What can we learn from analyzing the top-two vote pairs?

Since I'm stuck in jury duty today - excuse me, doing my long-delayed civic duty today - I thought I'd give you a little analysis to chew over.

A lot of folks have been asking me questions like "Are there people voting for Ingram and Gerhart because they're both RBs?" and "Are the Big-12 voters voting for McCoy and Suh together?" etc. (And until last weekend, lots of those questions were being asked about the SEC's Tebow and Ingram, or QBs Tebow and McCoy, too.)

Among the first 208 ballots we've tracked down, 169 have the two of the five finalists in the top two spots. (The rest have other #1s and #2s, or we don't know their #2 at all.)

The most common 1/2 ordered combos are Suh/Gerhart (26), Suh/Ingram (25), Ingram/McCoy (20), Gerhart/Ingram (18), Gerhart/Suh (13), and Gerhart/Ingram (10).

  • The most common "alliance" was unexpected - 39 ballots had Gerhart and Suh together in the top two spots. Clearly, these are voters who like a non-traditional approach; they're not looking for "the best player on the best team."
  • 28 ballots had Ingram and McCoy on them -- with both teams headed to the BCS title game, those are your "best player on the best teams" voters.
  • The RB-alliance of Gerhart and Ingram does seem relevant, as another 28 ballots had them together.
  • There doesn't appear to be much of a Big-12 alliance, with only 8 ballots with Suh and McCoy together (only 2 have McCoy above Suh.)
  • The most common combo with Tim Tebow in it was McCoy/Tebow, with 9 ballots. His overall poor showing means he's not in a lot of top-two pairs, so there's not much of an Tebow/Ingram SEC alliance at all, just four ballots.


Here's the data, what do you see?

First, the #1 and #2 vote pairs - in order:

26 Suh Gerhart
25 Suh Ingram
20 Ingram McCoy
18 Gerhart Ingram
13 Gerhart Suh
10 Ingram Gerhart
9 Ingram Suh
9 McCoy Gerhart
8 McCoy Ingram
7 Gerhart McCoy
6 Suh McCoy
5 Tebow McCoy
4 McCoy Tebow
2 Gerhart Tebow
2 Ingram Tebow
2 McCoy Suh
2 Tebow Ingram
1 Tebow Gerhart

And here's the combos, without regard to order:

39 Gerhart Suh
34 Ingram Suh
28 Ingram Gerhart
28 Ingram McCoy
16 Gerhart McCoy
9 McCoy Tebow
8 McCoy Suh
4 Ingram Tebow
1 Gerhart Tebow
0 Suh Tebow

Kari Chisholm | December 9, 2009 | Comment on This Post (84 so far)
Permalink: What can we learn from analyzing the top-two vote pairs?

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What I see (if you base 5 points for a 1st-place vote, and 4 points for a 2nd-place vote) is Ingram with a decent lead over Gerhart and Suh, with Ingram totaling 470 points, to Gerhart's 392, and Suh's 324. But that's just looking at the numbers, and "EVERYONE" knows that the numbers don't mean anything..............OR, the numbers DO mean everything...

Posted by: BamaAce | Dec 9, 2009 10:27:15 AM

Suh is on the most ballots, has the most first place votes yet because these "voters" don't know squat about football he will not win it. It is too bad people who don't know much about football, don't apparently take their responsibility seriously, and vote without regards to actually THINKING about who to vote for and why then the Heisman will continue to fade in importance and significance. It is not about the best team, the best stats, the best record....it is about the best football player. Suh is the best college football player this year and probably the best we have seen for awhile.

Posted by: JP | Dec 9, 2009 10:28:55 AM

Suh is on the most ballots, has the most first place votes yet because these "voters" don't know squat about football he will not win it. It is too bad people who don't know much about football, don't apparently take their responsibility seriously, and vote without regards to actually THINKING about who to vote for and why then the Heisman will continue to fade in importance and significance. It is not about the best team, the best stats, the best record....it is about the best football player. Suh is the best college football player this year and probably the best we have seen for awhile.

Posted by: JP | Dec 9, 2009 10:29:00 AM

Interesting break downs. Have the number of votes rolling into this website slowed down at all? I'm snowed in right now & have nothing better to do but read Husker stuff online. I hit refresh on here once every 45 minutes or so. - Snow sucks

Posted by: Nick | Dec 9, 2009 10:30:59 AM

The Ingram/Gerhart debate is a good one. Here's my breakdown of it.

Gerhart faced 10 BCS-conference teams including one independent (8 PAC-10, Wake and ND). Those 10 teams' D's yielded an average of 143.07 rushing yards/game on 31.48 attempts for an average rush of 4.17 yards

Ingram facced 10 BCS-conference teams (9 SEC + V. Tech). Those teams yielded 143.56 yards/game on 36.5 attempts for an average rush of 3.92 yards.


Gerhart averaged 26.22 carries for 147.36 yards/game with an average rush of 5.65 yards

Ingram averaged 22 carries for 129.3 yards/game with an average rush of 5.88 yards.

An average back with 26.22 carries against the defenses Gerhart faced would have gained 108.7 yards. Gerhart exceeded that by 36.6%.

An average back facing Ingram's opponents would have gained 86.23 yards on his 22 carries. Ingram exceeded that 49.9%.

In raw stats, Gerhart beats Ingram by 20 yards a game against opponents that yield on the whole the same number of yards per game. However, Ingram averages more per each carry. Gerhart's heavier workload produces higher yardage per game. Ingram's higher productivity per carry gives him a better number when compared to an average back.

The numbers look close to me and I guess that's why the voting is so close. Do you value carries or production per carry? One goes to Gerhart and the other to Ingram

Posted by: Davis | Dec 9, 2009 10:32:38 AM

hmmmm............it seems that I indeed am an idiot, and added the wrong column up, like a dumba$$. Let's try those numbers again...

Total 1st/2nd points:

Ingram - 417
Suh - 381
Gerhart - 384

.............Remind me NEVER to do that again...........

Posted by: BamaAce | Dec 9, 2009 10:33:17 AM

Davis,

"The numbers look close to me and I guess that's why the voting is so close. Do you value carries or production per carry? One goes to Gerhart and the other to Ingram"

One number you haven't brought up is scoring - Toby has scored a LOT more (11 more touchdowns to be exact) than Ingram. Rushing yardage is depressed by definition from goal to go situations, which situationally explains part of Gerhart's lower YPC (not much of it, but still something to consider).

