Heisman pollster: Iron Bowl huge for Richardson

Nobody in Tuscaloosa wants to talk officially about this, but it’s on everyone’s mind. Here’s a look at Trent Richardson’s hope for a Heisman:

Decatur Daily illustration by Gary Cosby Jr.

TUSCALOOSA — “Wow,” Mark Ingram thought at the time.

Did Trent Richardson really just break all those tackles? He’s just a freshman playing in his first SEC game. This really could go somewhere.

That moment in Alabama’s 2009 win over Arkansas was the first indication of the potential now being realized fully in Tuscaloosa. Two years later, he is in position to make history. Saturday’s Iron Bowl likely will be Richardson’s closing argument in a quiet Heisman Trophy campaign to join Ingram, his former teammate, in Alabama’s most exclusive club.

As a front-runner in a wacky year for college football’s top prize, Richardson could use the trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium to vault himself to the top or cost himself a shot at immorality, said one Heisman Trophy expert.

“Voting for the Heisman is about big performances in big games. And anytime you go to a rivalry game, that’s a big game,” said Kari Chisholm, an Oregon political media analyst who runs StiffArmTrophy.com as a hobby. “No question, it’s very big. Heisman voters have their ballots in their hands, and they’re paying very close attention to just a small handful of players now. Trent Richardson is one of them, and a big performance would suit him very well.”

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