Pac-12: Mark Ingram
My Heisman Trophy ballot has changed every week for the last couple of months.
I'm not surprised there are more than three players going to the trophy presentation.
Five players were invited to New York for Saturday night's Heisman Trophy presentation -- quarterbacks Andrew Luck of Stanford and Robert Griffin III of Baylor, tailbacks Montee Ball of Wisconsin and Trent Richardson of Alabama and cornerback Tyrann Mathieu of LSU.
It's a shame the Heisman Trust didn't have room for three more quarterbacks because Houston's Case Keenum, USC's Matt Barkley and Boise State's Kellen Moore were just as deserving.
With five finalists going to New York, it figures to be one of the closer votes in recent Heisman Trophy history.
The closest vote in Heisman Trophy history came just two years ago, when Alabama tailback Mark Ingram edged Stanford's Toby Gerhart by only 28 points. Ingram received 227 first-place votes, Gerhart got 222 and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, the second runner-up, received 203.
Given the number of finalists and their geographical regions, we could have another really close finish on Saturday night.
Luck, the runner-up to Auburn's Cam Newton last season, entered the 2011 season as the Heisman Trophy favorite. His performance didn't slip much this season, as he completed 70 percent of his passes for 3,170 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
I still feel Luck might be the most valuable player on any team in the country. Without him, there's no way the Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the country and playing No. 3 Oklahoma State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Luck has done more with less, as Stanford lacks the game-changing playmakers that other teams have.
But Luck might still be the second-best quarterback in New York. Griffin, who is widely known as RG3, completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 3,998 yards with 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 644 yards with nine touchdowns.
Without him, the Bears wouldn't have beaten TCU, Oklahoma and Texas. Griffin's one drawback: He had a late interception that sealed the Bears' fate in a 36-35 loss at Kansas State on Oct. 1 and threw two picks in a 59-24 loss at Oklahoma State on Oct. 29. But with everything else RG3 has done this season, it's easy to give him a mulligan for the miscues.
Ball has been a scoring machine for the No. 10 Badgers this season, running for 1,759 yards with 32 touchdown runs and six touchdown receptions. His 38 total touchdowns are one shy of matching former Oklahoma State running back Barry Sanders' NCAA single-season record of 39 set in 11 games in 1988. Ball's production helped lead the Badgers to a Jan. 2 date against Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO.
Mathieu fell off my ballot after he was suspended from playing in the Tigers' 45-10 victory over Auburn on Oct. 22 for smoking synthetic marijuana. But his big plays helped the Tigers overcome deficits in each of their last two victories, over Arkansas and Georgia in the SEC championship game.
Mathieu -- aka the "Honey Badger" -- is the best player on the top-ranked team. He leads the Tigers with 70 tackles and has forced six fumbles and recovered five. He also is the most dynamic punt returner I've seen since Florida State's Deion Sanders. Mathieu has scored four touchdowns -- two on fumble returns and two on punt returns.
To penalize Mathieu for one foolish mistake wouldn't have been right. After all, Newton was briefly ruled ineligible at Auburn last season and 2010 Heisman Trophy finalist LaMichael James of Oregon was suspended from playing in last season's opener.
- Auburn Qquarterback Cam Newton has been much better throwing downfield over the second half of the season. On throws of over 20 yards over the past five games, he's completed 66.7 percent with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. In the first eight games, he completed just 34.5 percent with four TDs and five interceptions. FYI: Watch out for receiver Darvin Adams: Five of those TDs went to him, averaging 31.1 yards per reception.
- A problem for Oregon's defense, which likes to blitz: Newton does his best work vs. the blitz. When opponents blitz, Newton has completed 73 percent of his passes with 10 TDs and no interceptions.
- Since 2009, LaMichael James has produced 36 runs of more than 20 yards. That's the most in the nation.
- Newton produced 29 runs of 15-plus yards this season, tops in the nation. He averaged 10.3 yards on 30 quarterback draws this season and 9.5 yards on 39 scrambles.
- This might be a mild surprise (unless you watch a lot of Oregon football): James gained 53.9 percent of his rushing yards between the tackles. In comparison, the physical Heisman Trophy winner from last year, Alabama's Mark Ingram, gained just 41.4 percent of his yards between the tackles this season.
