Watching the Heisman Watchmen Week Five: Robinson Takes Control

Another week gone by, another round of Heisman Watch lists.

Denard Robinson obviously did enough in weeks one through four to be tied with Terrelle Pryor in last week’s edition of “Watching the Watchmen” but when the Ohio State quarterback didn’t shine brightly against Illinois, Shoelace took advantage.

Against Indiana, Robinson compiled his second 200/200 game, rushing and passing for more than 200 yards and rocketed himself to the front of the Heisman Watch pack around the country.

Pryor, Kellen Moore and Mark Ingram did enough to stay in the conversation, while Andrew Luck and LaMichael James tested their wares against each other.

So lets take a look at the bigger picture.

Off to the races!

Heisman Pundit Heisman Poll

1. Denard Robinson
2. LaMichael James
3. Kellen Moore
4. Terrelle Pryor
5. Cam Newton

ESPN Experts Poll

1. Denard Robinson
2. Kellen Moore
3. LaMichael James
4. Terrelle Pyror
5. Mark Ingram

CBS Sports Heisman Watch

1. Denard Robinson
2. Kellen Moore
3. LaMichael James
4. Cam Newton
5. Terrelle Pryor

Sports Illustrated Heisman Watch

1. Denard Robinson
2. LaMichael James
3. Kellen Moore
4. Terrelle Pryor
5. Mark Ingram

BCS Know How Heisman Watch

1. Denard Robinson
2. Terrelle Pryor
3. LaMichael James
4. Kellen Moore
5. Mark Ingram


1. Michigan QB Denard Robinson (25)
2. Oregon RB LaMichael James (17)
3. Boise State QB Kellen Moore (15)
4. Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor (11)
5t. Auburn QB Cam Newton (3)
5t. Alabama RB Mark Ingram (3)

Again a first-place vote is worth five points, a second-place four, and so on until a fifth place vote is worth one point.

Any other suggestions of Heisman Watches to add? Let me know!

Heisman Watch Week Five: Robinson and James Fill Up Stat Sheets, Rise Up Watch Lists

LaMichael James

Saturday night’s Oregon-Stanford showdown could have been an early BCS title game elimination showdown, but it was also a Heisman test for two major players on the field in Autzen.

Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon’s LaMichael James are both legitimate Heisman contenders in 2010, however when James broke a 76-yard run at the end of Oregon’s 52-31 victory over the Cardinal, it was clear James got the best of the showdown in Oregon.

In total James rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns in the Ducks’ important victory at home and in the process put his name squarely in the Heisman race.

His performance caps off a streak of four great games for the sophomore running back — 712 yards on just 89 carries — and his eight yards per carry average is among the nation’s best.

If James can continue his production level it wont be hard to imagine James taking a trip to New York City in Decemeber for the Heisman trophy presentation as a finalist.

Terrelle Pryor

Every Buckeye fan in the country cringed simultaneously.

Terrelle Pryor was down, and needed help to get back to the Ohio State locker room.

Just minutes earlier Pryor had blasted off a 66-yard rush — the longest of his career — to help the Buckeyes tie the score and then had followed that drive up with another scoring drive.

But now the Buckeye quarterback was down, and with Illinois keeping close, Ohio State looked like it was in trouble. To make matters worse, backup Joe Bauserman threw a pick on his first attempt.

The injury could have sent shock waves throughout the college football landscape. But Pryor returned, and Ohio State would eventually prevail over the Illini, 24-13.

Pryor did not have his best on Saturday and his passing statistics were underwhelming — nine-of-16 for 76 yards, two touchdowns and a pick — but his Buckeyes prevailed and opened their Big Ten season with a victory, however unconvincing it might have been.

Pryor would finish the day with 104 yards on the ground, which should be good enough to keep his name at the top of most Heisman lists around the country, but as the Buckeye’s schedule gets tougher in October and November Pryor will have to bring more than just his legs to keep the Buckeyes undefeated and keep himself in the midst of a wide-open Heisman race.

