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Most deserving players have little chance at Heisman

Stanford's Toby Gerhart, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard should all receive consideration -- but won't.

December 06, 2009|By Mike Hiserman
  • Stanford running back Toby Gerhart greets a fan after the Cardinal defeated Notre Dame last month.
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart greets a fan after the Cardinal defeated… (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images )

The player most worthy of winning the Heisman Trophy?

That would be Toby Gerhart of Stanford.

The player who will win the Heisman?

That's a lot tougher call.

Only one of the three other players who could win it had a star-quality game Saturday. Mark Ingram of Alabama rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns in 28 carries as the Crimson Tide routed top-ranked Florida.

Meanwhile, Florida's Tim Tebow, even with 247 yards passing and 63 yards running, could put only 13 points on the board. And Texas and quarterback Colt McCoy struggled mightily against the best player on the field -- Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Gerhart and Stanford didn't play, which didn't help his candidacy. What's the saying? Out of sight, out of mind.

But consider this: In that great game Ingram had Saturday, the numbers he put up were similar to those from one of Gerhart's worst performances, when he averaged a season-low 4.4 yards a carry against Arizona.

In that game, Gerhart carried 28 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns. In his other games, Mr. Consistent averaged between 4.6 and 7.4 yards a carry. Included were games of 200 yards rushing against Washington, 223 against Oregon, 178 against USC and 205 against Notre Dame.

Gerhart finished the regular season with 1,736 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns in 12 games. Playing one more game, Ingram ran for 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Two others who should receive serious consideration -- but won't -- are Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Cincinnati receiver/returner Mardy Gilyard.

Moore's team is undefeated and he completed 64.8% of his passes for 3,325 yards and 39 touchdowns with only three interceptions.

Gilyard averaged 203 yards a game receiving, running and returning kicks for his unbeaten team. He also played a huge part in Cincinnati's rallying from three touchdowns back to defeat Pittsburgh on Saturday for the Big East Conference title.

With the Bearcats trailing 31-10, he ran back a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown -- his third return of a kick for a touchdown this season.

He also made a 68-yard pass reception for a touchdown in the third quarter and finished with five catches for 118 yards, seven kickoff returns for 256 yards and one punt return for seven yards.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

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