- Of course, James is dangerous outside. He averages 7.2 yards per carry outside the tackles, 5.2 ypg inside the tackles.
- Both teams can score at warp speed. Oregon has 23 TD drives of three plays or fewer this year. Auburn has 20. The Ducks have 44 TD drives that took less than two minutes; the Tigers have 30. Oregon is No. 1 in the nation in both numbers. Auburn is No. 2 and No. 4, respectively.
- Oregon leads the nation in lowest time of possession on TD drives: 1:49.
- Count on plenty of big plays. Auburn produced 58 plays of 25-plus yards, including 25 TDs. Oregon produced 53 plays of 25-plus yards, including 27 TDs. The TD counts rank first and second in the nation.
- Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas is at his best using play-action passes. On throws of 15-plus yards after a run fake, he's tossed 11 TDs and a single interception.
Both Oregon running back LaMichael James and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck have been named finalists for the Heisman Trophy, so they will be in New York for the announcement on Saturday, where they will meet up with Newton and Boise State QB Kellen Moore.
James and Newton will meet again on Jan. 10 in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz.
Stanford now has produced Heisman finalists two consecutive years. Last year, running back Toby Gerhart finished a close second -- the closest ever, in fact -- to Alabama RB Mark Ingram.
The semifinalists are (in alphabetical order):
John Clay (Jr.) Wisconsin
Kendall Hunter (Sr.) Oklahoma State
Mark Ingram (Jr.) Alabama
LaMichael James (So.) Oregon
DeMarco Murray (Sr.) Oklahoma
Bilal Powell (Sr.) Louisville
Jacquizz Rodgers (Jr.) Oregon State
Vai Taua (Sr.) Nevada
Daniel Thomas (Sr.) Kansas State
Ed Wesley (So.) TCU
The 175 members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes to determine the 2010 finalists. On Nov. 22, three finalists will be named live on ESPNU, and a second vote by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will determine the recipient. The 2010 Doak Walker Award recipient will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 9 on ESPN.
The Award is named after three-time SMU All-America running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker.
And if the Ducks put on a big show, expect the star to be running back LaMichael James, who can further validate his Heisman Trophy candidacy.
James is the nation's best big-play running back. ESPN Stats & Information, in fact, can prove that, as the chart at right shows.
Since 2009, James has gained 20 yards or more on more than nine percent of his carries, which is the highest percentage among running backs in the FBS in that time frame.
This season, Oregon has 21 rushes of 20 yards or more. The Ducks hit a big run more often than any other team in the country outside of Taylor Martinez and Nebraska.
So, of course, you can expect the UCLA defense to be keying on James. The Bruins might even dare quarterback Darron Thomas to beat them passing, particularly with Thomas coming back from a sprained shoulder that knocked him out of the Washington State game two weeks ago.
But that might not be too wise, because Thomas is at his best going deep in the play-action passing game as the chart at right shows.
So the Bruins have to be smart on defense and mix things up. They can't crowd the line of scrimmage to stop James and the spread-option. And they can't forget Thomas over the top in play-action.
Sophomore Darron Thomas, the quarterback replacement after Masoli got the boot, is doing just fine, thank you very much, see 626 yards of offense in the fourth-ranked Ducks 52-31 win over No. 9 Stanford. He's doing so well, in fact, that he might help running back LaMichael James win the Heisman Trophy.
"We can put those rumors to bed that he can't run the football," Ducks coach Chip Kelly said. "He's everything you'd want in a quarterback."
Why is Thomas' success running important to James? Because when a defense can't entirely key on James in the spread-option, James is going to kill it. And by that we mean, say, rushing for 257 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. Stanford's defense, by the way, was yielding just 256 yards per game. That number is headed north.
Know how many yards James lost with those 31 carries? Zero.
James entered the contest ranked fifth in the nation in rushing with 151.7 yards per game (the NCAA and Pac-10 got the numbers wrong this week, giving James 158.3 per game). A marquee performance on a big stage surely raised his Q-rating. Or H-rating.