In simpler terms, a back who scores a lot is getting more rushes at the goal line, which are necessarily short-yardage plays. Neither of these backs are breakaway players who are expected to score from anywhere on the field.

Posted by: Topher | Dec 9, 2009 10:41:55 AM

Davis,

"The numbers look close to me and I guess that's why the voting is so close. Do you value carries or production per carry? One goes to Gerhart and the other to Ingram"

One number you haven't brought up is scoring - Toby has scored a LOT more (11 more touchdowns to be exact) than Ingram. Rushing yardage is depressed by definition from goal to go situations, which situationally explains part of Gerhart's lower YPC (not much of it, but still something to consider).

In simpler terms, a back who scores a lot is getting more rushes at the goal line, which are necessarily short-yardage plays. Neither of these backs are breakaway players who are expected to score from anywhere on the field.

With his higher YPC I am actually surprised Ingram hasn't scored a lot more than he has. Anybody want to consider the question?

Posted by: Topher | Dec 9, 2009 10:43:28 AM

I have to know what people see in Ingram that puts him in this race over many other RB's in the country. I admit a certain west coast bias here topped with a healthy portion of "SEC is overrated" but nothing about anything I have seen him do is more impressive than Gerhart's accomplishments. Heck, as a Duck fan, LaMichael James has been the most impressive back to me. Just under 1500 yards in basically 11 games (he was only given 2 carries for 22 yards in game 1 before LBG's suspension).

I see this love for him as another case of SEC homerism combined with the best player/best team argument.

Of the five on the ballot, the only guys that I feel are even close to deserving it are Gerhart and Suh. How could McCoy win it after his attrocious showing in the Big 12 championship game?

Please voters, vot for the BEST PLAYER!! Not the Best Player playing in a BCS game(which still wouldn't be Ingram or McCoy by the way)!!!

Posted by: dfoz3 | Dec 9, 2009 10:50:07 AM

Davis, did you subtract the attempts/yardage Stanford and Alabama had against those defenses in the averages you listed? If Gerhart had more yards per game than Ingram, then he increased the defensive yards allowed per game average by more than Ingram too, penalizing those defenses more than the defenses Ingram went against.

Posted by: Ward | Dec 9, 2009 10:51:20 AM

Ingram has something like 50 runs of 10 yards or more this season (which easily leads the country). I'd be interested in seeing how many Gerhart has. Another stat that hasn't been looked at is yards after contact, which Ingram should clearly lead as well.

As far as the TD differences, 11 between Gerhart and Ingram isn't quite accurate. Ingram has 3 receiving TD's to Gerhart's 0. I think Gerhart has one passing to Ingram's 0. So, total TD's Gerhart leads Ingram by 9, not 11.

On many of Alabama's drives, Ingram did the majority of the work in getting the Tide offense into short yardage TD areas. A lot of those times, Ingram would be replaced by the fresh legs of Trent Richardson (whether the TD's were converted by Richardson or not does not matter).

Also, Alabama shut down Ingram when the game was pretty much over. On three separate occasions, Ingram was done by halftime (and in one game, he was hurt and only had 8 carries). Obviously the level of competition during those games was poor, but the fact that the yards he does have were not "scrub" yards for the most part, that also plays a factor to why people hold him in such high regard.

Posted by: Sam | Dec 9, 2009 11:16:37 AM

Todd Blackledge voted Ingram number 1

Posted by: Joe | Dec 9, 2009 11:22:49 AM

The TD argument can be looked at another way. Instead of just calculating how many TDs they scored lets look at how many more TDs their team needed and did not get. To me that would be the mark of an outstanding player, how many games you helped your team win. Ingram's undefeated team needed no more touchdowns but Gerhardt's team lost 4 games so by that standard Gerhardt came up short. This is teammate dependent, of course, but so are all individual football stats. I concede this opinion may not be shared by others but I just can't see how the most outstanding football player can have lost 4 games.

PS Gerhardt supporters are conveniently forgetting to factor in receiving yards. When these yards are included Gerhardt and Ingram essentially become neck-in-neck yardage wise.

Posted by: Kevin | Dec 9, 2009 11:31:42 AM

Sam,

I haven't been able to track down the stats currently, but 3-4 weeks ago Gerhart led the country in runs of more than 10 yards with 50. I know Ingram was behind him at that point, with possibly 48?

Also, you clearly have not watched a Stanford game this year if you think Ingram should hands down lead the YA contact stat because Gerhart gains at least a couple extra yards, if not his entire run, almost everytime he carries the ball.

I'll try and find the 10 yard run stats and post a link.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 9, 2009 11:33:10 AM

Ward,

That's a good point. It really doesn't change much. Taking out the Stanford/Bama stats, you have:

Gerhart facing 11 teams (said 10 above, that was a typo). Those teams gave up 135.57 on 33.68 carries for an average of 4.02 ypc when not playing Stanford. Standford carried the ball 41.5 times for 225.55 for an average of 5.42 against those teams. Gerhart got 62.8% of those carries and averaged 5.65 ypc. With the changes an average back would have gained 105 yards vs. Toby's 147.36. Toby is better by 40.3%

Ingram faced 10 teams. Those teams gave up 127.03 yards on 33.17 carries for an average of 3.83 when not playing Alabama. Alabama carried the ball 40.7 times for 195.8 yards for an average rush of 4.81 ypc against those teams. Ingram got 54.1% of those carries and averaged 5.87 ypc. With the changes an average back would have gained 84.25 with the same number of carries vs. Ingram's 129.3. Ingram is better by 53.5%.

Still basically the same. Topher makes a good point about short yardages carries. But I'm not sure how to measure that. It is interesting the Ingram is more than a full yard better than the other backs on his team while Gerhart is only .23 yards better. But given that Gerhart's total is a much larger percentage of his team's total yards, it would be harder for his numbers to deviate from the average.

I think both guys are deserving and it seems hard to be too upset about choosing either.

Posted by: Davis | Dec 9, 2009 11:34:17 AM

@Topher:
Your question : "With his higher YPC I am actually surprised Ingram hasn't scored a lot more than he has. Anybody want to consider the question?"

