The 77th Annual Heisman Trophy ceremony will be in New York this Saturday (12/10) at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square, and Bucky is invited!


                                                                               Monte Ball #28

Badger running back Monte Ball will join Alabama tailback Trent Richardson, as well as Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck as the five finalists for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

I may be a little biased being from Wisconsin, in thinking that Ball is the hands down winner of this year’s Heisman, so let his statistics and accomplishments speak for themselves.

Ball finished the 2011 season with 38 total touchdowns, and  just one shy of the NCAA record of 39 set by Oklahoma State running back, Barry Sanders the 1988  Heisman Trophy winner (below).

Ball has scored multiple touchdowns in each game this season — and three or more TDs in eight of the Badgers’ 13 games.

He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and the winner of the Big Ten’s inaugural Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year Award this season (ironically Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne are the only two UW  recipients of Heisman). Ball was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association as well.

Ball led the nation with 32 rushing touchdowns and 1,759 rushing yards on the season. He averaged of 135.3 yards per game (4th in the nation) and carried the ball 275 times for an average of 6.4 yards per carry. Ball also had 20 receptions for 255 yards and six touchdowns, noyt to mention he also threw a TD pass this season.

If  Ball pulls this one off, he will be only the third Heisman Trophy winner in UW history (Ameche FB 1954, and Dayne RB 1999). He will also be only the 2nd non quarterback to win since 2000 (Mark Ingram-Alabama 2009). It should also be noted that Ball  is the first finalist from the Big Ten since 2006 when Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith won the award.

All the canidates have put up exceptional years, and the award will probably go to Baylor’s QB, Robert Griffin III. Andrew Luck of Stanford was this year’s front-runner, but Luck hit a couple of speed bumps along the way,  and should be left waiting for his plane ticket to Indianapolis,  to play for the Colts next year.

Had the Badgers gone undefeated, the offensive line not so dominant, or superstar QB Russell Wilson not come to Mad-City USA…Ball would’ve run away with the award just like he did with the football so many times this year!

Jeff Miller

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