Denard Robinson

No one man can lead a team to an undefeated season. But Denard Robinson sure is trying his best.

Of Michigan’s 574 total yards of offense on Saturday, Denard Robinson had an astounding 495 of them. Yes that’s 86% of the Wolverines’ offensive output against Indiana — which had been undefeated in 2010 until Saturday.

In his Big Ten debut Robinson did it all, rushing for 218 yards and passing for 277 while accounting for five of the Wolverines’ six touchdowns.

He even made a little history in the process.

Robinson’s second game with 200+ yards both on the ground and through the air makes him the first player in NCAA history to do it twice in a single season.

The Hoosiers certainly aren’t the strongest of Big Ten foes for the Wolverines, but Denard Robinson subdued the critics who doubted his ability to carry the Wolverines in Big Ten action. In the coming weeks Robinson will be tested again and again, this time against stronger and stronger conference foes.

If Robinson is going to lead Michigan back to national importance, he’ll need more help, but for now his one-man show is certainly going to attract a ton of Heisman hype. And for now, its pretty well deserved.

Mark Ingram

A Heisman already in his pocket, Mark Ingram probably isn’t too fussed that he wasn’t Alabama’s leading rusher during Saturday’s blowout victory over Florida.

But if he wants to keep his hopes for a repeat alive, Ingram will need to step up as the Tide make their way through another tough SEC schedule.

Ingram got 15 touches on Saturday night, rushing for 47 yards and catching three passes for 19 yards, along with rushing for two touchdowns.

But in a Heisman race that seems to have high-octane front runners, Ingram’s numbers just don’t stack up.

His two scores do help his case for staying in the conversation, but Ingram will need to bring it to another, 2009-style level if he wants another bronze statue in his trophy case.

Kellen Moore

The plan was pretty obvious from the beginning of Boise State’s late-night tussle with New Mexico State on Saturday — get out in front by a lot, get Kellen Moore his stats then pull him when it victory is assured.

And as had been the case in the Broncos’ other blowout victories in 2010, the plan works to perfection.

Moore’s 197 yards and three touchdowns were enough to comfortable keep the junior quarterback in the Heisman conversation, while playing just enough to keep him sharp down the stretch.

Moore only attempted 18 passes on the night, but that was more than enough to overcome the Aggies on the clear New Mexico night as the Broncos put New Mexico State away early.

Boise’s schedule is not daunting in the coming weeks, so this may become a familiar pattern for Moore. It may end up hurting Moore’s chances at the trophy, but if the Broncos can get Kellen his stats every time out like they did tonight, he may have a shot at the trophy yet.

“Heisman Watch” Watch Week Four: Who Watches the Watchmen?

Try saying that five times fast…

Lets start a new series of posts here.

Yes, BCS Know How might be a good place to get your Heisman punditry but there are countless others who are handicapping the race week by week.

From the Heisman Pundit himself to the world wide leader ESPN, there are places all over the internet to take a look at who is in the drivers seat in the race each week.

So from now until the end of the season we’ll be taking a look at some “Heisman Watch” races around the internet to give a wider perspective on the Heisman race, although BCS Know How’s own Heisman Watch isn’t half bad, if you ask me…

Then we’ll have a consensus which is awarded by reverse points — five points for a first-place vote, four for a second, three for a third, two for a fourth and one for a fifth. I’m hoping to get a good look at the national consensus in the race, which is always close and hard to call, especially in the early parts of the season.

Off to the races!