Answer: Ingram hasn't scored as much because.....dun du duunnnn.....Alabama doesn't lose games. We have routinely been in control from start to finish of games. Against our cupcake games (3), Ingram had a grand total of 29 carries or less than 10 carries per game.

Stanford on the other hand has lost a lot of games and as a result has kept Gerhart in longer.

Bama also uses a 3 back system with probably 80% of the carries going to the top 2.

Posted by: ROLLMF'NTIDE | Dec 9, 2009 11:35:53 AM

Sam,

3-4 weeks ago Gerhart led the country in runs of 10 or more yards with 50. Ingram was second with something in the mid to high 40's. I can't find the stats but I'll post with a link once I do.

Also, you obviously never watched a Stanford game as Gerhart routinely gains 3-5 yards after contact. In fact I'd bet that most of his yardage is gain after contact since he is so hard to bring down.

As with most of your arguments for Ingram, it's anecdotal, and saying something like Ingram does the work to get down to the goal line is just a ridiculous statement to make to try and debunk the MASSIVE TD disparity.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 9, 2009 11:38:02 AM

Ingram's stats weren't padded like Gerhart's. He is on of 3 RBs that are played frequently. He isn't in there for every single drive opportunity. Richardson makes TONS of carries and Upchuch made several at the end of the SEC Championship and at the end of the Iron Bowl. Ingram should win just for the sole reason that Saban didn't pad his stats.

Posted by: Jptde | Dec 9, 2009 11:38:13 AM

Why are you guys only looking at the rushing yardage? When I look at a running back, I also consider how well he catches the ball. You seem to be leaving out the fact that Ingram had an additional 322 yards and 3 touchdowns receiving to Gerhart's 149 yards and 0 touchdowns. Adding those stats to the total yardage brings the totals to, Gerhart had 1885 yards 26 touchdowns to Ingram's 1864 yards and 18 touchdowns. If we are talking about running backs, Ingram is the better all around running back without a doubt.

Posted by: josh | Dec 9, 2009 11:40:01 AM

Umm.... my calculations have the following: (course I read earlier that 1st place gets 3 points 2nd gets 2 and 3rd 1)

Ingram 1st place votes: 41 = 123
2nd place votes: 53 = 106
---------
229

Suh 1st place votes: 57 = 171
2nd place votes: 24 = 48
---------
219

Gerhardt 1st place votes: 40 = 120
2nd place votes: 46 = 92
---------
212


Posted by: Jason | Dec 9, 2009 11:44:07 AM

"Another stat that hasn't been looked at is yards after contact, which Ingram should clearly lead as well."

I don't want to be 'that guy' on the postings, but can I assume that you haven't watched many Stanford games this season? Gerhart is notorious for picking up yards after contact, frequently hauling an opposing would-be-tackler on his back for another five yards before being taken down by an additional two or three players. It's his forte, and generally is the capstone to the day-after highlight reels.

Posted by: Kyle | Dec 9, 2009 11:44:28 AM

I'm a Nebraska fan, so I'll try to keep my pro-Suh biased opinion out of this. As far as the RB's are concerned:

Davis,

I like your break down. Personally, I believe that Yards per Carry is the more important stat. A players total yardage can look a little skewed if they are given considerably more touches than another. So looking at their Average Production per carry is better than Total Production.

The other stat I like to consider is Yards After Contact. Sometimes a RB's yards might be a result of good blocking. But Yards After Contact is a reflection of the individuals efforts. Has anyone compiled these numbers?

Dfoz3,

I think a lot of the numbers you are seeing for McCoy (and Tebow) are from voters who had made up their mind early on. Some even sent in their ballots before the Conference Championships. I wouldn't worry about them too much. They seem to be in the minority. McCoy and Tebow are far enough behind that I doubt they will be a factor. It's a 3 man race.

Posted by: Bryan | Dec 9, 2009 11:46:38 AM

Sorry for the double post.

Here are the links for Gerhart (https://www.cfbstats.com/2009/player/674/1003538/rushing/situational.html) and Ingram (https://www.cfbstats.com/2009/player/8/1015238/rushing/situational.html).

As you can see Toby has 50 carries of 10+ yards, compared to "only" 46 for Ingram. Although to be fair, Ingram has 17 20+ carries, while Gerhart has only 11.

And in response to Rollmf'ntide, you are probably correct in that Alabama was in the lead/in control of games more often than Stanford, but Ingram played a whole EXTRA game compared to Gerhart and his TD numbers still pale.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 9, 2009 11:47:03 AM

Though I do like how Ingram runs and is a great player. Personally, I don't even think he is the best player on his team. McClain at LB is the most outstanding player on that Alabama team. Notice most outstanding player.....what the heisman voters are supposed to vote for.

Posted by: matt | Dec 9, 2009 11:56:08 AM

Honestly, all of the people that have given Tebow a first place vote should be stripped of their voting privileges. There is no way that you can give a quarterback with as mediocre of stats as he has such a prestigious award.

Posted by: Jake | Dec 9, 2009 12:08:56 PM

Josh, if that is true and Gerhart has 50 to Ingrams 46, Ingram had 60 less carries. He had a 10+ yard carry 20% of the time to Gerharts 17% and a 20+ yarder 7% to Gerharts 3.5%.

The biggest difference on the YAC I see between the two is Gerhart drags people for extra yards Ingram is getting loose from tacklers and continuing downfield. A perfect example is the 69 yard screen pass he had against Florida where he was hit for a 3-4 yard gain broke the tackle, ran through a hit on the sideline and would have gone the distance without his own blocker being in his way at the 10. This also show that he actually does have the ability to score from anywhere on the field just like the 70 yard run he had against MSU that he ran away from the db's.

Posted by: RTR12 | Dec 9, 2009 12:20:55 PM

By my math,
in 2008 the final second place projection was 4.6% fewer than actual;
in 2007 the final second place projection was 7.1% fewer than actual;
in 2006, the final second place projection was 3.2% fewer than actual; and
in 2005, the final first place projection was 3.8% more than actual.

Thus, even given the impressive success of your projections the past four years, the margin of error from past years would still seem to have this be a three person race, that is, third place Suh is only 4.4% behind first place Ingram

Posted by: cdf | Dec 9, 2009 12:24:04 PM

Josh, that "EXTRA game" you refer to was against the #1 Defense in the country.