"Tonight, I feel like I was running on all cylinders," he said. "I was running physically. I was really aggressive. I played with a lot more energy."
James said that he didn't feel like that was the case earlier in the season.
"I think he was trying to dance in some (early) games," Kelly said. "When he really trusts his speed -- that last touchdown run was a blur."
That last TD run went for 72 yards. It was his third run of 20 or more yards in the game. He has 30 of those over the past two years, more than any other back in the nation.
As for Thomas, he led the offensive onslaught -- the Ducks were down 21-3 before outscoring the Cardinal 49-10 the rest of the way -- after throwing two first-half interceptions. So far this season, he's displayed notable moxie, showing no ill-effects when he makes mistakes. This was the third time this season he's led the Ducks back from double-digit early deficits.
"He's definitely coming along," center Jordan Holmes said. "And I can't wait to see how far he can go because he gets better and better every week. He's just a kid. He's got a lot more football to play. I'm really looking forward to see what he becomes in the future."
Of course, the present looks pretty darn good. The Ducks, who visit Washington State next weekend, are 5-0 and figure to enter the national title discussion. It's possible, in fact, they'll get more than a few votes at No. 2 behind Alabama and ahead of Ohio State.
Such talk doesn't go very far with the Ducks, though, who seemed to have bought in to Kelly's whole "win the day" philosophy. And it's not surprising that James said he "didn't care" about Heisman Trophy buzz.
"I don't want to be sitting at the house with a Heisman Trophy and we're 5-5," he said. "I'd rather be 12-0, 13-0 with no Heisman Trophy."
It's then noted to James that those two events -- undefeated and stiff-arm trophy -- often are intertwined, see last year's winner, Alabama's Mark Ingram.
James relents: "If the Heisman Trophy comes with winning games, I'll take it."
If he keeps running like he did against Stanford, he might. And if Thomas continues his rapid evolution into ... wait for it... Dennis Dixon (ha!), the Ducks might be up to some big things, too.
The results for the Pac-10 were interesting.
First, the players not only picked Stanford to win the Pac-10 championship -- 44.4 percent -- they also named Jim Harbaugh as the best coach (44.4 percent). Said one player: "They were terrible when I first got here. That's all Harbaugh -- he's brought in a completely different level of player."
Best player was Washington QB Jake Locker (33 percent).
But this question -- and answer -- struck me:
1. Is your school in the right conference? YES: 66.7 percent | NO: 33.3 percent.
Which conference do one third of the Pac-10 players polled want to be in?
It's notable that players from the Big East (100 percent), SEC (100 percent), Big Ten (93.8 percent) and ACC (93.3) were overwhelming happy in their conference. As for the Big 12, 25 percent said they were not in the right conference.
Judging from the offseason news about commissioner Larry Scott raiding the Big 12 in order to build the Pac-16, perhaps the Big 12 players want to join the Pac-10.
Or do the Pac-10 players want to join the Big 12? Confusing? Yes.
Wait. There's more!
Turning to a national perspective, guess whose uniforms rate No. 1.
This was an Oregon landslide (53.7 percent). One Big Ten star was particularly blown away. "I don't even have to think about that one," he says. "I almost wanted to transfer there just for those uniforms." As for worst unis, winner Wyoming's brown-and-yellow jerseys elicited 18.9 percent. Wonders one player: "The worst colors ever? What is that, piss and poop?"
Ah, the generation gap. Traditionalists make fun of Oregon's uniforms. But players love them.
As for best coach, that's Alabama's Nick Saban, which I'd second, though Florida's Urban Meyer has to be 1B. But a Pac-10 coach did get mentioned.
As for the last coach you'd ever want to play for, players aren't rooting for USC's Lane Kiffin (29.6 percent). "He's an awesome football coach," says one O-lineman. "But he took a program for one year, talked a lot, then left them out to dry."
But guess what: The first part of that statement will be what matters going forward -- and by that I mean whether it proves true or not.
