The Answer Is No

August 4, 2009 – 7:21 pm by McD


I don’t mean to be a dick to Cal. They’re just harmless hippies trying to make their way in the Super Max Penitentiary that is college football. And since they’re a mediocre program that’s been trying to make the “big step” into one of the big prison gangs by shanking some other defenseless schlub (but they’re too chickenshit to actually do it), it’s fairly predictable that they’re probably going to over-hype a very good, but not amazing player. Let’s be clear: Jahvid Best hasn’t done shit. And he ain’t no Reggie Bush.

It’s not that he sucks or is overrated, even. It’s just that everyone is lining up to lick his coin purse based on some huge performances against awful, awful teams. But, as I said, it’s Cal, and they really need small victories or they’ll have to face the reality that they’ll never be anything in the Pac-10 as long as Pete Carroll is at USC.

But first, let’s examine the source of Best’s overratedness. He had three huge games in which he ran for 200, 201, and 311 yards and a total of nine touchdowns. That’s 711 yards of the 1,580 that he accrued in 2008. That’s 45% of his total rushing yardage and 60% of his rushing touchdowns. And, to be fair, that’s a nice three games for any running back no matter who he is or who he was pwning.

Now for the bad news: those three games were against Washington State, Stanford, and Washington, respectively. Yeah, those are the three worst teams in the Pac-10. Wazzu and Washington had one win COMBINED in 2008. Best Apple Cup game ever, by the way. I’m being serious. No really.

Even worse, though his yards per carry average was impressive last season, he never carried the ball 20 times in a game again after the first game of the season, and many of his carries didn’t come in important situations: his 15 carry 116 yard effort in a two touchdown loss to Oregon State, for example. Or his 16 carry 107 yard game in a 42-27 loss to Arizona. Basically, his team sucked, couldn’t use him to come back, and he did little else to help win games. It would have been nice to see how he’d have done if the team had kept using him when they were down to maybe spark a comeback or to see how he’d do when everyone in the stadium knew he was gonna get the ball 25-30 times. Never happened.

In his one shot against really good competition, Best accumulated 13 carries for 30 yards against USC and was a non-factor in the Bears’ 17-3 loss to the Trojans. Totally winnable game and Cal’s Reggie Bush never showed.

Now, Reggie Bush didn’t actually carry the ball all that much as a sophomore either. The difference is, Bush was surrounded by amazing talent with whom he shared the ball and was on a team that went undefeated and destroyed Oklahoma to win the national championship. Bush only had 143 carries that season with a 6.4 ypc average in 2004, the season before he won the Heisman. Best, on a bad team, had 194 carries and a better ypc average. But how many of his carries mattered?

Bush delivered against virtually every team he played, especially the best ones. He couldn’t be stopped, just contained. The only decent defense Best faced as a sophomore completely shut him down. It’s not Jahvid Best’s fault he’s on a shit team, but the facts are still there. Who knows, maybe he has a Heisman-level season in 2009, but let’s bring the hype machine to a screeching halt now, okay?

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  1. 9 Responses to “The Answer Is No”

  2. what a moron. good title for the blog b/c ranting and raving is all it is.

    which running backs do you like. make the case for how much better than best they are.

    go back and look at how reggie bush did against cal. cal basically eliminated him. The games are generally within a touchdown into the 4th quarter between cal and usc and both teams sell out to stop the other’s feature back.

    best could have run for 400+ vs washington or wsu. he was taken out just after half time in both games. cal went 9-4. they must have beat somebody. i see you cherry-picking the wins over the bottom of the league and the losses, but I don’t see you wanting much to discuss miami or oregon or arizona state or ucla. perhaps that’s b/c those are decent teams and best made them look silly. go look at the video. or just blather on…

    By sikes on Aug 5, 2009

  3. Cal sucks. The end.

    By Ron Dayne's Strict Diet on Aug 5, 2009

  4. Oh come on, sikes, Bush was sharing carries with LenDale White, who had 151 total yards and 3TD against Cal in 2005 and another TD the year before that. Who is Best sharing with?

    Best also didn’t play against Arizona State last year, so I’m assuming you mean he made them look silly because his sideline outfit was so sick. And you’re right, he did well against Miami, but it’s not like that’s the old Miami. Making their D look silly isn’t really all that hard when they’re overworked and injured. Georgia Tech did the same thing to them. The ‘Canes were allowing 34 points a game in the last few games of the season. Please.

    And don’t pretend 16 carries for 93 yards in a close win over Oregon is something to be amazed at. Same thing for his 17 for 115 against the worst UCLA team of the past 25 years.

    Jahvid Best is very good. But calling him anything near Reggie Bush is just ridiculous.

    By McD on Aug 5, 2009

  5. lol haters. Best is a brilliant back. only such talent can illicit hate talk like this.

    By usc112 on Aug 5, 2009

  6. yep. you’re a moron. congrats.

    the point was general–you picked only games that suited well to be your straw-men.

    i guess jahvid should be blamed that miami isn’t the old miami and that ucla sucked (even though their defense has at least a trio of first day drafts including a round 1 dt), and that lendale white did better against cal than bush did. got it.

    and i imagine uw and wsu and ucla and oregon and stanford were amazing defenses when bush was running against them? did bush by any chance have any big days against sorry defenses? bush probably never put up anything against teams that allowed a lot of points or yards huh? The best defense and best team bush faced in 2004 was cal. He rushed 8 times for 23 yards. I don’t see you posting that stat. And if he averaged all those yards then he must have been getting fat against the crummy defenses, just like everybody else.

    your argument simply sucks pal. move on.

    the conference is better now than 4-5 years ago. And best goes against a great d in usc which bush didn’t do. How much better would bush have done against last year’s usc d?

    Best had better stats than Bush at the same point and he was running behind a line that had 3 starters out to injury. When he puts up 1500 again this year though, you’ll no doubt have a good time chiming in about how much he sucks.

    but good luck to you if cal’s oline holds up this year and they put down usc. b/c if they do you can enjoy being the contrarian about the rb at the heisman ceremony.

    By sikes on Aug 5, 2009

  7. Of course the schedule isn’t Best’s fault. And it’s not his fault that he faced crappy defenses. Playing bad teams is what got him overrated, which is what he and Bush share. But no one can say (except for Jeff Tedford, I guess) that Best is as good right now as Reggie Bush was at USC. Best simply hasn’t done enough, and we would have said the same thing about Bush at this point in his career. Yet he managed to put together an even better season in 2005 and won the Heisman. If Best does that this year, then throw him in the Heisman convo. But a good bowl performance and a lot of needless yards in 2008 don’t warrant anything. Pre-season hype is exactly that.

    By McD on Aug 5, 2009

  8. Guys, no one is saying Jahvid Best isn’t a good running back. Just saying it’s insane to compare him to Reggie Bush at this point in his development. Sorry, it just is. Bush was arguably the most dynamic college football player since Barry Sanders. Best ain’t there yet.

    By Phillips on Aug 5, 2009

  9. OK McD, what does Best have to do this year in your mind to be equal to Bush?

    By J. Edgersuit on Aug 5, 2009

  10. He’s gotta be an every down back, get more than 180 carries, and have at least as many yards as last year. A Doak Walker award or even Heisman finalist wouldn’t hurt either. He’s just got to be the man for Cal, basically, not just a pretty toy for the O to use and then fail on passing downs.

    By McD on Aug 6, 2009

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