Heisman Pundit Heisman Watch

1. Terrelle Pryor
2. Denard Robinson
3. Kellen Moore
4. Andrew Luck
5. LaMichael James

ESPN Experts Poll

1. Denard Robinson
2. Kellen Moore
3. Terrelle Pryor
4. Mark Ingram
5. Andrew Luck

CBS Sports Heisman Watch

1. Kellen Moore
2. Denard Robinson
3. Terrelle Pryor
4. Mark Ingram
5. Patrick Peterson

Sports Illustrated Heisman Watch

1. Denard Robinson
2. Kellen Moore
3. Terrelle Pryor
4. Mark Ingram
5. Cam Newton

BCS Know How Heisman Watch

1. Terrelle Pryor
2. Kellen Moore
3. Mark Ingram
4. Denard Robinson
5. Ryan Mallett


1t. Michigan QB Denard Robinson (20)
1t. Boise State QB Kellen Moore (20)
3. Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor (19)
4. Alabama RB Mark Ingram (9)
5. Stanford QB Andrew Luck (3)

Also Receiving Votes: Oregon RB LaMichael James (1), LSU CB Patrick Peterson (1), Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett (1), Auburn QB Cam Newton (1)

We’ll be adding vote collector extraordinaire Stiff Arm Trophy in next week’s Heisman Watch Watch as his ballot collection stats don’t come out until Thursdays.

Any other suggestions of Heisman Watches to add? Let me know!

Heisman Watch Week Four: Pryor, Ingram and Moore Leap Ahead

Ryan Mallett

Mallett was on top of the world headed into Saturday’s action.

After leading his Arkansas Razorbacks to a last-minute victory over Georgia last weekend, Mallett seemed to be atop most of the country’s Heisman Watch lists.

Then when he started his important showdown with Alabama on fire, he looked ever more like the Heisman candidate he had been hyped up to be all season.

However, after looking sharp to begin and entering the locker room at halftime with a ten-point lead, Mallett and the Razorbacks all but disappeared. The junior quarterback ended up throwing two interceptions in the second half — including a very costly one on third down in his own territory in the fourth quarter with the Razorbacks clinging to a lead — and likely cost his team a chance at an upset victory.

Mallett still finished the day with 357 yards passing, but his three interceptions proved very costly both to his team and to his immediate Heisman future.

Although by no means out of the race, Mallett will need to bring the heat against his next few opponents to stay in the thick of this very even Heisman chase down the stretch.

Terrelle Pryor

Yes, the competition was mediocre, and yes, anything other than a blowout would have been a real surprise. But the show that Terrelle Pryor and the Ohio State Buckeyes put on on Saturday was a true testament to their offensive capabilities in 2010.

Pryor threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns to go along with another on the ground and yet another as a receiver to cap a masterful performance against an over-matched Eastern Michigan team in the Horseshoe on Saturday.

When Pryor finally came out of the game on Saturday he had accounted for 348 yards of total offense and led the team in both rushing and passing in the Buckeyes’ blowout 73-20 victory over the Eagles.

In his first few games, Pryor has looked like a legitimate Heisman contender, but it will be his performances against the defenses of the Big Ten that will truly spell his potential for the trophy and the Buckeyes’ chances at a national title.

Denard Robinson

Last week Michigan got a real scare from a FCS school in UMass. This week, against a FBS school in Bowling Green, the only real scare came at the expense of Robinson himself, as the star quarterback went down with what looked like a serious injury.

Robinson would eventually recover and spent the latter parts of the game walking around the Wolverine sideline with a grin on his face, telling the AP, “They said I’m good.” They being the Michigan staff.

So Robinson got very little game time in Michigan’s lopsided 65-21 victory over Bowling Green, but in the time he did spend in the game, he looked like the “Shoelace” we’ve all grown to love and think of as a Heisman hopeful, passing for 60 yards and rushing for 129.

And all of that came on just four passes and five rushing attempts in less than nine minutes of game time.

So we got a glimpse of Robinson on Saturday, and if it weren’t for the blowout nature of the game, we would have probably seen more. Of course now that next week spells the start of the Big Ten season, Robinson will truly be challenged and put to the test against some of the nation’s toughest defenses, and will be expected to play through bangs like the one he suffered on Saturday.

