Heisman hype?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 18, 2009

As the college football season continues to draw nearer and nearer to the end of the 2009 season, debates are picking up over which teams should be in which bowls and which players should be considered for which postseason awards.

The most prestigious of all the individual wards is undoubtedly the Heisman trophy, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States.

Or, so I am told.

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In theory, the Heisman Trophy should be given to the best player in the country, but in practice, it is often given to the best player on the best team in the country.

Also, it is virtually impossible for a player from a non-BCS conference to win the award.

This year’s award will be the 75th in the Heisman’s history, and not since 1990 has a player from a non-BCS school won the award.

In fact, only 13 of the 74 winners have come from non-BCS programs.

Of those, several are from former national powerhouses such as Army, Navy and Southern Methodist.

The argument here is that players in bigger conferences face higher levels of competition.

According to ESPN.com’s Heisman Watch, the top five candidates for the Heisman Trophy this season are Mark Ingram of Alabama, Toby Gerhart of Stanford, C.J. Spiller of Clemson, Tim Tebow of Florida and Colt McCoy of Texas.

However, players such as Case Keenum of Houston and locally, Levi Brown of Troy have put up better numbers than almost every other player on Heisman short lists.

For example, Keenum is first in the nation in total offense while Brown is third.

McCoy ranks 15th, while Tebow is 45th. Ingram, Spiller and Gerhart do not appear in the top 100 in total offense.

To be fair, Gerhart is third in the nation is rushing, while Ingram is fifth and Spiller is 46th.

However, Ryan Mathews and Donald Buckram both have more rushing yards and comparable yards per carry averages.

The problem with Mathews and Buckram? They play for Fresno State and UTEP, respectively.

Yes, big school stars deserve all the credit and recognition they get, but perhaps it’s time Heisman voters started showing a little more love for the little guy.

Nick Duke is a sports writer for The Messenger and he can be reached at nick.duke@Troymessenger.com or on Twitter at Messenger_Nick.