The Heisman Memorial Trophy — better known as simply “The Heisman Trophy” — is award to “the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”
Simply translated, it’s supposed to go to the best player in college football – with the (unwritten) caveat of “best player” being relative to all other guys in that particular season. So that begs the question: how does the “best player” in one year stack up against the “best player” from another year?
We’re glad you asked, because that’s the same question that led us to try and put together this head-to-head ranking of every recipient of the Heisman Trophy award over the last 25 years.
25. Mark Ingram (2009)
Nobody can take away the fact that University of Alabama running back Mark Ingram Jr. won the 2009 Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, in his first real season as the starting running back for the Crimson Tide. But another fact that nobody can dispute is that Ingram is the only winner of the award to not win at least 50% of all the first-place votes tallied.
Rather, Ingram received just under 47% of the first place votes, which was enough for him to win by “plurality,” since the remainder of the first place votes were closely distributed among guys like Stanford University running back Toby Gerhart, University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, and University of Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.