Montee Ball deserves more respect for his record-breaking season.
I opened my laptop this morning determined to not write about Montee Ball again. After all, what else needs to be said about the Badgers running back? If you're like me, you've spent a considerable amount of time this week taking a side-by-side look at Ball's stats against those of Trent Richardson and you've probably come to the same conclusion I have: Ball is the more deserving award candidate because his numbers are simply much better in almost every way.
But yesterday, Richardson won the Doak Walker award, edging out Ball and LaMichael James. We all knew Ball's main obstacle was going to be getting past the perception that the SEC is just a tougher conference for a running back to thrive in, but really? I could almost understand voting Richardson for Heisman because of his importance to Alabama, but wouldn't you think that an award that goes to the nation's top-performing running back would, you know, go to the nation's top-performing running back?
It's just another sobering reminder of the inherent unfairness of today's NCAA football world. No matter how well you perform or how many records you break, there are still a lot of other factors that might hold you back, whether you're a team or a player.
On the bright side, Ball seems to have taken the news a bit better than me. I suppose character like that is worth writing about.
With Ball stories dominating the interwebs this morning, this one, complete with quotes from Ball's father, might be my favorite.
Here's the AP story on the Walker award.
ESPN's Mark Schlabach thought Ball should have won the Walker.
ESPN's Will Harris says the Badgers are underrated. (Insider account required)
Here's video of Jeff Potrykus explaining his Heisman vote.