In the storied history of the Alabama football program and the 75-year history of the Heisman, no Tide player has ever taken home the prestigious hardware.
Surrounded by well over 20 past winners, an extremely emotional Mark Ingram was named as the 75th winner of the Heisman. It was the closest race in the history of the award.
The sophomore running back had been by most accounts the front runner since around the midpoint of the season, but seemed to come back to the pack with a poor showing in the second-to-last game of the season against Auburn. In the end, though, his season-long excellence, combined with a tremendous effort in the SEC title game, allowed the sophomore to hold off the nation’s leading rusher.
As we said, it was the closest race in the history of the Heisman, surpassing the 1985 battle between Auburn’s Bo Jackson and Iowa’s Chuck Long, which went Jackson by a scant 45 points.
Ingram finished a mere 28 points ahead of Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, with the final tally ending up 1,304-1276. Ingram garnered 227 first-place votes, while Gerhart was just behind him at 222.
The three voting regions that did not have a finalist — the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midweast — are what proved to be the impetus that pushed Ingram over the edge and into the trophy. Ingram finished first in all three of those blocs, with Gerhart second in each. Ingram also took the South, while Gerhart took the Far West for his only regional “win”.
Somewhat surprisingly, Texas’ Colt McCoy ended up third in the voting. Not surprising that he finished well behind the winner, mind you, but that he finished well ahead of Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh — 1,145 (203 first-place votes) to 815 (161).
In perhaps the most stunning development of the night, Florida’s Tim Tebow, somehow, picked up 43 first-place votes in finishing a distant fifth with 390 points.
C.J. Spiller had 26 first-place votes and 223 points to finish sixth, while Boise State quarterback Kellon Moore came in seventh with 10 and 100, respectively.