Tracking the nation's most outstanding player.
Maxwell Pundit lesson of the week: if you want a lineman of either variety, a linebacker, DB or any other non-ballcarrying member of your team to be considered, make a chart, dude.
1. Adrian Peterson RB, Oklahoma
Herculean until further notice.
2. Calvin Johnson WR, Georgia Tech
His team can scheme him to death, take him for granted, neglect him (six catches, 35 yards combined against Troy and Samford, the kind of stat-padding opportunities embraced by certain other occasionally jaw-dropping receivers), but when it actually throws to him, on television, where any novice can witness the inherent absurdity of not throwing to him at every possible opportunity, there's no way to keep CJ out of this mix.
3. Alan Branch DT, Michigan
Like Brian, SMQ replaces LaMarr Woodley with his massive, havoc-causing partner to the inside on the line where playbooks go to die. As with Woodley, stats mean little once you've watched the sheer disruptive force of the man mountain's nature on every element of opposing offenses. If this must be validated empirically (and with noted but mostly restrained bias), check out the aforementioned Brian's bitchin' chart on the entire Michigan defense. Jumpin' jehosephat indeed, especially when either of his two teammates mentioned below are capable of representing Michigan in this spot their own selves.
Resistance is futile
4. Garrett Wolfe RB, Northern Illinois
Will gradually slip as the competition declines, save an October game with Iowa, but man, the guy's coming in at 207 a game, which is a 2,484-yard pace on nearly nine yards a pop. A large portion of those numbers came against the non-stiffs of Ohio State.
5. Dan Mozes Symbol of Unselfish Dominance, West Virginia
Slaton, White and Schmitt - each held under 4 per carry in a relatively pedestrian 153-yard rushing performance against East Carolina - were hardly dominant for the first time this season, but the team still sits at 6.15 per carry. This is very good.
Statuesque On-the-Go Pocket Passer, Ohio State
Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
LaMarr Woodley, Hybrid of Mass Destruction, Michigan
DeSean Jackson, WR/KR, California
Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
Chris Leak, QB (Passing Division), Florida