On Mark Ingram, Bud Foster and FSU recruiting
This was the first weekend since early September without a full slate of college football games. My thoughts on what transpired:
• Congrats to Mark Ingram and Alabama; obviously it was the first Heisman winner from the Crimson Tide, despite their history of producing great players. Ingram is also a great player and was deserving.
Was he the most deserving? I dunno. I voted Ndamukong Suh ahead of him, but Ingram did make a strong argument. He was outstanding pretty much from the first game until the last, and he shined in Bama's romp over Florida in the single biggest game of the season. Here's what's crucial about that day: Florida's was considered one of the two best defenses in the country. (If it wasn't UF's, it was Bama's.) Ingram ran for three TDs and more than 100 yards and pulled off arguably the game's biggest play: Right after UF scored, Ingram had a momentum-turning screen pass that became a huge gainer. The counter (if you don't think Ingram was most deserving) is that Bama QB Greg McElroy was the Tide's best player that day. You could also say Rolando McClain was their best player all year.
All of the candidates have flaws, and any one of about eight guys would have been deserving, but Ingram was the most viable -- and considering he wasn't anywhere near the Heisman radar in the preseason, that's saying a lot. Good for him, and if you watched his acceptance speech, you had to be impressed. It was touching and sweet, especially to see him calling out a lot of the people in the shadows who had helped him along the way. In many cases, winners gloss over that and get caught up in "their" moment. Ingram didn't.
To keep reading Bruce's thoughts and notes -- about FSU recruiting, Brian Kelly's house getting egged, and the chances Bud Foster will be running the UGA defense next year -- you must be an ESPN Insider.