2011. Book it.
Communist Football's Almanack - Bye Week Edition
This week's edition of the Almanack is abbreviated, since none of Denard's stats have changed. You can view the post-Iowa edition here.
This edition includes an updated version of the 1000/1000 Club table, since both Cam Newton and Taylor Martinez played last week. Also, I've included a table of the NCAA FBS leaders in rushing yardage.
Week in Review: Cameron Crazies
Well, the Cam Newton hype machine is in full gear after he threw for 86 yards (10-16, 0 TD, 0 INT, 107.7 rating) and ran for 217 (7.8 YPC) against No. 6 LSU. Now that Auburn is #1 in the BCS rankings, many will consider him the best player on the nation's best team (this week): a lazy but easy way to pick a Heisman leader. Cam's a good player, but I maintain that if Auburn's defense played for Michigan, and vice versa, we wouldn't even be debating whether Cam or Denard should win the Heisman.
Taylor Martinez dropped off of everyone's radar after the loss to Texas, but he rebounded last week in a 51-41 win over Oklahoma State, in which he threw for 323 yards (23-35, 5 TD, 0 INT, 190.4 rating) and ran for 112 (5.9 YPC).
Colin Kaepernick had the week off.
Record of the Week: Quarterbacks as NCAA Rushing Champions
The quarterback position has evolved significantly over the course of football history. The forward pass was only formally legalized in 1906. From the 1910s until the 1950s, the most common college football formation was Pop Warner's single-wing, in which the quarterback's role was primarily as a blocker, and most passes were thrown by a tailback or halfback. The idea of a quarterback as the primary passer began to take hold after World War II, when coaches such as Clark Shaughnessy at Chicago and Stanford and Paul Brown at Ohio State took advantage of a recently redesigned football that was easier to throw, and married the ancient T formation to the threat of longer passes downfield.
Having said that, a quarterback has never led the NCAA FBS in rushing yards over a single season. In 1937, the first year in which the NCAA kept official football statistics, Colorado halfback Byron "Whizzer" White led the nation in rushing with 1,121 yards, along with 475 passing yards. (If that wasn't enough, White also went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, played in the NFL for Pittsburgh and Detroit, served in World War II during which he was awarded two Bronze Stars, came back and graduated from Yale Law School, and was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the Supreme Court of the United States.)
This year, Denard is poised to become the first quarterback in history to finish the season as the NCAA rushing champion. He currently has gained 1,096 yards on the ground. Cam Newton, having played one extra game, is in second place with 1,077 yards. On a yards-per-game basis, LaMichael James of Oregon is in first place with 161.8 (Denard has 156.6 and Newton 134.6). Personally, I find the YPG statistic to be arbitrary: should Denard be punished because the Bowling Green game was a rout, and LaMichael James benefit because he was suspended for one game for pleading guilty to harrassing his ex-girlfriend?
The November 26 Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn will have significant implications for the rushing standings. If Auburn wins that game and ends up atop the SEC West, Cam Newton will play in the SEC championship game, and thereby have an extra game to pad his stats. Here are the top 15 rushers in the country, sorted by yards gained:
|Kendall Hunter||Oklahoma St.||161||1,031||6.40||7||147.3||12|
|Daniel Thomas||Kansas St.||167||895||5.36||7||127.9||9|
|Chad Spann||No. Illinois||160||854||5.34||8||108.8||12|
|Ronnie Hillman||San Diego St.||136||849||6.24||7||121.3||11|
|Bobby Rainey||W. Kentucky||175||838||4.79||7||119.7||7|
|Edwin Baker||Michigan St.||115||779||6.77||8||97.4||7|
* - LaMichael James was suspended for Oregon's first game against New Mexico for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
The 1000/1000 Club
There are 31 quarterbacks (and one halfback, Johnny Bright of Drake) in FBS who have run and thrown for 1000 yards in the same season. Of these, none have both run and passed for 1500 yards (the rushing record for QBs is 1,223).
Seven quarterbacks have achieved this milestone multiple times: Brad Smith (thrice), Colin Kaepernick (twice and counting), Vince Young (twice), Pat White (twice), Beau Morgan (twice), Joe Webb (twice), and Joshua Cribbs (twice). Only two people have joined the 1000/1000 club as freshmen: Brad Smith of Missouri, and Joshua Cribbs of Kent State. Air Force leads the overall list with five different QBs, in six different seasons, in the 1000/1000 club. (It is interesting that an instrument of American capitalist imperialism, the U.S. Air Force Academy, is the premier exponent of Communist Football.)