Take away the 2nd halves vs. FIU, N. Texas, and UTC that Ingram didn't play and I believe that more than makes up for it.

He had 334 yards and 5 TDs rushing and receiving in those 3 games in only the 1st half.

Posted by: Meeker | Dec 9, 2009 12:53:30 PM

With regards to the TD difference, around the middle part of the season, Alabama was passing a lot inside the 10 yard line. I don't know why. I guess they were trying to work on the fade to Julio Jones but it didn't work out too well. They settled for FGs. Another thing that I've noticed is they typically leave the back in that got them down the field. If Richardson ran for 60 yards on a drive, they leave him in the get the reward. I've been reading all of the back and forth about Gerhart and Ingram but at the end of the day, you have to say, do I want better stats or a better record for the team? Any of the top 3 are VERY deserving...Ingram, Gerhart, or Suh. I think Suh is the most dominant but I hope Ingram wins.

Posted by: Rick | Dec 9, 2009 12:57:10 PM

How is Tebow still in any consideration? Must have been votes submitted well before this past weekend of 1) Ingram dominance, 2) Suh dominance and 3) Tebow failure. If he wins, I'm moving to Bangladesh.

Posted by: Savage | Dec 9, 2009 1:07:26 PM

"...to Rollmf'ntide, you are probably correct in that Alabama was in the lead/in control of games more often than Stanford, but Ingram played a whole EXTRA game compared to Gerhart and his TD numbers still pale."

Keep in mind that when Stanford is down they have often turned to the passing game depriving Gerhart of more opportunities. It was the case vs Wake, Oregon State, and unfortunately Cal. It's usually when a game is in the bag that you move disproportionately to the running game in order to run out the clock. Then you turn to the guy that can be your closer.

By the way, another stat for a running back is fumbles. Anyone have those numbers?

Posted by: William | Dec 9, 2009 1:21:46 PM

I'm a Nebraska fan so I'm obviously rooting for Suh. That said, if there was a hole, and either Gerhart or Ingram had to run through that hole, and Suh was standing in that hole, who would win? Obviously this is a very simplified view of things but I think it has some merit.

Posted by: dally | Dec 9, 2009 1:28:33 PM

Ingram fumbled the ball once since he has been at Alabama. That includes all of this year and last year as a freshman. (1) Once

Posted by: Josh | Dec 9, 2009 1:34:07 PM

Here is the personal hurdle that keeps Ingram below Gerhart and Suh for me: I cannot remember a past Heisman winner, in his Heisman winning season, in a big game with his team's season on the line laying an absolute egg like Ingram did against Auburn (16 carries for 30 yards, and being on the sidelines in the 4th quarter with the game on the line, albeit a bit banged up, but healthy enough to come back the following week against Florida). And, this was an Auburn rush defense that was absolutely gashed all year. To me, the Heisman goes to someone who was good/consistent in every game.

Ingram boosters seem to write off McCoy for his bad games against Oklahoma and Nebraska, and write off Spiller for his bad game against South Carolina, but overlook the Ingram game against Auburn. Interesting.

As far as records go: the last SEC player to win the Heisman was Tebow, the year his team went 9-4. The last SEC RB to win the Heisman was Bo Jackson, the year his team went 8-4. So, the records argument between Bama, Stanford and Nebraska seems to be a red herring.

Posted by: Mike | Dec 9, 2009 1:45:20 PM

the stiff arm is for the most outstanding player on a team and in the country. the winners in the past won because not only did they have great personal performances but they also raised the level of play arround them. this is why if the voters vote correctly SUH should win. not only has he played out of this world but he draws so many double and triple teams he causes his fellow line-men to have incredible stats as well..... aka jared crick. what suh and company did to oklahoma, va. tec, and texas (to name a few) they would do to stanford and bama because of the power and ability suh brings.

Posted by: matt | Dec 9, 2009 1:56:52 PM

It always cracks me up the posters who's message basically says "The fact that my candidate isn't going to win shows how the Heisman continues to fade in significance."

Well if it's insignificant, why are you wasting your time whining about it?

Posted by: drweb | Dec 9, 2009 2:18:16 PM

"I'm a Nebraska fan so I'm obviously rooting for Suh. That said, if there was a hole, and either Gerhart or Ingram had to run through that hole, and Suh was standing in that hole, who would win? Obviously this is a very simplified view of things but I think it has some merit."

If Suh is standing in the hole, then correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't that mean there is NO HOLE?!?!

Either way, Gerhart would probably run into Suh for a 1 yard loss. Ingram would stop, cut to the left, and take it around the end 47 yards for the TD. Ingram wins!

Posted by: Eddie | Dec 9, 2009 2:21:13 PM

"Here is the personal hurdle that keeps Ingram below Gerhart and Suh for me: I cannot remember a past Heisman winner, in his Heisman winning season, in a big game with his team's season on the line laying an absolute egg like..."

"To me, the Heisman goes to someone who was good/consistent in every game."

In 3 losses to Virginia Tech, Texas Tech and Iowa State, Suh recorded a grand total of 1 (ONE) sack. That is laying and egg.

Oh, and Stiff Arm Trophy winners do NOT lose to Iowa State!!!

Posted by: Eddie | Dec 9, 2009 2:25:34 PM

This is a never ending discussion. I am a Alabama fan to the core. But I am open minded as well. I think that the heisman is between Gerhart and Ingram. I think they are both deserving of it. They are both great players in their own unique way.

To me, Suh was never mentioned for the heisman race until the last game he had against Texas. I haven't watched him play all year so I have no clue how good of a player he is. I did watch the Texas game and he played great. So I can't comment on him if he is heisman material.

After it is all said and done, it is JUST a trophy. It does not end your career and stop the players from having a good year by not earning it. A good year speaks for it self, something a trophy can never say.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 9, 2009 2:29:00 PM

The Heisman is supposed to be about the best player in the country. Suh is the best player, but let us focus on the 2 runnin g back candidates. Stats have always been a huge part of the Heisman. Like someone said on Colin Cowherd's show this morning, how anyone could have Ingram above Gerhart on any ballot is beyond me. Just look at the stats.

Ingram was benched in the Auburn game b/c of performance (he was hurt late late in the 4th quarter so don't use an injury argument please). How can anyone up for Heisman be benched in one of the biggest games of the year b/c he was being hugely outperformed by his backup? Would have to be a first.

