There are a lot of different theories on how voting should take place in the annual awarding of the Heisman Trophy. Some argue that the trophy should be used as recognition for the most outstanding player over an impressive collegiate career, while others would argue that a strong close to the season in high-profile games is all that is necessary to lock up the award. I, on the other hand, feel that the award for college’s most outstanding player should actually go to COLLEGE’S MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER – how silly of me!
Many people are going to be clamoring for Colt McCoy to be named the 2009 Heisman winner. Their reasoning is that he has had an outstanding college career, and deserves the award for his consistently strong performances. That reasoning is flawed, though. Two thousand and nine has been one of McCoy’s WORST seasons, statistically! Both 2006 AND 2008 were better seasons for McCoy, with 2007 as the only year in his career where he threw for FEWER touchdowns, and MORE interceptions than in 2009. If you were TRULY interested in recognizing the player with the best collegiate CAREER, it would be Tim Tebow who deserved the award, not Colt McCoy!
The REAL reason that some folks want McCoy to win the award is because he has not yet, and Tebow and Sam Bradford have. The last time I checked, though, the Heisman is for the MOST OUTSTANDING player, not the player we feel most sorry for. McCoy’s BEST seasons did not stack up against Tebow or Bradford, so why would one of his WORST seasons suddenly earn him the award? It just does not make sense.
The player who DOES deserve to win the award this year, however, is Stanford running back Toby Gerhart! By far the best running back of the 2009 season, no player has had a greater impact on his team than has Gerhart, who led the nation both in rushing yards (1,736) and touchdowns (26). And while you would expect strong performances against weak teams (such as Washington State and San Jose State), Gerhart actually turned in his BEST performances against some of the toughest teams in the country!
In 2009, Stanford took the field against four different teams that were ranked in the top-25 at the time – Washington (#24), Oregon (#8), USC (#9) and California (#25). In his four games against those top-level opponents, Gerhart rushed for a combined 737 yards (an average of 184.25 yards per game) and 11 touchdowns. In addition, Gerhart helped to send Charlie Weis packing as he tacked on an additional 205 yards and three more touchdowns in his final regular season game against Notre Dame!
Gerhart scored MULTIPLE touchdowns in nine of 12 games this season, and reached the end zone at least once in every game (except one). He also eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark in three different games this season, including a season-high 223 yards and three touchdowns against the Pac-10 champion the Oregon Ducks!
Toby Gerhart was the most outstanding player of the 2009 season! Simply put, he made the difference between winning and losing in 2009 for Stanford. Last season, the Cardinal managed to win only five games all season. For his part, Gerhart put up only 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2009, however, he rushed for an additional 700 yards and 11 touchdowns in the same number of games played, helping lead Stanford to an eight-win season and a Sun Bowl invitation against the Oklahoma Sooners on New Years Eve. When Gerhart was held to less than 100-yards rushing (which occurred only twice in the entire season), Stanford lost. On the flip-side, though, he rushed for at least 175 yards in four separate games, including both the USC and the Oregon matchups, leading Stanford to victory all four times. He is an outstanding player on a mediocre team. Thanks to his presence that mediocre team became a Pac-10 contender with two wins against top-10 teams in 2009. I would call that making a Heisman-worthy impact!