His name remains squarely in the Heisman race, but the level of competition is about to get a whole lot tougher. Is Robinson ready?

Mark Ingram

Slowly, but surely, Mark Ingram is back into the Heisman conversation. And now we have more than just one game against a paltry Duke defense to prove it.

Ingram’s two touchdowns and 157 rushing yards against Arkansas in Saturday’s marquee matchup proved invaluable during the Crimson Tide’s come-from-behind victory against the Razorbacks, as Alabama continued its march towards another national championship.

Ingram ripped off a 54-yard touchdown run in the first quarter — the Tide’s only score of the half — to keep Alabama in it early, and then helped them put it away late, bruising in for a one-yard score.

For most of the final Alabama drive, Ingram took the direct snap and yet was still able to get the yards he and the Tide needed in order to complete the comeback and retain their place atop the college football rankings.

It wont get much easier for the Tide and Ingram, as they will head back home to welcome Florida to Tuscaloosa and then will traverse another tough SEC schedule. Not an easy proposition, but if Ingram continues to play the way he did against the Razorbacks, we could have our selves a real shot at a repeat Heisman winner.

Kellen Moore

Afforded another shot to prove his Heisman worth to the nation, Kellen Moore did not disappoint — throwing for three touchdowns and 288 yards to help Boise State win another game over a BCS conference opponent and continued his early season domination.

As has become the norm from the junior quarterback, Moore captained the Boise offense with ease and poise throughout the night, leading them up and down the field for a bevy of points against Oregon State, while keeping his attempts and misses in check. His 19-of-27 passing was effective enough to keep Boise State out ahead of the Beavers all night, and showed once again that Moore is a legitimate Heisman candidate.

Although not every drive ended in a touchdown, Moore was effective enough to bring Boise State another victory before they enter the heart of WAC play.

Moore will get a shot to show some real offensive fireworks in the weeks to come, and must do so if he is to be a contender for the long haul.

Heisman Watch Week Three: Mallett Has An Early Heisman Moment

Ryan Mallett

Every Heisman candidate hopes for that chance.

A chance to bring their team a victory from the jaws of defeat or break a tie late to get his team a victory.

On Saturday, Ryan Mallett was afforded that chance, and boy oh boy did he take advantage.

With 54 seconds left and faced with a tie game, Mallett and the Razorbacks got the ball on their own 27-yard line. Just three plays and 73 yards later, Mallett had the first true “Heisman Moment” of the season and the Razorbacks had a third consecutive victory to start the 2010 season. Mallett threw three times and completed all three — the final being a pass to a wide open Ryan Childs who ran it in for the winning score.

Mallett played up and down all day on Saturday — going cold on certain drives — but the results were stellar. His 380 yards and three touchdowns were just enough to sneak the Razorbacks by the Bulldogs 31-24 and give Mallett a leg up on the early Heisman Trophy race.

Terrelle Pryor

Ohio State had not lost a home game to an instate team in more than a half-century. Terrelle Pryor was not about to let the Buckeyes let Ohio break that streak on Saturday, and delivered a measured performance for Ohio State, passing for two touchdowns and rushing for another in the Buckeyes’ 43-7 victory on Saturday.

Pryor’s performance spoke measures about his growth in the past few years, as the junior quarterback completed 16 straight passes during the win.

Although masterful out of the gate, Pryor’s knack for interceptions reared its ugly head once again, as he threw two interceptions despite showing mastery over the Ohio defense early in the game.

After another gimme game against Eastern Michigan next weekend, Pryor and the Buckeyes will finally have to prove themselves against Big Ten teams, and Pryor will have a chance to prove his true Heisman worth.

Denard Robinson

UMass put a scare into Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines, but the speedy sophomore quarterback was able to get his team by the Minutemen and avoid another Appalachian State-type FCS shocker on Saturday, accounting for 345 total yards in the 42-37 victory.