The Heisman also goes to someone who is obviously the best player on the field in the majority of the games they play. Off the top of my head, Ingram was only obviously the best player on the field in one game this season...against South Carolina. This game also vaulted him into Heisman contention. By the way, South Carolina had the worst run defense in the SEC. Not as much of an accomplishment now huh?

Bottom line, Ingram is a candidate b/c he plays running back on a national title team. Heisman is not supposed to be about team records. It is about the best player. Ingram would not even be in the discussion if his team wasn't 13-0.

Posted by: Jacob | Dec 9, 2009 2:33:57 PM

Any Stiff Arm voter who has McCoy/Tebow on their ballot should have their voting credentials taken away.

Posted by: Dave | Dec 9, 2009 2:36:44 PM

All you need to do in understanding who is the best college football player is to look at the NFL draft boards.

Posted by: Girth | Dec 9, 2009 2:39:04 PM

As a Husker fan, I'll say it - the idiots that voted early for McCoy are hurting Suh. The early McCoy voters would likely have not changed their vote anyway, but they may have put Suh into 2nd or third if they hadn't after watching him dominate Texas.

As for the running backs. Its really hard to differentiate two guys that are close statistically. You can look at this or that, but really - you had to have watched them. Were they good blockers? Were they versatile (catching passes, running inside, running outside). Were they the focus of the offense, or a cog? A back that gets a good YPC average when the other team KNOWS he's getting the ball is a good back. A back that is part of an offense where the QB can run or throw it like a mad man - that might be a good back, but he benefits from the good team.

Posted by: Charles | Dec 9, 2009 2:45:48 PM

@ josh
"Why are you guys only looking at the rushing yardage? When I look at a running back, I also consider how well he catches the ball. You seem to be leaving out the fact that Ingram had an additional 322 yards and 3 touchdowns receiving to Gerhart's 149 yards and 0 touchdowns. Adding those stats to the total yardage brings the totals to, Gerhart had 1885 yards 26 touchdowns to Ingram's 1864 yards and 18 touchdowns."

Um, dude, those stats are with Ingram playing 13 games, while Gerhart only played 12. So Gerhart has more yards and touchdowns while playing 1 fewer game. I think that's pretty important. Plus, don't forget, Gerhart also has a passing touchdown :p I'm just saying, if you want to include all the stats, include them all :p

Posted by: Ward | Dec 9, 2009 2:50:32 PM

"All you need to do in understanding who is the best college football player is to look at the NFL draft boards."

So NFL team needs should decide the best player in college football.

I guess Matt Stafford, Jake Long, Jamarcus Russell, and Mario Williams should all have won the Heisman. Becuase clearly they were the best college player before they left for the NFL.

Posted by: Eddie | Dec 9, 2009 2:50:50 PM

Davis,

Good work on breaking down the stats of Gerhart and Ingram. Both are amazing backs, however, both are very different style runners. Toby Gerhart is a between the tackles, bruising type of back that is a Linebackers worst nighmare. Toby is the back that you will see with the ball on 3rd / 4th and short and goal line. Running on short yardage downs will inevitably bring down the yards per carry.

Ingram is a great back and has a totally different style and he was complimented by a second great running back to share time with. I watched Ingram four times this season and noticed that he was rarely in on the short yardage downs. Richardson usually got the call on 3rd / 4th and short and goal line.

Both are great backs, I just wanted to point out that there are some apples and oranges in your comparison.

Posted by: Drwood35 | Dec 9, 2009 2:54:17 PM

For all you guys knocking Ingram for the Auburn game, did you even watch the game. The Bama O-line got completely owned by the Auburn D-line. Ingram had little to work with. In fact, Auburn held the entire offense to a total of 73 rushing yards that game. Even Richardson was way down on his YPC.

It is hard to make runs when your O-line can't open up holes, especially since Ingram ran between the tackles 75% of the time that game.

Also Ingram did not play a full game more. I guarantee if take into consideration the fact that Ingram left games early for 6 games this season, 3 of which were at or before the half, you would notice stating he played 13 games compared to 12 games completely misleading. How many games did Gerhart play well into the fourth quarter? I watch 7 Stanford games this season and he played the entire game in all 7.

Posted by: wd | Dec 9, 2009 3:18:24 PM

I agree with those who think that scheduling creates some discrepancies. A running back will have more yards per carry against weaker competition and probably more yards unless he is pulled from the game due to a blowout situation.

In order to compensate for that, I looked at Ingram's and Gerhart's statistics against the four best teams that each played against (as measured by Sagarin's predictor ratings). Interestingly, each played against four opponents ranked in the top 24. Alabama played against Virginia Tech (#4) in Atlanta, hosted Arkansas (#17), hosted LSU (#15), and hosted Florida (#3). Stanford played at Oregon State (#23), at Arizona (#22), at home versus Oregon (#7), and at USC (#19).

Ingram's stats were as follows: 26 carries for 150 yards with 1 touchdown versus VA Tech, 17 for 50 with no touchdowns versus Arkansas, 22 for 144 with no touchdowns versus LSU, and 28 for 113 with 3 touchdowns versus Florida. The grand total is 93 carries for 457 yards (4.9 yards per carry) with 4 touchdowns. Alabama was 4-0 in these games only two of which were close.

Gerhart's stats were as follows: 20 carries for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns versus Oregon State, 28 for 123 with 2 touchdowns versus Arizona, 38 for 223 and 3 touchdowns versus Oregon, and 29 for 178 with 3 touchdowns versus Southern Cal. The grand total is 117 carries for 620 yards (5.3 yards per carry) with 10 touchdowns. Stanford was 2-2 in these games three of which were fairly close.

The conclusions are the same as many objective observers have reached. Gerhart is a more consistent player who carried a larger load for his team. He had some of his best performances against his team's best competition. Does anybody see anything different?

Posted by: dave in san mateo | Dec 9, 2009 3:54:36 PM

"In 3 losses to Virginia Tech, Texas Tech and Iowa State, Suh recorded a grand total of 1 (ONE) sack. That is laying and egg."