And, again, sorry to disappoint the folks who constantly pipe the tired "Jake Locker hasn't done anything" but the reality is the players see the same things that NFL draft experts do. To the question of the nation's best player:
Shocker! Reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram won with 51.1 percent of the vote. But No. 2 was a real surprise. Forget Terrelle Pryor. The dual-threat QB players love is Washington's Jake Locker (14.1 percent). They're in awe of the senior's talent (4.39 40, drafted by MLB) and understand why both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay project him as a possible No. 1 NFL pick in 2011. "Best QB in the country. Best prospect, too," says a fellow top draft prospect.
Finally, you can read what players think about a potential playoff here.
The Pac-10 Heisman candidates are:
- No. 3 Jake Locker, QB, Washington
- No. 13 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
- No. 17 Matt Barkley, QB, USC
- No. 18 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
- No. 20 LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Alabama running Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, tops the list, but his chances will be hurt by touches given to sophomore backup Trent Richardson, who is an extraordinary talent (and the Crimson Tide backfield might be the best tandem since, well, the Pony Express with Eric Dickerson and Craig James in the early 1980s). Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is No. 2. To me, Pryor is the frontrunner.
As for the Pac-10 candidates, these odds make sense, though obviously Rodgers would be No. 1 if the odds were based on past achievement. But QBs have won eight of the past 10 Heismans and the two running backs who broke through -- USC's Reggie Bush in 2005 and Ingram in 209 -- both played for teams that were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season.
Putting up great numbers is only half of the Heisman formula. Winning is critical. So if Locker, Luck, Barkley, Rodgers or James are going to break through into legit candidates, their teams need to get into October-November with national rankings and impressive records.
1. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford (25): Gerhart was the best player in the nation, so it makes sense that he sits atop the Pac-10 list. A consensus All-American, Gerhart finished second to Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the closest Heisman Trophy vote in history -- Ingram's playing for a national title contender clearly provided him the slim margin of victory -- but he beat out Ingram for the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the nation's best running back. Gerhart led the nation in rushing (1,871 yards) and touchdowns (28) -- only one other runner had more than 21 TDs. His 143.9 yards rushing per game was 25 yards more than any other conference running back. He also caught 11 passes for 157 yards and even threw a TD pass. Defenses crowded the line of scrimmage and tried to gang up on Gerhart. It just didn't matter.
2. Brian Price, DT, UCLA (6)
3. Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State (NR)
4. Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon (9)
5. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State (4)
6. Jake Locker, QB, Washington (11)
7. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (24)
8. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (NR)
9. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State (22)
10. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (NR)
11. Damian Williams, WR, USC (7)
12. Taylor Mays, S, USC (1)
13. Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon (16)
14. Tyson Alualu, DE, California (26)
15. Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA (15)
16. Jahvid Best, RB, California (2)
17. Charles Brown, OT, USC (17)
18. Syd'Quan Thompson, CB, California (8)
19. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State (28)
20. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona (NR)
21. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE, Washington (23)
22. Mike Mohamed, LB, California (NR)
23. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (NR)
24. Donald Butler, LB, Washington (NR)
25. Everson Griffen, DE, USC (30)
26. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona (NR)
27. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona (NR)
28. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon (NR)
29. Earl Mitchell, DT, Arizona (NR)
30. Travis Goethel, LB Arizona State (NR)
In the middle, it was all about the Trojans, with USC winning a pair of national titles -- and playing for a third -- and at least sharing seven consecutive conference championships.
The Pac-10 decade featured a run of remarkable stability at the top amid significant change.
And, of course, that bastion of stability -- the USC Dynasty -- is now in the midst of its own seismic shift with the departure of Pete Carroll and the arrival of Lane Kiffin.
That 's a good place to start: the coaches.
No Pac-10 team has the same head coach it had in 2000. Only California, Oregon, Oregon State and USC had just two coaches during the decade, and, obviously, the Trojans are no longer part of that group.
Stanford and Washington both went through four coaches since 2000.
The Pac-10 won three Heisman Trophies this past decade: quarterback Carson Palmer, quarterback Matt Leinart and running back Reggie Bush. All played for USC. This past season, Stanford's Toby Gerhart finished as the runner-up to Alabama's Mark Ingram in the closest Heisman race in history.
