It's Wednesday, which means it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.
The team of the player selected is chosen through a super-secret process which I cannot reveal, however, the number of the player is randomly chosen by visiting www.random.org and using whatever number is spat out from its random-creating machine.
Today's number: 22
Today's team: Alabama
Some background information: Sometimes the gods of this feature smile on you and give you Mark Ingram. Other times they give you John Cole. Nothing against Cole, but it's a lot easier to make it through this thing when you've got the reigning Heisman Trophy winner featured. So, background information. I mentioned the Heisman, let's see, what else. Lots of impressive numbers, an SEC championship, a national championship, etc. WE KNOW WHO HE IS.
Greatest on-field accomplishment: Again, many awards, great numbers everywhere. As for his best game of last season, I vote for his obliteration of a pretty good South Carolina defense. 24 carries, 246 yards, 1 TD. And he did that when Greg McElroy decided to take the night off (10-20, 92 yards, 2 INTs), leaving the Gamecocks to only worry about Ingram.
Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: My memory is a little hazy, but it might have gotten a little dusty in my house this night.
Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school: Aside from a couple of ventures into the gray area of NCAA rules violations, Ingram has kept himself free from any major developments in this category. And, let's be honest, his dad pretty much rules this category. PRISON ZING!!!
/enters steel fortress with moat to avoid attacks from Alabama fans
Strenghts: Everything that allowed him to rush for 1,658 yards (6.1 yards A CARRY) and 17 touchdowns and fall eight yards shy of 2,000 total yards (334 receiving yards). The most important of all those being the fire of Nick Saban nipping at his heels. What's that? Oh, right. And an offensive line that had ZERO holding penalties called against them in the last eight games of 2009. Conspiracy? ABSOLUTELY.
Weaknesses: None. Unless Trent Richardson can be counted as a weakness since he'll take carries away from Ingram this year.
What to look for in 2010: As great as Ingram is, I don't think he's the best running back on the team. I said it near the end of last season and still stand by my belief that Richardson is the best back Alabama has. He looks faster, runs harder (not that Ingram is a slouch, but Richardson is noticeably more physical) and looks much more natural and smooth while carrying the ball. While Ingram does hold the experience trump card over him, I think you'll see Richardson take a bigger chunk out of Ingram's 2010 numbers and probably keep him out of Heisman territory. I'll be interested to see how often Alabama places both of them in the backfield at the same time, creating the second coming of the Ronnie Brown/Cadillac Williams backfield that Auburn rode to a 13-0 season. Regardless of what they do, expect to see Ingram on the field often to quite often and running through a defense.