First of all, an interior DLineman's play is hard to quantify with stats. Second, sacks alone is a poor way to judge overall performance. Third, despite both of those points, Suh had IMPRESSIVE numbers in all three games you listed:

VTech = Led the defense with 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hurry, 4 PASS BREAKUPs
Texas Tech = held to just 25 rushing yards, 4 solo tackles, 2 for a loss, and 4 QB hurries
Iowa State = 8 tackles, 1 sack, 3 QB hurries, 2 BLOCKED FIELDGOALS

Suh's season totals are bigger than most team's defensive line combined.

Posted by: Nick | Dec 9, 2009 3:55:06 PM

I love you guys who keep (anal)yzing Gerhart and Ingram (or Tebow & McCoy for that matter) without any regard to Suh! And yes obviously I am a Husker fan but let's put that aside.

Both Ingram and Gerhart rely on the offensive line to get their jobs done, correct? On the other hand, Suh almost single-handedly shut down 3 decent offenses in which the Huskers lost those 3 games by a total of 4 pts. If the Huskers offense/special teams would have scored at minimum, another field goal in each game it would have been the difference between a 12-1 season v. the 9-4 season they ended up with. And they, quite possibly would be playing for the National Championship rather than Texas! Would those 4 pts. have made a difference in the Heisman vote for Suh! The Heisman is not suppose to be rewarded based on the player from the most OUTSTANDING Team - it is suppose to be rewarded to the MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER, regardless of position or team ranking.

If those that have a vote in the Heisman are not doing their due diligence and watching all players throughout the season, then they should remove themself from their position and let someone who will take the time and do their due diligence. Let those vote who will honor and uphold what the Heisman is about and vote for the most OUTSTANDING PLAYER in college football.

Posted by: Kathie Gonzales | Dec 9, 2009 4:43:20 PM

Yea i see the only decent team stanford played all year was Oregon and they kinda suck to lol.

Posted by: TrueEyes | Dec 9, 2009 4:45:13 PM

Stanfords strongest rival = Oregon.....Nebraskas = Oklahoma. I mean seriously why not give a Heisman to someone from Appalachian State while we are at it. Play strong teams win awards simple as that. All in all, these 3 gentlemen are on par with each other in how good they are. But when it comes to strength of schedule and still doing well i only had a few choices to look at and out of those its Ingram.

Posted by: TrueEyes | Dec 9, 2009 4:59:50 PM

Well, we can all argue our points and look at the stats of each and every player. We will find out Saturday who has the trophy. We will find out Jan 7th who wins the real trophy!

Football is a team sport. Without a team effort neither running back would have the stats they have. You can ask either Ingram or Gerhart and I assure you the first thing they say that gave them their success is the "TEAM".

On January 7th, in Pasadena California, we will find out who has the best "TEAM" in the land. PERIOD

Posted by: Josh | Dec 9, 2009 5:00:18 PM

Girth: "All you need to do in understanding who is the best college football player is to look at the NFL draft boards."

Eddie: "So NFL team needs should decide the best player in college football."

I didn't say needs, I said the draft boards - how they are ranked by importance and value in the pro game. Ummmmmm, I don't believe I have seen Ingram, Gerhart, McCoy or Tebow on anybody's "to do" list. These are the people who actually watch college players and judge them based on their performance. Most Heisman voters just tune into SportsCenter and take notes.

Eddie: "I guess Matt Stafford, Jake Long, Jamarcus Russell, and Mario Williams should all have won the Heisman. Becuase clearly they were the best college player before they left for the NFL."

Of course none of those can hold a candle to legends like Jason White, Tim Tebow, Troy Smith, Gino Toretta, Danny Wuerfel, Eric Crouch, etc., ... the pro game takes away all this arguing about the power of the opposing teams or conferences in college.

Posted by: Girth | Dec 9, 2009 5:16:20 PM

Not really just shows you whats worth more money in the NFL at the time, could be a qb or rb (most likely will be) or ould be DL. Next please?

Posted by: TrueEyes | Dec 9, 2009 5:26:33 PM

does anyone know when suh receives his award 2nite

Posted by: Suh-perman | Dec 9, 2009 5:26:45 PM

"Yea i see the only decent team stanford played all year was Oregon and they kinda suck to lol."

The Sagarin computer rankings indicate the Stanford played the 19th strongest strength of schedule in the country while Alabama played the 20th. I assume the other computer models reach the same conclusion. As I indicated earlier, they each played four of the top twenty-four teams in the nation.

Obviously Alabama has a better team than Stanford does. No one is indicating otherwise. What I am saying is that when you compile better statistics against stronger competition with less help (and therefore more defensive attention), it says something about the level of your performance. Stanford would have been 4-8 without Gerhart (if that) and he made them a top twenty team with victories over a handful of very good victories. Gerhart was the team's star in each and every Stanford win.

And for those of you Nebraska fans who insist that Suh is the best player in the country - you may be right. It's just easier to prove that it's not Ingram.

Posted by: dave in san mateo | Dec 9, 2009 5:35:37 PM

Let me try and clarify the Ingram/Gerhart debate, and add my perspective. Obviously, I'm a Tide fan, nevertheless I'll try and be unbiased here...

First off, I agree that the award rarely goes to the Best College FB player, as it has kind of morphed into being an award where one has to play on a winning/championship team--and I don't agree with that, but that is the precedent that has been set--so therefore in keeping with that precedent, +1 for Ingram.

Let me interject here that Tebow, is probably the greatest CFB player of all time, but this year was not a h-award worthy year. Also, Colt McCoy, while his career in CFB has been impressive, this is not a lifetime achievement award, and his play this year is only above average. Regarding Suh, the guy seems to be dominant, but if Derrick Thomas who had 27 sacks (27 !!!) in 1988 for Bama only finished 10th in the voting, then again precedent has been set for defensive front seven players.

So getting back to Ingram/Gerhart...Gerhart plays with a lot of heart and fire (Though a Bama grad, I live in LA, and I have seen his games), I think he is AMAZING. I don't have anything negative to say about him personally. However, his team is just slightly better than average, and he plays in a conference with weak defenses, as the primary ball carrier on his team. Ingram on the other hand, has played the defenses of the SEC and VT, and been unstoppable, while only being on the field 60% of the time. He sat out almost an entire game, and only played a half of two other beatdowns, so actually, even given the SEC championship, he and Gerhart have "played" the same number of games. The main difference is Ingram played all of his FULL games against the BEST competition, and split carries. So if you were to take Ingram's numbers and (much like the formula that this site uses) "project" what his numbers would have been if he was the only good RB on his team, like Gerhart, common sense says his numbers would FAR surpass Gerhart's and again against stiffer competition on a better team.

