Never have I been more convinced than after watching the Big 12 Title game last night of who the "Most Outstanding Player" in the country is. That three word phrase, "Most Outstanding Player" is the key.
Because on Monday, all electronic balloting for the Heisman Trophy will be done, and in the letter to all voters describing how to vote, it simply states vote for the "Most Outstanding Player" in 2009.
It says nothing of giving special consideration to those players who throw, run, or catch the ball.
No where does it say that the Heisman recipient must be the offensive "Most Valuable Player" from a team competing for a national championship.
It also says nothing of making it a career award. It specifically says 2009, a singular year.
So, who is the Most Outstanding Player in college football in 2009?
Without doubt, that man is University of Nebraska defensive tackle No. 93 Ndamukong Suh.
Suh's performance in the Big 12 Title game on Saturday night was something so extraordinary, so phenomenal. The Texas offensive line was supposed to be one of the best in the country, yet he treated each and every member of that offensive line like a high schooler.
Suh beat them in every way imaginable. He beat them with pure strength, with speed, with quickness, by using his hands to shed blockers, and almost always while being double teamed! Suh easily split these double teams, ran around them, or pushed them back, collapsing the pocket around Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
After the game, Brent Musberger said it best, stating, "I have never ever seen a defensive player dominate a game in such a manner!"
Neither have I Brent.
And Suh has been dominating like this most of the year, if not all the way back to 2008.
At the post game press conference, Texas Head Coach Mack Brown said, without mincing words, that he is glad Suh is going to the NFL next year. Brown asked rhetorically, "Suh isn't a junior is he?"
You could see the relief in Browns face and feel the the rest of the Big 12 breathe a sigh of relief when he was reassured that yes, in fact, Suh will not be playing for the Cornhuskers in 2010.
During the post game press conference Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was asked about Suh specifically. With a wry smile McCoy, replied, "I am glad I am sitting here at this table and not on the field, I got hit a lot."
Understatement of the year.
Another reporter asked what McCoy thought of Suh and he sarcastically replied, "We're best friends."
Suh's stat line from last night is absurd for a defensive tackle that is 6'4" 300" lbs and has to regularly fight off two and three guys his size or bigger:
12 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and numerous quarterback hurries.
To this point in 2009, Suh has amassed 82 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 26 quarterback hurries, 10 pass break ups, 3 blocked field goals and an interception.
For the second straight year, Suh is leading the Cornhusker defense in tackles, quarterback sacks, quarterback hurries, tackles for loss, blocked field goals, and is second on the team with 10 pass break ups as a defensive tackle!
All this is more amazing considering the fact that every one, every offensive coordinator, every head coach knew about Suh coming into 2009 off the heels of his 2008 performance.
They game planned and schemed to control Suh, yet more often than not, Suh controlled the offensive lines. They tried to keep him from destroying their offensive plans, yet he had an even better year than in 2008!
That means something.
In a year when no offensive player has put up typical Heisman numbers of the latest quarterbacks or running backs to win the award, it is time for the voters to open their eyes and their minds to the fact that the best player in the country in fact plays on the defensive side of the ball.
You say Tim Tebow? No way. Tebow was merely more than a field general/game manager in 2009 and when faced with a good defense last night, he didn't get it done. Not even close.
Typical passing numbers for a Heisman winning quarterback of late seem to be in the neighborhood of 3500 passing yards, 35 passing td's and less than 10 interceptions. Tebow isn't close.
And the same can be said for Colt McCoy. Suh and Nebraska destroyed and embarrassed McCoy's Heisman Trophy hopes. You say career award for McCoy? Nope, that isn't what the Heisman is about. On the heels of his performance last night, it would be a sham if McCoy wins it.
Suh nearly single-handedly destroyed McCoy's Heisman hopes and should get the votes that McCoy would have got.
You say Alabama's Mark Ingram? I say check the stats of other Heisman backs of late and Ingram falls a bit short.
In the end, if Suh doesn't at minimum get an invite to New York City for the Heisman award ceremony, then the Heisman has become a complete farce!
Yes, I may be a Nebraska fan or homer, but I know outstanding and special talent when I see it, and he just happens to wear the uniform of my home state favorite team.
The "Most Outstanding Player" in college football in 2009 is Ndamukong Suh.
My ballot would be: No.1 Ndamukong Suh
No. 2 C. J. Spiller
No. 3 Toby Gerhardt
I don't care how the Heisman vote turned out. I know who the "Most Outstanding Player" in the country was in 2009.