Denard joined the 1000/1000 club on his first drive against Iowa. If he stays healthy, he should easily become the first member of the 1500/1500 club. Cam Newton is also on track to join the 1500/1500 club (he projects to 1,616 rushing yards and 2,046 passing over 12 games).
The list below of 1000/1000 members is sorted by rushing yards.
|Dilithium (on pace for)||MICH||2010||1,879||2,261||4,140|
|Newton (on pace for)||Auburn||2010||1,616||2,046||3,662|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1996||1,494||1,210||2,704|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2007||1,335||1,724||3,059|
|Dee Dowis||Air Force||1989||1,286||1,285||2,571|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1995||1,285||1,165||2,450|
|Antwaan Randle El*||Indiana||2000||1,270||1,783||3,053|
|Johnny Bright (HB)||Drake||1950||1,232||1,168||2,400|
|Chance Herridge||Air Force||2002||1,229||1,062||2,291|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2006||1,219||1,655||2,874|
|Keith Boyea||Air Force||2001||1,216||1,253||2,469|
|Dwight Dasher||Middle Tenn.||2009||1,154||2,789||3,943|
|Dan LeFevour||Central Mich.||2007||1,122||3,652||4,774|
|Joshua Cribbs||Kent State||2002||1,057||1,014||2,071|
|Josh Nesbitt||Ga. Tech||2009||1,037||1,701||2,738|
|Bart Weiss||Air Force||1985||1,032||1,449||2,481|
|Ell Roberson||Kansas St.||2002||1,032||1,580||2,612|
|Brad Smith (Fr.)||Missouri||2002||1,029||2,333||3,362|
|Joshua Cribbs (Fr.)||Kent State||2001||1,019||1,516||2,535|
|Reggie Collier||So. Miss.||1981||1,005||1,004||2,009|
* Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback
- Wins are more important than stats. The existence of this diary is not meant to imply that individual achievement is more important than the achievement of the team. It is, instead, to pay tribute to Denard's exceptional individual achievement within the context of a (hopefully) successful team. With a few minor exceptions, Denard's stats don't come at the expense of the team: when he rushes for 250 yards or has a QB rating of 270, the team is usually doing well. If you object to this point of view, you don't have to read further.
- Past performance is not a predictor of future results. To the degree I describe end-of-season projections for Denard, I do so simply, rather than Mathletically: (current total) * (12-game season) / (games played to date). Clearly, we are playing better defenses in the second half of the year than we did in the first, and this should be taken into account when reading these end-year projections.
- Projections are for a 12-game season. Beginning in 2002, the NCAA revised its single-season and career records to include postseason games. If Michigan becomes bowl-eligible, and thereby adds a 13th game to its schedule, this would significantly enhance Denard's impact on the record books. If and when Michigan wins its sixth game this year, I will revise all projections accordingly.
- The record books are murky from 1869 to 1937. Something to keep in mind is that the record books don't actually go back that far in time. At the national level, official statistics have only been recorded since 1937: a mere 52 percent of college football's history. It's not clear how rigorously school, conference, and national collegiate records were kept before then. (College football has been around since 1869.) One has to assume that Fielding Yost's point-a-minute teams would have harbored some record-producing players, though the game was quite different then, as noted above. So, to be as precise as possible, we should describe all of these records as modern-era, postwar records.
- Post-1978 records are for Division I-A only. Let me note that all the records here are for Division I-A (FBS), but do include all Division I records prior to the I-A / I-AA split in 1978. I don't really care about who did what in the other divisions, given the inferior level of competition. Personally, I would prefer to eliminate the non-automatically qualifying BCS conferences, but since the NCAA doesn't do that, I won't.
Thanks to tf (Michigan rushing single-game record) and danieljpaul (Denard's season totals) for corrections. H/T to tubauberalles and enlightenedbum for tracking down the FBS single-game QB rushing record. Raoul and UM in VA persuaded me to post the total offense numbers, and pointed out Denard's ridiculous per-play stats, which I also added to the diary. Trebor pointed out that we should keep an eye on the impressive seasons of Taylor Martinez and Cam Newton.
It could even happen this year.
Please let it happen! Although, should he not play all 4 quarters, let's assume it's because we're up BIG and not because he got banged up.
I'm not so sure. I think Denard will have fewer carries next year as our tailbacks improve.
that Western Kentucky has 2 players by the same name, both putting up IDENTICAL stats?!?!?!?! Denard could go 3000/3000 and I would find this stat more unbelievable!
Thanks for catching that. That was supposed to be Edwin Baker of MSU in 15th place. +1 for the correction.