So to wrap up, I have nothing but good things to say about Gerhart, and no this is not SEC bias, but Ingram has had a more IMPRESSIVE season. One must look INTO the stats not just AT them.

Posted by: WillTide | Dec 9, 2009 5:41:53 PM

Yea well the Shnigdorfin computer rankings say the Sagarin computer rankings are a bunch of bs. We know who played the hardest schedule this year and they are Number 1 for it. I look at it like this, put Gerhardt against Alabamas defence....numbers wont look like they have all year. Put Ingram against Stanfords D and you can bet its gonna be a good game for him.

Posted by: TrueEyes | Dec 9, 2009 5:45:17 PM

Its almost as if Pac-10 people dont even look at how much they score on each other I mean for gods sake did anyone see the score of Oregon-Stanford? And yet they still try to pretend like their is Defence in that conference. Its ridiculous. Lemmie put it like this lets say Gerhart/Ingram played for one of the worst teams in the NATION and had an additonal 1000 yards each with an extra 10 touchdowns. Just because they picked a crap school that they could dominate on they deserve the Heisman? No, and neither does Suh or Gerhart in this matter.

Posted by: TrueEyes | Dec 9, 2009 5:52:43 PM

I don't like when I read accounts that have folks voting for this as a "career" vote. Has Tebow had a great career and will he be remembered as one of the best all-time? Absolutely. Was he the most "outstanding" college football player in 2009? Absolutely not. I agree that votes for Tebow this year are unwarranted and quite honestly are a wasted vote. All they did was manage to get him a sympathy invitation to the awards show.

This year is more and more reminding me of 1995. Clearly Tommie Frazier should have won that year but it went to Eddie George in a year when he was definitely not the best RB in college football, nor in his league for that matter (Darnell Autry had a much better season). Gerhardt is by far the best runningback and had the most consistent offensive numbers. Suh is the best player in all of college football and ultimately Ingram is going to win. What a joke.

Posted by: David Pinkerman | Dec 9, 2009 5:54:40 PM

I don't understand all this," Ingram played an extra game" talk. Ingram played an extra game but if you count how he came out of 4 games early he didn't get nearly the playing time or touches Gerhart got. And as far as the YAC stat I think they are pretty even. I watched both play and they both broke takles pretty much every time they ran the ball. Everyone should go back to the Bama South Carolina game and watch Ingram's final scoring drive where, not the team, but Ingram took the ball almost 70 yards by himself. He carried or caught the ball on every play and a really good SC defense couldn't do anything about it.

Posted by: CDT | Dec 9, 2009 6:28:53 PM

Consider this scenario all ingram supporters...

Ingram wins the 2009 H. Then in 2010 puts up the same or slightly better numbers and Alabama goes undefeated thru the SEC champ game and there is no obviously better RB in the nation. Does he deserve it again? What about the same scenario repeating in 2011? Does he deserve it again? I don't know. 3x winner? Of course no one knows if that'll even happen, but if it goes that way thru 2010, meaning double H, he'll probably declare for the draft and forego his Sr. year.

I suspect past H winner QBs vote for QBs and past H winner RBs vote for RBs and past H winner DTs vote for...oh wait, there are no past DTs!

I don't have a vote, but I do have an opinion, and that is to give it to either the Sr. RB or the Sr. DT and let Ingram have his shot in 2010 or 2011.

Posted by: bw | Dec 9, 2009 6:35:59 PM

Will Suh win the trophy? Nope. Should he? Probably.

All I know is that both Cody and Suh were double and/or triple teamed on pretty much every play all year and Suh had 80+ tackles while Cody had 25 or so. They both play across from the center and guard, so I don't know why someone keeps talking about Cody and how he plays "nose tackle" in the 3-4 as if that's a huge difference from "defensive tackle" in the 4-3. Both line up on either a guard or center depending on the shift for the play.

Let's put it out here like this: everyone pretty much agrees that the best DTs in the country are Suh, Cody, and McCoy. Cody and McCoy each had 30 or less tackles. Suh had more than 80. For an interior lineman, that is ridiculous. Cody and McCoy combined for 5 total sacks, Suh had 12. Suh had three blocked kicks, and interception, and a forced fumble.

Did Ingram double the production of Gerhart?

Did Gerhart have double the production of his two closest RB competitors?

Did McCoy have his nerve shattered by the Nebraska defense?

Face it - statistically (which is all we have to go on), Suh is, by far, the most outstanding player at his position in the country. He has more double the production of his closest talented peers, and triple the production of the third place guy. If you have watched him play for the last two seasons, you have seen something incredible - a guy who makes you shake your head in wonder at least once a drive with how incredibly talented he is.

I've seen Gerhart play. I've seen Ingram play. They don't stand out like Suh. Isn't this award for the most outstanding player, not "the RB or QB who had the best season in a mediocre offensive year award?"

Posted by: SacramentoHusker | Dec 9, 2009 7:32:30 PM

"On January 7th, in Pasadena California, we will find out who has the best "TEAM" in the land. PERIOD"

I thought the Fiesta Bowl was on January 4. Weird.

Posted by: SacramentoHusker | Dec 9, 2009 7:34:13 PM

Great stats, stats, stats against the worst the NCAA has to offer. Stanford played one decent team all year long Oregon, and Nebraska didnt even play a strong team period outside of Vtech and Texas. They lost to both. I know his stats were good against Texas, sure they are against Vtech. Thats the only credible teams that his stats should be considered against. Sorry thats just not enough to win a Heisman. Said it before if the kid wanted a heisman he should have picked a team that had a stronger schedule. If Suh or Gerhart deserves to be considered so do these other crap teams that happen to have one guy a little better than the rest.

Posted by: TrueEyes | Dec 9, 2009 7:46:49 PM

TrueEyes:

Here's one item that's not a stat - why was Ingram benched in Bama's rivalry game for not producing?

Oh, and you can talk about strength of schedule all you want, but those numbers would be ridiculous if all Nebraska played was WAC teams, let alone Big 12 offenses. Suh's output isn't almost triple that of his nearest competitors because of Nebraska's strength of schedule. It's because he's damn good.

