Share this article

print logo

When assessing coming season, it all comes down to Luck Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the leading man for a talented cast of collegians

The Runners

UConn's Jordan Todman and Illini's Mikel Leshoure left early, but talent abounds.

1. LaMichael James, Oregon -- Could repeat as nation's rushing leader.

2. Trent Richardson, Alabama -- Ball is his now that Mark Ingram is in NFL.

3. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina -- Dual threat was SEC Freshman of the Year.

4. Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky -- Third in nation in rushing as a junior.

5. Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati -- Runs, catches and has 4.41 speed.


Will the Bills still be in the market in April? Here are five whom NFL scouts will watch

1. Andrew Luck, Stanford -- You don't have to go to BYU to be on a mission. Passed on NFL millions to stay another year.

2. Matt Barkley, USC -- Decent size, good arm. But don't SoCal QBs come with red flags?

3. Landry Jones, Oklahoma -- Tall (6-foot-4), lean (218) and has showed great maturity since first starting for injured Sam Bradford as a frosh.

4. Nick Foles, Arizona -- Hails from Austin, Texas, and played freshman year at Michigan State. An imposing 6-5, 240.

5. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State -- Classic pocket thrower with excellent field presence.

Heisman hopefuls

Time to round up the usual suspects.

1. Luck, QB, Stanford: Andrew's runner-up finish behind Cam Newton was Stanford's second straight (Toby Gerhart in '10).

2. James, RB, Oregon: Third in last year's voting. Could overtake Luck if Ducks top Cardinal in conference.

3. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Electric. But are Bears good enough to make him relevant to discussion?

4. Jones, QB, Oklahoma: Texas game Oct. 8 could be pivotal to chances.

5. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan: Second in nation in total offense as a sophomore and only four of 12 games this year on road.

Championship Sleepers

Note: Almost no one's a sleeper out of the SEC.

1. TCU -- BCS deck stacked against it but beating Wisconsin in Rose Bowl was further validation.

2. Missouri -- Blaine Gabbert is gone but James Franklin takes over experienced squad.

3. Virginia Tech -- Again the class of downtrodden ACC.

4. Wisconsin -- Punishing running game, steady defense.

5. Oklahoma State -- Another explosive team in an explosive conference.

Compass Points

It's not your father's college football landscape.

1. Nebraska has joined the 12-team Big Ten.

2. The departure of Nebraska and Colorado reduced the Big 12 to 10. Name trade?

3. Utah and Colorado have turned the Pacific-10 into the renamed Pacific-12.

4. Utah's exit turns the Mountain West into an eight-team molehill.

5. Be prepared for more movement as the big get bigger.

Top Games

1. TCU at Baylor (Sept. 2) -- Dynamite matchup between Horned Frogs' "D' and QB RGIII.

2. LSU at Oregon (Sept. 3) -- Somebody starts behind the 8-ball.

3. LSU at Alabama (Nov. 5) -- Could determine the SEC West.

4. Oregon at Stanford (Nov. 12) -- Heisman showcase?

5. Oklahoma at Oklahoma St. (Dec. 3) -- Heisman showcase II?

Numbers crunch

28 -- Penn State's winning streak against Temple, the nation's longest against one opponent.

32 -- Number of years since Florida State's had a losing season.

15 -- Winning streak. Auburn hasn't lost since day after Thanksgiving 2009.

3-4 -- Rank of MAC mates Bowling Green (8) and UB (7) on list of longest active losing streaks.

12 -- Number of consecutive games Oklahoma St. WR Justin Blackmon has had 100 yards receiving
and a TD, an NCAA record.

Pass the Turnovers

New MAC coaches this year and their previous teams

1. Steve Addazio, Temple (Florida offensive coordinator)

2. Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois (Wisconsin defensive coordinator)

3. Darrell Hazell, Kent State (Ohio State assistant)

4. Pete Lembo, Ball State (head coach Elon)

5. Don Treadwell, Miami (Michigan St. offensive coordinator)

On the Hot Seat

Coaches close to wearing out their welcome

1. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss -- No room for error after four-win season.

2. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA -- Promised return to glory hasn't materialized.

3. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State -- Season's set up for success and it had better materialize.

4. Mike Locksley, New Mexico -- Two wins in two years. Enough said.

5. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest -- Eight wins the last two seasons, just three last year.

'Tis Better to Receive

MAC wideouts on Biletnikoff Watch List

1. Nick Harwell, Miami

2. Kamar Jorden, Bowling Green

3. Eric Page, Toledo

4. Jordan White, Western Michigan

5. Cody Wilson, Central Michigan.