While the decade was mostly owned by USC, it wasn't entirely. Four conference teams finished ranked in the final top five of the AP poll at least once: Washington, Oregon, Oregon State and USC. Washington State earned three consecutive top-10 rankings from 2001-2003. California finished ninth in 2004.
That the Huskies and Cougars are mentioned there also makes both program's precipitous slides from the national elite into the morass of ineptitude notable.
While the story of the decade in the conference is USC's rise, the No. 2 story might be the fall of Washington, which finished 11-1 and ranked No. 3 in 2000 under Rick Neuheisel but went 0-12 in 2008 under Tyrone Willingham and lost 15 in a row before beating Idaho in Game 2 of 2009.
That fall began with the top off-field story of the decade: The controversial firing of Neuheisel for participating in a high-stakes betting pool on the NCAA tournament, which ended up costing Washington $4.5 million when the school opted to settle a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
On the field, the Pac-10 changed the way it played offense.
Over the first half of the decade, it was mostly about passing and marquee quarterbacks: five of the Pac-10's top seven single-season passing yardage marks were set from 2002-2005.
The high-flying offenses peaked in 2002 when six quarterbacks threw for more than 3,300 yards.
The past two seasons, no conference quarterback passed for more than 3,300 yards. In fact, only three eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark the past two seasons combined.
Meanwhile, if California running back Shane Vereen had found 48 more yards this season, the Pac-10 would have produced six 1,000-yard rushers for a second consecutive year.
And yet, by the end of the 2009 season, the story in the Pac-10 was the bumper crop of young quarterbacks, eight of whom will be back in 2010.
But between Washington going to the Rose Bowl after the 2000 season and Oregon doing so following the 2009 campaign, it was mostly about USC, which fell short of a third consecutive national title after a nail-biting loss to Texas in the national title game following the 2005 season.
The Trojans finished ranked in the final top four of the AP poll from 2002 to 2008. They went 6-1 in BCS bowl games. They dominated college football as much as they dominated the Pac-10.
And yet, in the final year of the decade, they fell back into the pack -- and the "pac" moved up, with Oregon and Oregon State playing a Civil War for the Rose Bowl berth.
Will the next decade bring more parity? Or will USC regain its championship form? Or will another team rise to the fore?
We shall see.
First, Gerhart finished second to Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the closest Heisman Trophy vote in history.
Then he finished just behind Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year voting.
Suh received 26 first-place votes. Gerhart got 20. Ingram finished well behind, tied for third with Texas quarterback Colt McCoy with six votes apiece.
Gerhart did, however, win the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation's best running back. He and the Cardinal play Oklahoma in the Brut Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
Suh was the first defensive player to win the AP award.
Here's the list as it will appear in the 2010 NCAA Football Records.
WR -- Jordan Shipley, Texas, 6-0, 190, Senior
WR -- *Golden Tate, Notre Dame, 5-11, 195, Junior
TE -- Dennis Pitta, BYU, 6-5, 247, Senior
OL -- Mike Iupati, Idaho, 6-6, 330, Senior
OL -- Mike Johnson, Alabama, 6-6, 305, Senior
OL -- *Russell Okung, Oklahoma St., 6-5, 300, Senior
OL -- Trent Williams, Oklahoma, 6-5, 318, Senior
C -- Maurkice Pouncey, Florida, 6-5, 318, Junior
QB -- *Colt McCoy, Texas, 6-2, 210, Senior
RB -- *Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 6-1, 235, Senior
RB -- *Mark Ingram, Alabama, 5-10, 215, Sophomore
PK -- Kai Forbath, UCLA, 6-0, 192, Junior
Returner/All-Purpose -- *C.J. Spiller, Clemson, 5-11, 195
DL -- Terrence Cody, Alabama, 6-5, 365, Senior
DL -- *Jerry Hughes, TCU, 6-3, 257, Senior
DL -- Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma, 6-4, 297, Junior
DL -- *Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, 6-4, 300, Senior
LB -- Greg Jones, Michigan St., 6-1, 228, Junior
LB -- *Rolando McClain, Alabama, 6-4, 258, Junior
LB -- Brandon Spikes, Florida, 6-3, 258, Senior
DB -- Javier Arenas, Alabama, 5-9, 198, Senior
DB -- *Eric Berry, Tennessee, 5-11, 203, Junior
DB -- *Joe Haden, Florida, 5-11, 190, Junior
DB -- Earl Thomas, Texas, 5-10, 197, Sophomore
P -- *Drew Butler, Georgia, 6-2, 203, Sophomore
* Indicates unanimous first team selection; Bold indicates consensus repeater from 2008
Here's an explanation of how the list was compiled from Jeff Williams, the NCAA's Assistant Director of Statistics:
The players listed had the highest number of points competing against players at that position only. A points system was used for the selections of the All-America team (three points for first team, two points for second team and one point for third team). Twelve players were unanimous choices by the five organizations used in the consensus chart -- American Football Coaches Association (First Team), Associated Press (First, Second and Third Teams), Football Writers Association of America (First Team), The Sporting News (First, Second and Third Teams) and Walter Camp Foundation (First and Second Teams). Note: Each of the five teams has a different way of listing the returner or all-purpose player. For the purpose of the Consensus All-America team those categories were treated as one position.
