Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson is one of three presumed potential winners of the 2011 Heisman Trophy. But aren't we overlooking Wisconsin Badgers back Montee Ball, whose numbers are better and were earned against tougher opposition?
Adam Hoge of the excellent Wisconsin Badgers blog Bucky's 5th Quarter summarizes the case for Ball:
Montee Ball has quietly been the most dominant player in the country. He snuck up on the Heisman race mainly because teammate Russell Wilson was getting all the hype, but he deserves to be in New York and deserves more consideration to win the prized trophy.
It's almost a guarantee Ball will break Barry Sanders' single-season touchdown record (39) and he leads the country in rushing by more than 100 yards. As far as total touchdowns go, the next closest player has 12 less than he does.
Somehow Trent Richardson is getting more hype even though Ball has 176 more yards and 15 more touchdowns than the Alabama running back. And don't throw the SEC at me because the average rushing defensive rank of Alabama's opponents is 59, while the average rushing defensive rank of Wisconsin's opponents in 68. That difference does not make up for the large statistical edge Ball has over Richardson.
If not for two Hail Marys, the Badgers would be undefeated right now. They couldn't put Ball on the field to defend against those plays, you see, because he would've just run them back for touchdowns somehow, and that's simply running up the score.