McMurphy's Law: The Rush Is On
Urban Meyer has won two BCS national championships. In fact, he was the seventh coach to win a national title by his second season at a school. He's also coached a Heisman Trophy winner, a No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and, perhaps, an occasional player that may have had some legal issues.
However, for all of his accomplishments, including a three-time selection as national coach of the year, there is one thing Meyer has not accomplished in his 10 seasons as a head coach: he's never coached a 1,000-yard rusher.
In two seasons each at Bowling Green and Utah and in his sixth season at Florida, Meyer hasn't had a 1,000-yard rusher. However, that isn't that uncommon in college football these days.
In fact as the spread offenses spread throughout the nation and passing offenses become more and more prevalent the 1,000-yard rusher – even with teams playing 13 or 14 games – is becoming an oddity.
Entering this season, only five of the 120 FBS schools had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the past five seasons – the longest current streaks. Of the five – Oregon State, Wisconsin, Penn State, West Virginia and BYU – only Oregon State has a 1,000-yard rusher so far this season.
Jacquizz Rodgers (above) has 1,021 yards, giving Oregon State a national-best six consecutive seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher.
The other four teams could extend their streaks to six consecutive years with a 1,000-yard rusher, but still have some work remaining.
Wisconsin and West Virginia have the best chances. The Badgers have running backs John Clay (929 yards) and James White (895 yards) within striking distance with two games remaining, while West Virginia's Noel Devine has 828 yards, but has three games remaining to reach 1,000.
Penn State's Evan Royster (831 yards) and BYU's J.J. DiLuigi (805 yards) each will need to finish strong if the Nittany Lions and Cougars are to extend their streak of 1,000-yard rushers.
While Oregon State has the longest streak of consecutive seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher, Hawaii is about to complete its 18th consecutive season without a 1,000-yard rusher. That's probably not a shocker, considering the Warriors' offensive philosophy through the past two decades.
Hawaii might have to wait another season for the possibility of a 1,000-yard rusher, but three long droughts were ended this year. South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore has rushed for 1,066 yards, marking the Gamecocks' first 1,000-yard back in 10 years. Also Baylor's Jay Finley (1,155 yards) and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman (1,152 yards) each ended their respective school's seven-year streak without a 1,000-yard rusher.
Here are the current longest FBS streaks without a 1,000-yard rusher, with the last season each school had a 1,000-yard rusher.
1996 Florida State
1997 North Carolina
1998 Texas Tech
2002 N.C. State
2003 Eastern Michigan
2003 Texas A&M
Of the teams listed above, TCU's seven-year drought should end early in the first quarter Saturday of TCU's game with New Mexico since Ed Wesley needs only 12 yards to reach 1,000.
Also, Texas A&M's Cyrus Gray is within reach of ending the Aggies' drought. Gray has 810 yards, but is averaging 123 yards in his past five games, with two games remaining. Miami's Damien Berry needs 190 yards in his final two games to end the Hurricanes' drought. They haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Willis McGahee in 2002.
The Invisible Man: 'Single, Ready to Mingle'
Since the allegations surfaced about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and his father, Cecil, the Tigers' Heisman Trophy front-runner has rarely been made available to the media.
However, EagleEyeTV.com got an exclusive interview with Newton after the Tigers defeated Georgia on Nov. 13. The 12-minute, 31- second interview was posted last Wednesday.
Predictably, there were no questions about the allegations or even his Heisman chances. However, Newton did share some insight into his personality such as which super power he would want, his favorite meal and whether he has a girlfriend.
Here are a few of the questions Newton answered:
If you could have one super power what would it be?
"It would be to be invisible. Probably invisible."
Why do you wear the No. 2?
"I'm my mother's second son. I'm the second of three. I'm the middle child."
Are you dating anyone?
"Single and ready to mingle."
"Jackie Newton's (his mom) pork chops."
How his teeth are so white?
"I try to floss as much as I can."
If you couldn't play football, what would you do?
"I love little kids. Anytime I'm in presence of adolescent or some sort of child, I feel at ease – their innocent and genuine in the heart. They don't know better than to tell the truth. I'd probably be doing something (in the) community with kids or probably trying to pursue my dream of becoming a daycare center owner. Between them and old people, they will let you know (the truth), that's why I love them."
Speaking of old people and telling the truth, former Auburn coach Pat Dye said Monday night at the Macon (Ga.) Touchdown Club he was ready to give his version of the Newton situation. However, when he asked if there were any media members in the audience and there were four or five, he changed his tune.
"Are you gonna write what I say?" he said as reported by Macon.com. "If you are, I'm not gonna say it. All you got to say is. 'I won't write what you say.' These people pay their money to come to this club to hear what the guy says, and some of us up here will tell it like it is, but we don't like to read about it in the paper the next day."
