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Heisman Hoopla

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's only mid-September, but the Heisman Trophy has taken center stage. A day after Reggie Bush announced that he would forfeit his 2005 award, the Heisman Trophy Trust countered with the announcement that the 2005 version would remain vacated.

More subplots involving the most coveted piece of hardware in the FBS have surfaced in the last few days as well, with the reigning Heisman winner set to make his 2010 debut and a certain Michigan quarterback literally running away with the award at this time.

Bush said on Tuesday he was giving up the Heisman under the pressure of a four-year NCAA investigation.

"I know that the Heisman is not mine alone," he said. "Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.

Reggie Bush announced that he would forfeit his 2005 Heisman Trophy award.
"It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005. The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting. In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals. Nor should it distract from outstanding performances and hard- earned achievements either in the past, present or future.

It is the first time the award was returned by an honoree.

I feel like it's a no-brainer that if Bush broke the rules that all he achieved on the gridiron at USC is irrelevant, therefor no gaudy stats and no Heisman. His transgressions, however, were five years ago.

On to the here and now.

Alabama's Heisman-winning tailback Mark Ingram will make his first appearance of the season against Duke this weekend. After a monster sophomore campaign in 2009 that earned him All-American status and, of course, the Heisman, it will be almost impossible for him to duplicate that in 2010.

For one, Heisman voters are reluctant to give out the award twice to the same individual. Throw in the fact that Ingram has already missed two games and that sophomore Trent Richardson is a hugely gifted back who will demand carries the rest of the way, and it will be too easy to look past Ingram when it comes to voting.

The player that it is easy to make a case for is Michigan QB Denard Robinson. He very well may be the fourth straight sophomore to win the Heisman and at this point there isn't even another player in Robinson's rearview mirror.

His performance last Saturday against Notre Dame is the stuff that legends are made of. Putting up over 500 yards of total offense against Western Kentucky would be deemed impressive and while Notre Dame isn't exactly a national powerhouse these days, Robinson's assault on the Irish was nothing short of amazing.

He currently leads the nation in rushing (227.5 ypg) and needs just 45 yards to reach 500 on the season, and that's after only two outings. With FCS-foe UMass on the schedule this week and Bowling Green next week, Robinson has an outside chance (remote at best) of reaching 1,000 yards rushing before the Big Ten slate even starts.

Coming into the season the Wolverines had a pair of quality signal-callers in Robinson and Tate Forcier. Two weeks later and it is hard to envision coach Rich Rodriguez going back to Forcier in the foreseeable future. Now that is by no means a knock on Forcier and what he brings to the table, but more a confirmation of Robinson's unique talents and the fact that Rodriguez would have to be crazy to change anything right now.

I heard this quote in a movie recently: "If you're going to run in the Kentucky Derby, you don't leave your prized stallion in the stable."

Robinson is running a lot like Affirmed these days.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Scott Haynes at shaynes@sportsnetwork.com.

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