Robinson didn’t quite get off to a hot start, throwing an interception on his first attempt of the game, but after that miscue, Robinson continued to look like the most dangerous man on a football field in America right now.

In topping 300 total yards yet again, Robinson helped Michigan get off to a 3-0 start and bring some hope back to Ann Arbor for the 2010 season. His two touchdown passes in 45 seconds helped the Wolverines keep the Minutemen at bay in the first half, while his output in the second half was just enough to bring the Wolverines a victory over an FCS school.

Next week Robinson will test his wares against Bowling Green before — like Pryor and the Buckeyes — starting Michigan’s trek through their Big Ten schedule.

Mark Ingram

What did Mark Ingram need to do on Saturday to keep his name on the Heisman Watch list?

Well there were a few necessary steps. First and most importantly of course, he’d have to play for the first time this season. He would also have to post some big numbers — as any Heisman candidate needs to in order to stay on the mind of the nation. However, Ingram needed to do it on a minimal number of touches.

See Ingram was coming off two weeks of rest following some knee troubles. So everyone knew that Ingram would see limited action. Add to the facts that the Crimson Tide was taking on lowly Duke, and you knew Ingram wouldn’t be in for long.

So what did Ingram do with his nine touches on Saturday? Well, he plastered the Blue Devils for 151 yards and two touchdowns, then took his seat on the bench and watched the Tide dismantle Duke in Durham, 62-13.

Ingram will need a miracle-type run of production in the next few weeks to truly have a shot at a repeat Heisman hoisting, but his first output of the season was certainly enough to keep him in the conversation. Keep your eyes out for Ingram, he might just sneak right back into the front of the race yet.

Kellen Moore

When you have three interceptions in an entire season, any kind of mistake is sure to turn some heads. So when Kellen Moore threw a pick against Wyoming on Saturday night, Twitter and other erupted with shock that the man of a 13:1 touchdown to interception ratio could throw one with just five touchdowns to his name thus far in 2010.

But the pick proved to be of little importance, as Moore and Boise State cruised to an easy victory over the Cowboys on Saturday night and Moore continued a strong start to a 2010 season where a Heisman Trophy is not out of the question.

Before Boise went to a run-only offense, Moore racked up 370 passing yards and two passing touchdowns on effective 20 out of 30 passing in bringing the Broncos a second victory in what they hope is a season that brings them a shot at the national title.

After two masterful performances against Virginia Tech and now Wyoming, Moore will be faced with the Pac-10’s Oregon State next week, which will be yet another chance for the junior to shine on a national stage, as ESPN’s GameDay crew will be there. A strong performance next week and Moore could be a name that sticks around in the Heisman race until the end of the season.

Heisman Watch Week Two: Pryor Shows His Stuff

Terrelle Pryor

Against the Thunder Herd of Marshall, Pryor was expected to and delivered a stellar performance against a less than stellar opponent. However, on Saturday, Pryor was faced with a very formidable foe, Miami, and shined just as bright.

In leading the Buckeyes to a 36-24 victory over the Hurricanes, Pryor showed exactly what he’s capable of, turning his dual-threat abilities into dual threat dominance, pushing Miami around for four quarters and showing just how formidable of a weapon he can be.

Pryor rushed for 113 and passed for 233 more and provided the Buckeyes with two touchdowns — one passing and one rushing — all while starring in the marquee game of the week in college football.

If Saturday’s performance doesn’t solidify Pryor’s name as a season-long Heisman candidate, I don’t know what would.

Mark Ingram

Ingram sat yet again on Saturday, and his time to wait is running out. If he doesn’t play next week, his candidacy is all but over. Waiting in the wings to take this spot are Case Keenum of Houston (who was injured on Saturday as well), Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State and even Denard Robinson of Michigan, who had a huge game against Notre Dame on Saturday.

