Blog Entry

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 12:59 pm
Over the weekend South Carolina got some devastating news: Star RB Marcus Lattimore was lost for the season with a knee injury. I brought up the point on Twitter that Lattimore, one of the real workhorses in the sport, might be the most valuable non-quarterback in college football. Where would he rank overall?  This week's Top 10 list: most valuable players of the first half of the 2011 season:

1-Robert Griffin III, Baylor QB: Yeah, his numbers have tailed off a bit since his incredible first month, but RG3 has still been phenomenal for what used to be such a dismal Bears program. Griffin has a 22-2 TD-INT ratio and is connecting on over 78 percent of his passes while accounting for, on average, 374 of Baylor's 550 total yards per game. Look at it this way: Griffin has been a franchise talent for this program that has been embroiled in the rough side of the conference realignment stuff. The Bears have spent several weeks in the Top 25 this season, have a shot at making a New Year's Day bowl and have been nationally relevant for more than a month despite having the 100th ranked scoring D in the country.

2-Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB: As advertised, Luck has been brilliant leading this top 10 team as it moves on without Jim Harbaugh. The Cardinal are unbeaten and no one has gotten closer than 26 points from them while they coasted past a bunch of teams that are mediocre at best. As impressive as Luck's passing numbers are: 71 percent completion percentage, 18 TDs, 3 INTs, something else is even more of a head-turner: Stanford lost three of its five starters up front from last year and they still only have surrendered two sacks all season. A lot of that is due to the big QB's guile and grasp of the offense. Luck makes it all look so easy.

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3-Trent Richardson, Alabama, RB: The current top guy on my Heisman list, Richardson has a better supporting cast than anyone out there. With as devastating as the Tide's defense is this season, Bama could be a top 25 team just with average talent on offense. But it's Richardson who makes the Tide such a force on this side of the ball too. He is a bruising back with outstanding speed and now everyone knows about how slick his moves are after the number he did on Ole Miss last week. Richardson is the engine of the Tide offense, which had to replace, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and QB Greg McElroy. Despite all of that turnover, Bama is actually still leading the SEC in scoring (39 ppg) and averaging almost six points more than it was at this point last year.

4-Denard Robinson, Michigan, QB: Last year at this time Robinson's act felt like a phenomenon. We've almost gotten used to it, but he is still arguably the most exciting player in college football. Robinson's performance in an amazing comeback win over Notre Dame in September was one for the ages. The Wolverines are much better on D this year, but actually not quite as prolific on offense. Robinson's passing game has regressed a bit from last year, but the load he carries is still remarkable. He is accounting for 312 of Michigan's 451 total yards of offense (69 percent). 

5-Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, RB: The SEC has a couple of great tailbacks. Whether Lattimore is actually better than Trent Richardson is debatable, but the loss of the star back on Steve Spurrier's team figures to be huge. Lattimore wasn't just a great physical runner, he also was a very capable receiver and the guy who kept the Gamecocks offense going.

6-Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, QB: The NC State transfer has fit into Badger football beautifully, taking this program to a new level. Wilson leads the country in passing efficiency and has thrown 14 TDs against just one INT. As the schedule picks up, Wilson's worth figures to continue to increase.

7-Kellen Moore, Boise State, QB: His yards per attempt and passing efficiency rating are slightly down from last year. Then again, he did have to replace two superb receivers, but Moore has still been his usual outstanding self, completing 76 percent of his passes for the Boise State powerhouse that looks like the safest bet in college football to run the table this fall.

8-Tyrann Mathieu, LSU,  CB/SLB/PR: The Honey Badger is the star of the dominating LSU D, lining up all over the field, blitzing, dropping, playing man, flying in for tackles while trying to rip the ball free. He just has a real knack for making big, momentum-swinging plays. The 5-9, 180-pound Mathieu leads the Tigers in solo tackles (29); forced fumbles (four), fumble recoveries (three) and is tied for second in INTs (two) and for third in TFLs (five).

9-Devon Still, Penn State, DT: A few years back Nittany Lion D-lineman Jared Odrick was such a handful for rival offenses that he won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. Still is playing at that level and might be in line for similar honors if he can keep this up. The Nittany Lions are No. 6 in the country in scoring defense with Still anchoring their front and barreling his way into the other team's backfields consistently. Stats often can't truly measure a lineman's merits, but Still makes more than his share of plays besides the ones he creates for teammates. His 10 TFLs are among the nation's leaders and his play on a good defense has enabled PSU to go 6-1 in spite of a dreadful offense, ranked 96th in the nation.

10 (tie)- Sammy Watkins, Clemson, WR-KR: The most spectacular freshman in football, Watkins' worth was evident last weekend when he turned in big play after big play to bail the Tigers out of a tight situation as they rallied to overtake Maryland. In that game he set a school-record with 345 all-purpose yards. On the season, he already has five plays of 60 yards or longer.

10 (tie) Robert Woods, USC, WR-KR: The Trojan offense has sputtered quite a bit this fall, but Woods is the one USC player who consistently looks like the kind of stud that this program had when it was competing for BCS titles. Woods is on pace for 120 catches and almost 1600 yards receiving for a team that is 5-1, but might only be .500 if it weren't for the sophomore wideout.


Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: October 27, 2011 2:07 am

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

"The current top guy on my Heisman list"

Then why is he your #3 MVP?  If Griffin is #1, he should be your Heisman guy.

"Richardson is the engine of the Tide offense, which had to replace, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and QB Greg McElroy."

Replacing Ingram is difficult, but Richardson was never any worse than Ingram at any time during their time together at Bama.  Replacing Jones isn't as difficult as it sounds, and replacing McElroy is easy.

Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: October 25, 2011 6:54 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

No Case Keenum?? What's he have to do-Lots of yards-lots of TD's-few intercetions-high completion %-high yds per attempt-OH and his team is undeafted-it's absolutely ridiculous to have a top ten and not have Keenums name there

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:23 am

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

The Denard Heisman watch is officially over.

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:12 am

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

Denard Robinson showed his true colors, again, in the loss to MSU. Once again, he is NOT good, he just so happpens to be able to run circles around less than average teams. MSU stopped him, and injured him? just like last year, he got injured every game he played a half decent defense. He is worse than J-Russel!

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:40 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

David Wilson Not on this list? He's third in the Nation in running, and is still managing over 100 yards a game when opposing teams are stacking the box every down.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:08 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

Where is Russell Wilson?  6th on the author's list

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:52 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

Russell Wilson.....hello whre is he!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:37 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

Were is La Mike James on this list?  Rushing for more then 200 yard three games in a row.  Leading FBS in yards per game.  Leading FBS in total yards per game.  More then 9 yards a carry.  Should I keep going?  Luck is good but D Thomas's numbers are just as good or better against better teams.  It's all about the media and who looks good on a poster. 
He's no doubt a good back. But it may have something to do with getting roughly 300-400 of his yards in 4th Q scrub time. While he is still racking it up ... Saban pulls guys like Ingram and Richardson. Maybe it's cause he rushed for 3 yards a carry against a real defense. Only time will tell though, a lot of season left ... and the Ducks will defintely get him his stats ...

Since: Oct 18, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

I totally agree.  Luck is the perfect NFL type QB.  Best football player in college??.. No. Coming up he has USC, Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington and a very good Cal defense.  Then we can circle the wagons around his heisman trophy.  I bet if Oregon beat LSU we would all be talking how James was the best player in the FSB.  The truth is its way to early in the season to start handing out or even predicting awards.  Let the season play out then we will see.

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:54 pm

Tuesday Top 10: MVPs of the season's first half

Wiliam Gholston...lived up to pro-combat.

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