.Congrats to all 5 players.It was amazing to have the priviledge of watching them play. All were outstanding but in the end, there could only be one.Congratulations Mr. Ingram, on a well deserved trophy win.

Posted by: riverat | Dec 13, 2009 10:22:39 AM

Ndamukong Suh has been most dominant player to play college football, I have seen, in 30 years of following the sport. Congrats to the Heisman voters for getting it wrong again. Ingrahm is an outstanding running back.... All-American caliber but lets be honest here folks: the most outstanding player in college football he is not.
Once again Heisman voters chose the most glamorous player playing for who they felt was the best team. It didnt hurt that an Alabama player had never won either.
It happens year after year, but what makes this year different is you had an incredibly deserving player that was denied simply because so many voters were either uninformed, biased or simply found it unacceptable to vote for a down lineman. Way-to-go!

Posted by: mikes | Dec 13, 2009 10:23:58 AM

Gerhart got royally screwed. Broke the PAC 10 TD record, had 9 more TDs and led the nation in rushing. Yet many leave him off their ballots entirely.

Ingram did even get Player of the Year for his own conference! But he's "the nations's most outstanding player"?

Posted by: David | Dec 13, 2009 10:37:08 AM

Meant to say HE DID NOT get POY for his conference, Tebow did.

Posted by: David | Dec 13, 2009 10:38:48 AM

2009 SEC Vs. Out of Conference: (All FCS Opponents were Excluded)


W South Carolina 7, North Carolina State 3
W No. 5 Alabama 34, No. 7 Virginia Tech 24
W LSU 31, Washington 23 (Washington did beat USC which seems to be Stanfords sole claim to fame)
W Kentucky 31, Louisville 27
W Auburn 41, West Virginia 30
W No. 21 Georgia 20, Arizona State 17
W Arkansas 47, Texas A&M 19
W South Carolina 34, No. 18 Clemson 17
W No. 1 Florida 37, Florida State 10
W Georgia 30, No. 7 Georgia Tech 24

SEC Loses

L No. 9 Oklahoma State 24, No. 13 Georgia 10
L No. 11 Georgia Tech 56, Vanderbilt 31
L UCLA 19, Tennessee 15
L No. 25 Georgia Tech 42, Mississippi State 31

Thats 10 wins and 4 loses for the SEC. I say thats pretty darn good, and i don't know of any other way to compare stats from the 2009 season where its not really comparing apples to oranges. I predict the SEC's stats will grower even more impressive come bowl time. My bowl predictions are as follows for the SEC.

W Georgia 28 Texas A&M 20
L TN 14 Va Tech 28
W Auburn 35 Northwestern 28
L LSU 14 Penn State 17
W Florida 42 Cincy 21
W South Carolina 28 Uconn 14
W Arkansas 35 ECU 21
W Alabama 28 Texas 17

Posted by: Jeremy Mills | Dec 13, 2009 10:48:40 AM

Excuse me i failed to mention Stanford did also beat Oregon which did have a fine team this year, but dont even think about including ND... our mid tier teams could have easily manhandled them

Posted by: Jeremy Mills | Dec 13, 2009 10:52:14 AM

Crimson Terd-
Interesting stats. The only problem is, everyone knows the Pac-10 is a pass heavy conference (just look at Passing stats - both Pac-10 Offenses and SEC Defenses). What you have to do is look at overall Defensive rankings, which makes readily apparent the superiority of SEC Defenses (seriously, in the top 30: SEC 7 - Pac-10 2). The stats make clear the SEC is the best Defensive conference, sorry folks.
So much for your irrefutable evidence.
Congrats Mark and all the other finalists, you all had great seasons, and the best of luck to you in the future.
And thanks StiffArmTrophy for some great research.

Posted by: bummer | Dec 13, 2009 11:01:49 AM

Okay, since we're stuck in the statistics twilight zone. Stanford offense average in 2009 was 441.4 yds pg and 36.2 pts pg; Alabama was 413.8 and 31.7. On defense Stanford gave up average 396.5 yds pg; Alabama gave up only a paltry 241.7 yds pg. Alabama's real strength was their outstanding defense. Stanford needed Gerhart more than Alabama needed Ingram since they were constantly needing to score. The 8-4 record is deceiving. The Stanford defense couldn't hold 2 substantial 4th quarter leads and the offense nearly won the Cal game in the final seconds after the defense kept giving away the lead. They could easily have been 11-1 if they had a decent defense. Point is: don't hang the 8-4 record on Gerhart; he was the guy that kept them in every game. The fact that Gerhart is worthy of the Heisman doesn't mean Ingram isn't - or vice versa. They're both great.

Posted by: jaspk | Dec 13, 2009 11:13:18 AM

That's the problem NOWHERE does it say that the heisman is based on best stats. They were all deserving and Mark Ingram won. Some of you people are psycho.

Posted by: Greg | Dec 13, 2009 11:34:01 AM

Consider that Nick Saban didn't even think that Ingram was his best back consistently throughout the year, and you see where the Heisman voters went with a blind, most-recent-game vote. Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU were not great games for Ingram, and out of nine FBS school (non conf-champ) games, 66% doesn't count as consistent. Gerhart had one early-season bad game and continued to get better and better, hanging up a total of 14 touchdowns on ranked Oregon, USC, and Cal, and then unranked Notre Dame.

