That got us thinking, who are some college football players that put up crazy numbers but nobody ever hears about because ESPN doesn’t show their highlights and/or they don’t play in a major conference and/or their team isn’t one of those BCS buster schools?
Disclaimer: We’re pretty much going to ignore players on defense. First of all, outside of TCU defense is rarely a strong point with non-BCS schools. Second of all, it’s just not as cool as guys that score bunches of touchdowns.
Second disclaimer: Not every player on this list comes from outside the BCS conferences. When you see what team they play for you’ll understand.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of 10 college football players putting up crazy awesome numbers that you don’t know about:
10.) Louie Sakoda, kicker, Utah: We know what you’re thinking. A kicker? Yep, a kicker. Sakoda does both the place kicking and the punting for Utah (8-0) and when coach Kyle Whittingham appeared on ESPN FirsTake on Monday he called Sakoda a true All-American.
He’s 21st in the country in punting average (42.97), fourth in field goals per game and 12th in scoring. That, sir, makes him a real weapon for a team that can shake up the BCS if they get through the rest of their schedule undefeated. That’s more than a lot of BCS programs can say about their kicking games.
9.) Tim Hiller, quarterback, Western Michigan: We remember a time when the Mid-American Conference was turning out tons of solid pro quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger. Chad Pennington. Byron Leftwich. And so on. We think that time might be coming back around, and hell, we left off Ball State quarterback Nate Davis.
Hiller has Western Michigan back in Mid-American contention at 6-2 and rolling up a bunch of points. Hiller is 12th in the nation in passing efficiency, 10th in total offense, third in completions per game, seventh in passing yards per game (315) and fourth in total passing yards (2517).
That’s a hell of a lot of passing going on in Kalamazoo.
8.) Andre Anderson, running back, Tulane: Last year Tulane had a running back Bears fans have come to know as Matt Forte, pretty good rookie running back. Another year, another solid runner for the Green Wave.
Anderson is fourth in the country in rushing yards per game (142) and seventh in all purpose yards per game (176), following right in the footsteps of the runner that came before home. Forte was second in rushing yards per game last year as a senior before being selected by the Bears in the second round.
7.) Eric Decker, wide receiver, Minnesota: Is Minnesota this year’s Illinois? We have no idea, though some are asking that question after the Golden Gophers beat Illinois in Champaign last weekend to move to 6-1. All the while Decker does work as the Gophers’ most potent offensive weapon.
He is third nationally in receptions per game (8.43) and and fifth in receiving yards per game. He’s kind of light on touchdowns (5) but hey, we’re not picky when you’re producing a lot of yards and first downs. Althought, for the record, we don’t think Minnesota has the teeth to really challenge the top of the Big Ten like Illinois did last year.
6.) Shonn Greene, running back, Iowa: We could go on for hours about how Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz isn’t really earning all that coin with a couple bad years and a 5-3 record this year. But hey, this is a happy list not a sad one. Shonn Greene is third in the country in rushing yards per game. Believe it.
Greene has broken the 100-yard barrier in every game this season and last week rolled up 217 yards and four touchdowns against incredibly disappointing Wisconsin. You could easily make the argument that he’s better than Javon Ringer. Maybe he’ll even save Coach Kirk’s job while he’s at it.
5.) Dan LeFevour, quarterback, Central Michigan: This is a little last year. Last season was definitely LeFevour’s breakout year. But Tim Tebow Lite is still pretty damn good (even though he’s banged up right now).
Think about this: Last season LeFevour rolled up 4,774 yards of total offense by himself as a sophomore. Compare that to Tebow’s 4,181 yards. Granted, one was doing it in the SEC and the other in the MAC and one won the Heisman and the other didn’t. Also, one circumcises kids for fun and the other doesn’t.
We’ll go with LeFevour, thank you.
4.) Case Keenum, quarterback, Houston: Yeah, another Andre Ware. Dude throws a lot and puts up crazy numbers. That’s why we like him.
If we made this list every year there’s a pretty good chance there would be a Houston quarterback on it. The Cougars sling the ball all over the place. But you have to have a good thrower to do it and Keenum is just that.
The sophomore is first in the country in total offense per game (408 yards), first in completions per game (33), second in passing yards (2691), second in passing yards per game (384) and 13th in the country in passing efficiency. Whew, that’s a lot. For all the yards he only has 23 touchdowns but that’s a hell of a lot of productivity.
3.) Jarett Dillard, wide receiver, Rice: Dillard is the best mid-major receiver since Ball State little guy Dante Love’s career ended after a devastating injury earlier this season. Love most certainly would’ve been on this list had he not gotten hurt, although we’d have been talking him up earlier.
Anyway, this is the second season in a row Dillard has been the go-to receiver for the pass-all-day offense at Rice. Quarterback Chase Clement just missed the list himself. Dillard is eighth in the country in receptions per game (7.57) and third in total receiving yards (815), but is first in receiving yards per game (116.43) and is tied for first in scoring with 84 points (that’s 14 touchdowns/two touchdowns a game).
And don’t forget, he’s a wide receiver. He’s had at least one touchdown in every game and has tow games with three and one with four. Damn.
2.) Donald Brown, running back, UConn: You were just waiting for us to get to the nation’s leading rusher, weren’t you? You might have actually heard of him, but we’re betting you haven’t because he plays for just an OK team in the terrible Big East.
So, yeah, Brown leads the country in rushing yards per game with 167.71 and is just five yards behind Javon Ringer in total rushing yards with 1,174. Oh, and throw in 12 touchdowns also. Clearly he gets TONS of carries (206), but that’s nothing compared to Ringer’s 263.
Also, we think it’s kind of funny that Brown and Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno are both from New Jersey. Just sayin’.
1.) David Johnson, quarterback, Tulsa: Here’s the big winner, David Johnson. In past years perhaps we’d see a Hawaii quarterback or something in this spot. Or maybe you would have seen Tulsa’s quarterback last year, Paul Smith. Johnson is picking up right where he left off in a pass-happy offense.
You might say, “Well shit, he’s just a system quarterback.” And you’d be absolutely right. But we’ll keep our argument short. EVERY quarterback is a system quarterback. You wanna tell us Chase Daniel or Tim Tebow aren’t system quarterbacks? How about Colt McCoy? We digress.
Johnson is first in the country in passing efficiency, fifth in total offense per game (355 yards), fifth in passing yards (2,397) fourth in passing yards per game (343) and first with 31 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. And he does all this while completing, on average, just 19.71 passes per game. That’s 31st in the country, folks.
One last very important thing. Tulsa is 7-0 and 19th in the current BCS standings. Who wouldn’t like to see this offense in a BCS game?