Jeff from San Francisco writes: Are you going to take this Heisman decision laying down? It was the most blatant display of East Coast bias in years. Kudos to ESPN for actually showing the regional breakdown of votes. Obviously this is water under the bridge at this point, but a real travesty for [Stanford running back Toby] Gerhart to leave that ceremony empty handed.I (mostly) disagree.
Of the five finalists, Gerhart piled up the best numbers playing against the best competition. He was the most consistent performer. And he's a senior (he could come back next year due to an injury hardship from 2007 but that's unlikely).
Still, it's not like he was the victim of an anti-Gerhart, anti-Stanford conspiracy. He lost a vote. So it goes.
Six weeks ago, how many thought Gerhart really had a chance? Most folks around Stanford seemed to pin their predominant hopes on him just earning an invitation to the ceremony in New York.
Ingram was in the Heisman discussion for much of the year. He played on a team that was in the national title hunt all season and will play Texas for the BCS championship. His margin likely rested on voters who lean toward the "best player on the best team" voting philosophy.
Sure, Ingram dominated his region in the Southeast. But so did Gerhart in the West.
Where Ingram beat Gerhart was in the neutral areas.
Is that East Coast bias? Not really.
Is it fair to believe that some folks back east didn't get to see that much of Gerhart? Sure. Is it fair to believe that many of the inaccurate and ignorant statements we've heard and read about the defenses Gerhart and Ingram faced skewed some perceptions away from the truth? Probably.
Did I, like you, raise an eyebrow when I learned of voters who didn't include Gerhart in their top three? Absolutely.
But when I watched Ingram accept the award with grace and humility, I had a hard time mustering much frustration over the process. Great player. Great young man. Kudos.
And Gerhart didn't walk away without any hardware, either. He beat out Ingram for the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the nation's best running back.
Gerhart had a dream of a final season at Stanford. He's a consensus All-American, he was named the best player in the nation at his position and his team is going to its first bowl game since 2001.
Lots of us feel Gerhart should have won the Heisman Trophy. But was his not winning a travesty?
Not to me.
UCLA's Kai Forbath won the Lou Groza Award honoring the nation's best kicker.
Forbath made 26 of 29 field goals this season, including 23 of 23 inside 40 yards.
The junior won the award over finalists Leigh Tiffin of Alabama and Blair Walsh of Georgia.
Gerhart led the nation with 1,736 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns.
Gerhart had more yards rushing (1,736) and touchdowns (26) than any player in the country. He led Stanford (8-4) to a second-place finish in the Pac-10 and its first bowl bid in eight years.
Gerhart scored touchdowns in all but one game, topped 100 yards 10 times and 200 yards three times, and averaged at least 4.4 yards per carry in every game this season.
The other nominees were Alabama's Mark Ingram and Clemson's C.J. Spiller.
Here they are, along with the competition.
Lou Groza Award (best kicker)
Kai Forbath (UCLA), Leigh Tiffin (Alabama), Blair Walsh (Georgia)
Doak Walker Award (best running back)
Toby Gerhart (Stanford), Mark Ingram (Alabama), C.J. Spiller (Clemson)