Suh's no shrinking violet like Ingram when he's in a game against a tough opponent. That's when he shines. Ingram's season is nothing special - he does not stand out among his peers. He doesn't even have the highest totals among RBs for his major categories, let alone double those of his peers. You can penalize Suh all you want for Nebraska's offensive ineptitude (truly, that's what it is), but you need to face the fact that Ingram is the type of back we see every single year - Suh is a once in a decade type of player at his position.

Posted by: SacramentoHusker | Dec 9, 2009 8:09:13 PM

"Great stats, stats, stats against the worst the NCAA has to offer."

I didn't realize that 12 tackles and 4.5 sacks against the #2 team in the country was "Great stats, stats, stats against the worst the NCAA has to offer." Hell, Suh had half of Terrence Cody's season output in one game, and that was against the #2 team in the country. Oh, and an infinite multiple of Cody's zero sacks on the season.

Posted by: SacramentoHusker | Dec 9, 2009 8:12:24 PM

wow Suh just won the second of his 7 trophies

Posted by: Suh-perman | Dec 9, 2009 8:18:33 PM

wow Suh just won his second of 7 awards!

Posted by: Suh-perman | Dec 9, 2009 8:20:19 PM

I think what might be missed in this analysis is that Suh has the momentum-- he's the hot new choice-- so folks that haven't yet cast their votes might move more strongly in that direction than the projections suggest.

Posted by: Kevin | Dec 9, 2009 8:20:29 PM

Ingram has eight 100-yard games in a single season! That is just awesome! Has that ever happened before? Will it ever happen again?

Posted by: BamaButch | Dec 9, 2009 9:23:13 PM

Everyone is just biased on this site along with the voters. EVERYONE OF YOU

If you are in the SEC world you think Ingram is the man. If your over there in Gerhart's world he is the man. If your in Suh's world, guess what? He is the man. It is all biased BS.

There is probally a kid down in Div 2 more worthy of the award then all three of these players. But we don't look there, nor any other big time school in Division 1 football. Everyone has to make a name for themselves somewhere. Ingram in the SEC Championship game. Suh against Texas, and wherever for Gerhart.

Posted by: ALLBIASEDPEOPLE | Dec 9, 2009 9:32:16 PM

Man, all this Ingram Gerhart talkf is funny. After Sat. all the crow eating cardinals will be even funnier.

Posted by: CDT | Dec 9, 2009 9:40:20 PM

Obviously both Gerhart and Ingram are worthy candidates, and each has his arguments.

But when you look at the fact that Gerhart broke the PAC 10 rushing TD record (in a conference that houses "Tailback U"), and would've broken the all time SEC record as well had he played there (Tebow - 23), he should get the nod.

Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson....these are guys that took home the hardware with 18,19 TDs on the season. And these were years when the candidate pools were probably stronger.

Posted by: David | Dec 9, 2009 9:48:08 PM

BamaButch:

Quentin Griffin had 12 in a row for Oklahoma in 2002, Shonn Greene had 13 in a row for Iowa in 2008.

Big whoop.

Posted by: SacramentoHusker | Dec 9, 2009 9:51:14 PM

i would bet anything that Gerhart has more yards after contact than any rb in the league. over half of gerharts carries start with 1-2 defenders in the backfield and yet toby is a gaurenteed 5 yards from the point of contact. Ingram is a speed runner not a power runner. Ingram gets more big plays that SAVE his Yards per Carry average. And like someone else said gerhart has 26 touchdowns. I dont know how to tell u this, but touchdowns are an important part of football...
Put in EITHER of Ingrams back ups and Bama gets THE SAME EXACT RESULTS. ITS FACTS LOOK AT HIS BACKUPS' STATS!
Take out Toby Gerhart and stanford football remains unheard of this season.
WHO CARES THAT BAMA WON OVER FLORIDA??? THATS WHY THE CHAMPIONSHIP GETS ITS OWN TROPHY, THIS IS THE HEISMAN!!!!! ITS FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT!!! NOT A TEAM ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Trevor | Dec 9, 2009 10:10:42 PM

So Ingram supporters, should we also award the man who had 30 rush yards against his chief rival and was benched during the game winning drive the Maxwell, Camp, and Doak Walker awards as well as the Heisman? Why not all four? I'm sure their namesakes would only roll over in their graves only a half-turn.

Posted by: David | Dec 9, 2009 10:57:02 PM

STANFORD AND GERHART ARE LOSERS = 4 LOSSES = WAKE AND OREG ST RESPECTABLE DEFENS SHUT HIM DOWN AND GERHART A NON FACTOR

Posted by: bear | Dec 9, 2009 11:37:07 PM

GERHART IS A STIFF AND WILL BE COMPLETELY EXPOSED AS WORTHLESS VS OK

Posted by: bear | Dec 9, 2009 11:38:45 PM

A BOGUS LIE - INGRAM NOT BENCHED VS AUB - HAD HIS USUAL ROTATION WITH TRENT ....WAS HURT ON THE LAST SERIES

Posted by: bear | Dec 9, 2009 11:40:49 PM

IMHO, votes for best player on the best teams (Ingram and McCoy) or votes based on position (QB and RB), are killing the votes for the best players (what the award is about). I have heard Lou Holtz, Palmer and others hype machine (that starts before the first game of the season), talk about Colt's "body of work" for example.

I think the Heisman board needs to hold voters to a standard and remove the honor of voting if they stray from the principal of the award. If the standard were applied, Gerhart and Suh would be the correct choices along with those who suffer the fate of not even making the finals but deserve to be there.

Posted by: Robert | Dec 10, 2009 7:32:31 AM

@ David

The Pac 10 Defense Vs SEC Defense isn't even in the same category man. Seriously

Posted by: ALLBIASEDPEOPLE | Dec 10, 2009 12:37:27 PM

One thing to correct about Mark Ingram and the Auburn game...I saw this on a TV report in the week after the game.

He was actually hurt on a carry in the 3rd quarter and couldn't go after the hit in the 4th...

For all those that say Gerhart didn't get as many opportunities as Ingram because Ingram played more games, Gerhart had more carries and a fewer y/c average, so that's probably not right.

Did anyone ever find the stats on YAC? ESPN reported that Ingram had 1002 yards after contact, but I haven't seen the same stats on Gerhart...

Posted by: JC | Dec 11, 2009 11:14:41 AM


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