I spent a good two hours going back and forth with my Heisman ballot. I logged on to the secure site two times and hit the back browser as I went back and forth. I said it last year and I will say it again that the Heisman needs to expand the voting to a top 5 ballot and have five finalists go to New York each and every year. I'm glad that five players are going this year.
I'm started the weekend with six options and had it narrowed down to four by Sunday night. Tim Tebow was my first place vote for the last two years and Colt McCoy probably would have had my vote if there wasn't a Big XII title game. Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska was the guy I left off that I wanted to put on. I'm both relieved and very happy that he made it to New York in the final five as he totally deserves it. I watched him in person at the Gator Bowl last year and I can't see why he won't be the number one pick in the draft. I blame Suh for my stressful Sunday night. I had four guys that I wanted to put on the ballot and three spots - it's as simple as that. I think it's fantastic that there is a defensive player that is a legitimate contender for the award. I also think that if the Gamecocks had reached the SEC title game, Eric Norwood could have been in the same situation with a monster game on national TV.
Now on to my ballot:
at #3, CJ Spiller - Clemson. In nine years of voting, I have never voted for a Gamecock or Tiger until now. I saw Spiller in person twice this season and numerous times over his career. When he returned the opening kickoff for a TD against South Carolina, I was ready to put him first on my ballot, but then the Gamecocks defense took care of that. Spiller only produced 18 yards on the ground in that rival game, but he bounced back with a Heisman worthy performance in the ACC Championship game. So why is Spiller on my ballot? Quite simply, he is the most dangerous big play man in college football. I don't know why a coach would kick or punt to him knowing that there's always a chance he can bust one. If it weren't for the Gamecock defense, Spiller would be in New York. If CJ put together two big games to close out his senior season, he would have been in New York. I thought he deserved to be in New York on Saturday night and I'm sorry that my vote didn't help that cause.
#2, Mark Ingram - Alabama. Ingram's best game statistically came against the Gamecocks and it was awesome. Racking up yards against South Carolina's and Florida's defense and the clutch factor in the SEC Championship game are all major check marks towards hoisting the Heisman, but two rough games (Arkansas and Auburn) are the ultimate reason he ends up 2nd and not first.
#1, Toby Gerhart - Stanford. College football is not a perfect world (see the BCS and no playoff!) I was not going to penalize Gerhart for not playing on championship Saturday. He stepped up against ranked opponents and week in and week out. His worst game was at Wake Forest (82 yards), yet he still averaged nearly five yards a carry in that game. I don't know if Gerhart will have enough juice to win it, but I feel like he'll be a great representative of this great award.
I don't know who's going to win on Saturday, but it should be interesting to say the least.