Is Mark Ingram destined for greatness now that he has won Heisman Trophy, or will the Alabama running back be added to the list of forgettable winners of the stiff-arm trophy?
For every Earl Campbell, Herschel Walker or Bo Jackson there is a Gino Torretta, Rashaan Salaam or Jason White.
Ingram was sincere and humble when he won the award and you have to feel good for the kid, but an outsider has to wonder how many of the Heisman voters saw Ndamukong Suh or Toby Gerhart play?
Suh finished fourth behind Colt McCoy, the Texas quarterback he terrorized the previous Saturday. Gerhart was consistently great, but many voters likely saw him play only once — Nov. 28 vs. Notre Dame.
Meanwhile, nearly every one of Alabama's games were nationally telecast, giving Ingram a decided advantage. How many times did CBS or ESPN remind viewers that Alabama was without a Heisman winner? It seemingly became the determining factor in the vote.
Bart Wright of the Greenville News, for one, believes journalists have no place voting for the Heisman winner.
He writes: "We’re talking about a vote whose outcome will bring potential millions in endorsements and would have a direct impact on the player’s negotiations for his first professional contract. We're participating in something that will have profound financial benefits to an individual.
"Maybe I missed the class in college where they said, as an impartial observer, it's still part of a journalist's job to play a role in deciding who wins individual awards in sports and then write opinions about those outcomes.
"Is there a better example of a conflict of interest?
"Take it out of sports and consider politics in the same way. Would it be sound journalism for all the country's political writers to vote on a poll — with their names attached for public scrutiny — that ranked the leading presidential candidates in order of their perceived worthiness in that role?
"Sorry, I've never understood why some think it's perfectly acceptable to play a central role in these popular votes while maintaining a veneer of neutrality before and after the votes."