Kellen Moore

Moore had the week off, but his dominance over Virginia Tech just six days ago is obviously still in the minds of Heisman voters around the country.With a muddled and large field of Heisman contenders, Moore’s dominant performance against the Hokies will likely keep his name near the top of Heisman Watches for weeks to come.

Noel Devine

Although not the star of West Virginia’s overtime victory over Marshall on Friday night — that was quarterback Geno Smith — Noel Devine did a fine job, rushing for more than 100 yards and a touchdown for the ninth time since the start of last season, and kept his name atop Heisman watch lists around the country.

Devine’s 23 carries were strong and helped the Mountaineers stay in the game late while also contributing 10 receptions, one of which helped West Virginia convert a fourth down.

Devine’s strong performance is good for now, but he will need even better statistical outputs moving down the road as he hopes to contend for the trophy.

Dion Lewis

Uh oh.

Lewis, who was a preseason All-American and a very early favorite for Big East Offensive Player of the Year is struggling big time early in the season.

Last week Lewis performed marginally against the Utah Utes, rushing for just 75 yards — an under-performance which likely doomed the Panthers to a week one loss to the Utes.

Yet in week two, many expected Lewis to shake out of his funk and run all over New Hampshire. It turns out, a Pittsburgh back did have a field day against the Wildcats — however, it was sophomore running Ray Graham and not Lewis.

Graham rushed for 115 yards on just nine carries while Lewis got only 27 on ten carries.

Now its not to say that Lewis’s run at a Heisman trophy is already over, but he’ll have to make big strides in the coming weeks if he hopes to attain even an invitation to the December award ceremony, much less the bronze statue itself.

Heisman Watch Week One: Moore Shines on National Stage

Every week, BCS Know How will have a Heisman Watch, recapping the week’s action for the top five candidates for college football’s most prestigious award. The candidates are listed in no particular order.

Terrelle Pryor

The Ohio State quarterback fared about as well as you might expect in his opening game against a less than stellar Marshall defense, burning the Thundering Herd for 247 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Pryor showed prowess both in the short and long passing game, and led his Buckeye offense up and down the field with relative ease. Although he did get some help from his talented stable of receivers, he was proficient in all aspects of the game.

Although Marshall proved to be little obstacle for Pryor, the Hurricanes of Miami lie ahead in week two, which will certainly be a much better proving ground for the junior quarterback.

Mark Ingram

Ingram was and still may be hurt and unable to play in the foreseeable future, which could certainly throw a wrench into his bid for a repeat Heisman trophy. Also not helping his case is how effectively backup Trent Richardson filled in for the Heisman-winner.

The stats against San Jose State could have certainly helped build the junior running back’s early-season resume, but if he can get back onto the field soon following arthroscopic surgery, he should be fine.

Kellen Moore

Moore had the kind of night that Heisman trophy hopefuls wish for in early season non-conference action.

Along with the three touchdowns and more than 200 passing yards in yet another zero interception performance, Moore delivered his Boise State Broncos a come from behind victory — this time over Virginia Tech — and sent the team on its way towards what it hopes can be a national championship caliber season.

Moore looked effective all game, hitting nine different receivers during the game, and then hitting on four of five passes in the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter to bring the Broncos a victory. His pass to star wide receiver Austin Pettis for the touchdown was perfectly placed and is a very early but very strong Heisman-type moment for the junior quarterback.

Moore’s composure is sure to win him some early hype as a Heisman favorite.

Noel Devine

Although Devine did not score until the fourth quarter of the Mountaineers’ shutout victory over Coastal Carolina on Saturday, he did show his potential and threat throughout the game in all aspects, and his 111 yards rushing were enough to keep Devine in the Heisman talks for now.

His 144 yards of total offense helped the Mountaineers look very good against an overwhelmed Coastal Carolina squad, and quarterback Geno Smith looked comfortable running the West Virginia show.

