Every Badgers fan knows about our great running backs. The Wisconsin backfield started with Alan Ameche and currently features James White and Montee Ball, both of whom I feel are early candidates for the Heisman trophy.
In 2009, Mark Ingram took home the trophy while posting up 1,658 yards and 17 TDs on 271 carries. Last season, Ball put up 996 and 18 TDs on 163 carries. White had 1,052- 14- 156. Do you notice someting? Ball and White put up close numbers while taking moree than 100 less carries than Ingram. I did some math to see what White and Ball's numbers would have looked like had they taken 271 carries each.
Montee Ball- 271 carries, 1,655 yards, 30 TDs!
James White- 271 carries, 1,823 yards, 24 TDs!
That's amazing (not my math skills, the stats!). With their respective ypc averages of 6.1 (Ball) and 6.7 (White), and their TD/Car ratio, that's what their numbers would have come out to be had they taken the amount of carries that Ingram did. 30 Touchdowns is jaw-dropping with 1,655 yards which is equal to Ingram's. And White...1,823 yards would almost certainly lead the whole NCAA and 24 Touchdowns is also remarkable.
The only small problem with the math I did is that it is unlikely that either Ball or White takes over 250 carries if they are splitting them, and Melvin Gordon or Jeff Lewis takes 50 themselves. Paul Chryst calls plenty of running plays, but if they are consistently splitting the carries between them with the 3rd back taking 2-5 per game, is there any way for one of them to take that many carries. John Clay took 287 carries in 2009, but nobody else on the team had more than 100. I see the only way being if one of them gets injured and misses a few games (which I wouldn't want), or else one of them (more likely Ball) proves he is the workhorse and gets 50-80 more carries over the course of the season.
So, again, the two studs splitting time lowers their chances of getting the Heisman Trophy, but they are both in the Top Handful of collegiate backs and sport a chance at the prestigous Trophy that is the Heisman.
For any of you fans who live under a rock, live outside of Wisconsin, or just love watching Badgers highlights, here is a mixtape of our 2010 "3-Headed Monster". Clay is gone as you all know, but I can't wait to see Ball and White in action next season.
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