Congrats to Kari for a solid methodology. There's no shame in having gotten Suh and McCoy switched--I certainly thought McCoy would finish third ahead of Suh because of that willingness of voters to publicly declare for Suh as well. McCoy definitely deserved the Heisman for his season's accomplishments, and I don't think Texas's decision to single-block Suh should negate twelve games' worth of victories.

Perhaps if the eastern seaboard weren't broken up into more regions, or if the far west weren't consolidated into only one region, we'd have fairer representation. The east/south bias definitely hurt Gerhart and Suh.

Posted by: sam | Dec 13, 2009 12:49:44 PM

No, 4 losses each is what hurt Gerhart and Suh. The voters wanted to give it to a WINNER, not just someone with the best stats.

Posted by: Rick | Dec 13, 2009 1:13:03 PM

Ingram is not Heisman quality.

But then again, maybe I'm giving too much credit to the Heisman Trophy.

He's good. Just nothing special.

Posted by: Christopher | Dec 13, 2009 1:28:09 PM

Christopher, you're an idiot. Obviously, Ingram IS Heisman quality or he wouldn't have been voted to win it. And...he is VERY special.

Posted by: Rick | Dec 13, 2009 1:40:37 PM

Rick - Gerhart is a winner. As noted, offense can't do it all if you don't have a decent defense. Same old problem with the Heisman vote. Too much attention to what the team does instead of recognition of the individual contribution made to the success of the team.

Posted by: jaspk | Dec 13, 2009 1:48:06 PM

I never said anything bad about Gerhart. He's good and would have been deserving if they gave it to him. Too many people are knocking Ingram because of sour grapes. He won it and is deserving of it.

Posted by: Rick | Dec 13, 2009 2:18:08 PM

How can you claim to be only 1.2 % off? Isn't the difference between 48.6% and 46.9% equal to 1.7%, and not 1.2 %? where did you get value 1.2 % from?

Posted by: Confused One | Dec 13, 2009 2:47:44 PM

Rick - Ok,my apologies. "The voters wanted to give it to a WINNER, not just someone with the best stats." did sound a bit sour. Anyway, the Heisman is just a big chuck of bronze and somewhat pretentious - just as all similar awards - to subjectively represent a single person as "The Best". It also bears little relationship to later NFL success (not necessarily that it should), to wit:

Payton Manning: 6th 1995 – 1st Eddie George; 2nd 1997 – 1st Charles Woodson
Drew Brees: 4th 1999 – 1st Ron Dayne; 3rd 2000 – 1st Chris Weinke

So we probably shouldn't belabor the issue. Anyone nominated who gets the most votes certainly deserves it. I wish Ingram, as well as all of the others, the best in the remainder of their college and NFL careers.

PS It's not nice to call someone an idiot when you disagree - shame, shame!

Posted by: jaspk | Dec 13, 2009 3:02:06 PM

Great work StiffArmTrophy.com. I was very impressed with your relentless pursuit to (again) be accurate for the 8th time in a row. I am the Coach of the SoCal Crimson Tide Club and have followed Alabama football since the early 70's. Proud for what we've accomplished yesterday, albeit, our work is still unfinished. Winning on January 7th will make this year THE most formidable football year in recent Alabama history if not the finest. Having met Tim Tebow I give him lauds of respect and admiration. He has been the model for all collegiate athletics. Colt McCoy is also a class act and will play well on Sundays in the NFL. Toby Gerhart displayed an intensity this year which, although he did not win the "H" he deserved it just as much as MI for his stats and class. What more can be said for N. Suh? This man-child will be the prototype for the future of DL and perhaps OL as well. He won the most awards of any DL in history in one year.

All this being said I would like to distinctly praise all the players who were in consideration for the "H" Trophy this year. Specifically to Rolando McClain who was the 2nd best Defensive player (Butkus Award) considered and is a model student, athlete and gentleman who will also be a threat in the NFL next year (oops).

I humbly predict Alabama to win over Texas in the BCSCG to cap off the most impressive Alabama football season I have ever been a part of. Hey StiffArmTrophy, can you give me some calculations to validate my prediction?

Roll Tide Roll
University of Alabama 1976

Posted by: GHook | Dec 13, 2009 3:38:50 PM

Love your site. 8 for 8. Picking Mark has made StiffArm an Alabama and Michigan favor. Good Job.

Posted by: Arrow J | Dec 13, 2009 6:00:29 PM

A final word:

Fantastic Job Stiffarmthrophy!!!
I am a mathematician by trade and have been thoroughly impressed with your logic and methodology, Bravo!!

Now for all of you sore goobfish losers, just watch Ingram in the BCS NC game and pay attention. The reason he won the trophy will reveal itself!!!

For now smoogs, go back to your quiche and/or corndogs and SHUT THE FUP, FOOLS!!!!!!!

Posted by: jimbo stinson | Dec 13, 2009 7:40:54 PM

Way to go Ingram. Hard to believe you didn't win by a higher percentage against the losers that you were going up against. You are the best player in the history of football ever. The biggest, the meanest. You could beat any college football team by yourself...dont even need a o-line or quarterback. You could play against a whole defensive team of Suh's and still score at will. All pro teams will want you and give you whatever money you ask for. Hell, they may pay you not to play in the NFL just so you don't hurt people. I don't even know why other teams play against you...

In all seriousness...congrats Mark. You are not only a great football player but a incredible young man. Good Luck and Roll Tide!

Posted by: layedbak | Dec 13, 2009 8:53:08 PM

Gerhart is the only O guy that might stand a chance against Suh 1 on 1.

Posted by: Double_K | Dec 13, 2009 9:16:19 PM

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