Dye earlier did say: "I do know this: Jay Jacobs and Gene Chizik have unquestioned character and integrity. And if they're playing him, they don't know anything either or any reason not to play him."
Later on, Dye teased the audience of what he could have said adding he would "reserve my right to not say what I was going to tell you, but it was some damn good stuff."
Buckeye Calls Out Fake Buckeye
After leading Ohio State to a come-from-behind victory at Iowa Saturday, quarterback Terrelle Pryor was candid, thoughtful, honest and fairly easy-going in his interviews with the media after the game.
I was among a dozen or so reporters who interviewed Pryor following the 20-17 victory. After his interview with the group of reporters, Pryor conducted a one-on-one television interview in a hallway in which he revealed this scoop: he didn't know if would be eating turkey for Thanksgiving!
But shortly after his media obligations were completed, somewhere on the return to Columbus, Pryor finally opened up and expressed his true feelings – on Twitter – blasting the "haters" along with a former Buckeye quarterback.
On his Twitter account – Twitter.com/Tpeezy2 – Pryor first wrote: "Talk is cheap none of you haters could fit my shoes w ten socks on. Bums. Go Bucks."
Later on Twitter, he blasted ESPN personality and former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit: "Heard Kirk Herbstreit was dogging us. He a fake buckeye. Fake as hell."
Pryor did remove that Tweet and replaced it simply with "Fake Buckeye."
Why God Wants A College Football Playoff
Still need more evidence that college football needs a playoff. Then consider this: only 64 of 70 teams are bowl eligible, meaning six more teams must get to 6-6. Get it: six teams for 6-6 – or 666 – the sign of the devil!
There, I've finally proven once and for all that college football should have a playoff.
The good news for the folks in the bowl blazers is that there should be an abundance of bowl eligible teams. Before the season, there was a real concern that some 5-7 teams might go bowling because there wouldn't be enough 6-6 or better teams to fill the 35 bowls.
With two weeks remaining, the conferences with the most teams still trying to reach bowl eligibility are the Pac-10 and Sun Belt.
There are five teams each in Pac-10 and Sun Belt still mathematically alive, but only three could get to six wins in the Pac-10 and only four could reach six wins in the Sun Belt because they play each other.
In all, there are 21 teams that mathematically can become bowl eligible. So if your Christmas wish is to watch a 5-7 team actually play in a bowl, then root against the teams listed below in their remaining games.
Cincinnati (4-6) at UConn, vs. Pittsburgh
Louisville (5-6) at Rutgers
Rutgers (4-6) vs. Louisville, at West Virginia
Colorado (5-6) at Nebraska
Texas (5-6) vs. Texas A&M
Houston (5-6) at Texas Tech
Western Michigan (5-6) at Bowling Green
Oregon State (4-6) at Stanford, vs. Oregon
Washington (4-6) at California, at Washington State
Arizona State (4-6) vs. UCLA, at Arizona
UCLA (4-6) at Arizona State, vs. USC
California (5-6) vs. Washington
Georgia (5-6) vs. Georgia Tech
Tennessee (5-6) vs. Kentucky
FIU (5-5) vs. Arkansas State, vs. Middle Tennessee
Troy (5-5) vs. Western Kentucky, at Florida Atlantic
Louisiana Monroe (5-6) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Middle Tennessee (4-6) vs. Florida Atlantic, at Florida International
Florida Atlantic (4-6) at Middle Tennessee, vs. Troy
Louisiana Tech (4-6) at San Jose State, vs. Nevada
Idaho (5-6) at Fresno State, vs. San Jose State
What Caught My Eye
Just like any high school senior knows when lining up a prom date, don't ask unless you know they'll say yes. Well, apparently Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson forgot that rule -- or never learned it -- when courting college football programs to join his league. On Monday, North Texas told the WAC thanks, but no thanks, opting to remain in the Sun Belt. North Texas is the second program to turn down the WAC along with FCS member Montana.
With Leslie Frazier replacing Brad Childress with the Minnesota Vikings, Rice nearly has as many fathers of Rice players as NFL head coaches (two) as the Owls have wins (three) this season. Corey Frazier, the son of Leslie Frazier, is a starting safety and the Owls' leading tackler, while Klein Kubiak, the son of Houston Texans' coach Gary Kubiak, started at wide receiver for Rice last week.
When Colorado joins the Pac-12 next season, Rick Neuheisel and Dennis Erickson will share a rare distinction. If still employed next season, both coaches will have been head coaches at three schools all within the Pac-12 – Neuheisel at Colorado, Washington and UCLA and Erickson at Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State.
And Now for Steve Hill's View of the College Football World
Brett McMurphy is a national college football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or please follow at Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY