Who Has Been College Football’s Best Player This Season?
Alabama’s Richardson, Stanford’s Luck and Wisconsin’s Wilson lead the candidates.
By: Patrick Snow | 10/17/11, 4:23 PM EDT
There seems to be a constant debate in the college football world over the best player in the country. Is it the best performer on a top team, the player with the best statistics, or the best pro prospect? Much of this season’s conversation has centered on the quarterbacks, with Andrew Luck of Stanford, Russell Wilson of Wisconsin and Robert Griffin III of Baylor leading the way. You also have to include Kellen Moore of Boise State among the top signal callers, and the Big 12 quarterback-receiver tandems of Brandon Weeden-Justin Blackmon at Oklahoma State and Landry Jones-Ryan Broyles at Oklahoma have been excellent as well. With unfortunate injuries to LaMichael James of Oregon and Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina, Trent Richardson of Alabama has moved to the top of the running back class. And we should also mention the play of defenders like LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, Penn State’s Devon Still and Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw.
At the halfway point, who has been college football’s best player?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
The real test for Alabama this season will be on Nov. 5 against LSU, but running back Trent Richardson has been one of the top players, if not No. 1, through the first seven weeks of year. Richardson has rushed for 100 yards in six straight games and is just 88 away from reaching 1,000. The junior has already compiled 15 rushing scores and factored into the passing attack, catching 15 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. Richardson has also shined in Alabama’s toughest games, rushing for 181 yards and two touchdowns against a good Florida defense and 126 yards against Arkansas. Even though AJ McCarron has made big progress this year, Alabama's offense will continue to flow through Richardson. Opponents will continue to crowd the box in an effort to stop the junior back, but so far, it hasn't worked. As long as Richardson continues to churn out yards, and the Crimson Tide’s defense plays at its current level, it’s going to be tough for any team to beat Alabama this year.
Chris Childers – Sirius XM Radio (@ChildersRadio)
Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson is the best player in college football. Wilson took over the reins of a really good football team and has made them elite. The senior has passed for over 1,500 yards has 14 touchdown passes and only 1 interception in Wisconsin's first six games. Wilson's passing ability mixed in with a powerful run game truly makes the Badgers one of the nation's best.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
Wisconsin's Russell Wilson and Baylor's Robert Griffin III might be the most valuable players in the nation. Trent Richardson is - after this jaw-dropping run against Ole Miss - proving that he is the best back in the nation (especially, now that Marcus Lattimore is out). However, it is hard for me not to say that the best player in the nation, Stanford's Andrew Luck, isn't still the best player in the nation. The Cardinal own the nation's longest winning streak (14) and are winning games by an average of 34.6 points per game this season. Luck is third nationally in passer efficiency (180.55), has thrown for 1,719 yards, 18 touchdowns, only three interceptions, rushed for 60 yards and another score and made a one-handed reception down the sideline. He is simply the best.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
I would say Robert Griffin III of Baylor at this point of the season. He has been stellar this year and does not have quite the same supporting cast as Luck, Wilson and Richardson. Griffin has completed an amazing 78% of his passes for 1,950 yards. He has tossed 22 touchdowns against only two interceptions while also adding 295 yards and two scores on the ground. With Stanford’s schedule so backloaded, we really have not seen Luck have to face a quality defense. The same applies to Russell Wilson at Wisconsin, especially with Nebraska’s defense being down. I expect Luck to be the man at the end of the season, but for now I’ll go with the tour de force that is RG3.
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