Matt Barkley [QB-USC] Another perfunctory performance for USC, which for Matt Barkley is completing 77 percent of his passes and throwing six touchdown passes. He has done nothing to knock himself off the pedestal. No one has made the claim to replace him. Among quarterbacks who have faced two FBS opponents, he is No. 2 in passer rating.
Geno Smith [QB – West Virginia] He had a bye week last week. The next three opponents are James Madison, Maryland and Baylor. If he is to make a move, it will be in the six weeks following: at Texas, at Texas Tech, Kansas State, TCU, at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma.
De’Anthony Thomas [RB/WR-Oregon] Thomas had 11 touches rushing/receiving for 128 yards and two touchdowns as the Ducks coasted to a 42-25 win. Kelly seems to be saving him for when he is needed. That may not be until Sept. 22 at Arizona.
Jonathan Franklin [RB – UCLA] He went over 200 for the second-straight game. Against Nebraska it took him 26 carries instead of 15. We can assume he wont finish the season averaging 10-plus yards per carry, but he’s running with authority. The inevitable tail-off could still be to really awesome.
[Insert SEC Quarterback Here] Aaron Murray, Tyler Bray and A.J. McCarron are all in the mix right now. None of the three has distinguished himself. Murray has the best raw situation, but has not looked commanding. Bray has the best arm and probably the best receivers, but needs huge numbers and probably a major upset. McCarron has the best chance to be in the national title mix, but may be hampered by Alabama’s power-orientated offense. Should all three perform, all three will siphon votes from each other.
Le’Veon Bell. Bell had 18 carries for 70 yards against Central Michigan. That’s not what worries us. Judging from recent history, a pure power tailback has to put up large numbers to win the Heisman. Michigan State’s offensive line does not help Bell, nor does the passing game which won’t pull any defenders out of the box. He needs around 1,500 yards to shove aside the quarterbacks. We’re not sure he can get there averaging a little above four yards per carry, unless Mark Dantonio wants to ruin his pro career.
T.J. Yeldon. The freshman may be Alabama’s best running back right now, but Nick Saban will make him earn that lead role. With just 17 carries through two games, he’s earning nothing but a place on every All-SEC Freshmen teams.
[Photo via Presswire]