Smith’s improvement and success this season will be key for Devine, as he will need a steady passing game to help set him up for the darting, dashing, long runs that have defined his collegiate career to this point.

Dion Lewis

After one carry it looked like Dion Lewis might be on his way towards making an early push for Heisman favorite positioning after week one. But 24 carries and just one touchdown later, Lewis did no more than any other Heisman candidate did in this very muddled early season race.

Especially hurting Lewis’s cause was the fact that Pittsburgh, a preseason favorite in the Big East, looked a little outmatched by Utah and fell in overtime at the hands of the Utes.

Utah was able to contain Lewis and hold him to just 75 rushing yards, and make him a non-factor in the passing game (one reception for nine yards). If Lewis is seriously looking for some Heisman buzz, both the he and the Panthers must submit stronger efforts moving forward.

2010 Heisman Hopeful Countdown: No. 1 Alabama RB Mark Ingram

As part of BCS Know How’s 2010 season preview, we will be breaking down our ten favorite Heisman hopefuls to get you ready for this season’s edition of the Heisman Watch.

Here’s our No. 1 selection, Alabama junior running back and defending Heisman Trophy recipient Mark Ingram.

In the same way that his Alabama Crimson Tide are the prohibitive favorites to repeat as national champions, running back Mark Ingram must be installed as preseason favorite to repeat as the Heisman Trophy recipient.

Yes, only one person in the history of the college game has won the trophy more than once in their collegiate career, however in Ingram’s case there are strong reasons to believe it is well within the realm of possibility.

Ingram burst onto the scene in 2009 during the Crimson Tide’s run towards the national championship, balancing the Tide’s offensive attack and allowing for a dynamic offense to emerge in Tuscaloosa. His impact was immediate as the former backup to Glen Coffee struck it big against Virginia Tech in Alabama’s first game — rushing for 150 yards and a touchdown.

As the 2009 season wore on Ingram experienced ups and downs during the Crimson Tide’s run through an undefeated SEC regular season, and jockeyed for position at the top of the Heisman race with a variety of contenders, including eventual runner-up Stanford running back Toby Gerhart.

It wasn’t until the season’s final week that Ingram truly separated himself from the pack, when he ran all over the feared Florida Gator defense in the SEC Championship Game, helping the Tide complete their undefeated regular season.

Ingram’s 1,658 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with three more touchdowns through the air were just enough to squeak him by Gerhart in the early-December Heisman balloting — Ingram coming out on top by the slimmest margin in Heisman history.

Now in 2010 Ingram looks to take his production to another level as most the offense that thrived with him as a centerpiece returns, including three of his blockers up front.

Bottom Line: Ingram will benefit greatly from the bevy of returning talent around him, but it could be a returning star who could derail his Heisman hopes.

Many believe that Trent Richardson, who backed up Ingram in ’09, is actually the better of the two running backs, and should get more touches in the offense as a sophomore.

Increased production and opportunities for Richardson could spell doom for Ingram’s hopes of a repeat Heisman victory, however Ingram himself will be improved from just a year ago as he settles into his second year of starting for the Tide.

Once again, Ingram will be faced with strong competition around the country for the trophy, however he cannot be discounted as the early national favorite for the trophy he claimed in just his first year as a starter.

2010 BCS Conference Profiles: Southeastern Conference (SEC)

This is fifth in a series of conference profiles as part of BCS Know How’s season preview. Today’s conference is the SEC.

Conference: Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Active Since: 1933

Current Member Schools: Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, Vanderbilt Commodores, Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers, Louisiana State (LSU) Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels. (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Sugar Bowl (BCS), Music City Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Bowl. (9)

2009 Results:
Conference Champion – Alabama
Conference Runner-up – Florida
BCS Bowl Results: 2010 BCS National Championship Game – Alabama 37 vs. Texas 21; 2010 Sugar Bowl – Florida 51 vs. Cincinnati 24
Overall Bowl Record: 6-4
Heisman Vote Recipients: Alabama RB Mark Ingram (Heisman Recipient); Florida QB Tim Tebow (5th Overall)

2010 Outlook: Like clockwork, the SEC has supplied a contender in the BCS National Championship Game every year since the BCS moved to the five bowl game format at the end of the 2005 season. And even more impressive, the SEC has supplied the national championship each of these past four seasons. Can the most-feared conference in the country make it five in a row?

Any conversation about national title hopes would have to begin with the Alabama Crimson Tide, who are not only the defending BCS champions, but feature three potential Heisman trophy hopefuls, QB Greg McElroy, WR Julio Jones and defending Heisman recipient RB Mark Ingram. Last season this trio, along with a classic SEC-style attack of speed and power tore apart the SEC during the regular season, and then defeated the seemingly untouchable Tim Tebow in the SEC Championship Game on their way to a national title.

This season, although Tebow is gone to the NFL, the SEC continues to feature the great conference depth from top to bottom, making Alabama’s road to repeat as difficult as one might expect.

Traditional contenders Auburn and Georgia are on their way back to the top of college football after some sub par seasons, while SEC strongholds Florida and LSU continue to thrive despite losing skill all around the field every year to the NFL.

Florida will be hard pressed to replace Tebow and may struggle early with a new quarterback at the helm of the Gator offense. This may leave the SEC’s Eastern Division — the domain of Florida during the Tebow years — up for grabs. Georgia seems to be ready to make that move and return to the SEC Championship Game after an extended absence, led by wide receiver AJ Green.

Arkansas and QB Ryan Mallet will challenge for the Western Division crown, which Alabama and LSU have held to tightly the past few seasons — and the race there could go undecided until the final weekend, when LSU takes on Arkansas at the Razorback Stadium.

2010 Heisman Hopefuls: Alabama RB Mark Ingram; Georgia WR AJ Green; Alabama WR Julio Jones, Arkansas QB Ryan Mallet.

BCS Know How’s 2010 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Alabama Crimson Tide
Conference Runner-up – Georgia Bulldogs
BCS bids – Two: Alabama Crimson Tide – 2011 BCS National Championship Game; Georgia – Sugar Bowl
Heisman Finalists – Alabama RB Mark Ingram

Ingram, Richardson Run All Over Texas, Help Alabama Capture BCS National Title 37-21

Valiant as it was, Texas’s comeback despite the game-ending injury to Colt McCoy was too little, too late, as the Alabama Crimson Tide captured the BCS National Championship 37-21 Thursday night.

McCoy and the Longhorns got a quick start after a Crimson Tide fake punt was intercepted, but on the very first series of the biggest game of his life, McCoy injured his throwing shoulder and was done for the game.

His backup Garrett Gilbert came in and looked shaky to put it lightly.

After scoring the first six points of the game, the Longhorns gave up 24 unanswered to finish the half, one of the scores coming on a 49-yard rush from Trent Richardson, who was featured heavily after Heisman Trophy recipient Mark Ingram came out of the game with an injury of his own.

However, a post-halftime revival and Jordan Shipley nearly brought the Longhorns all the way back, as Gilbert broke loose in the second half, throwing for two touchdowns, both to the Longhorn receiving star.

After bringing the game to within a field goal at 24-21, Gilbert showed his youth as he was sacked and fumbled the ball near the goal line.

Unlike McCoy, Ingram was able to return, and his one-yard touchdown run sealed the victory for the Tide late the fourth quarter.

Ingram broke the recent trend of Heisman winners coming up short in the national title game as he rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns despite his injury. Richardson also contributed a 100-yard performance with two scores, as the Longhorn defense had no answer for the Tide’s strong rushing attack.

Alabama’s victory also gives the SEC four straight BCS national champions, a streak that looks more and more impressive as now three different schools have won the four titles: LSU, Florida (twice) and now ‘Bama.