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Thursday, July 26, 2012

25 Running Backs for 2012: #10 - #6

Continuing our countdown of the top 25 running backs in 2012 by projected yards, today we break into the top 10. While the last group was characterized by known entities, this group is full of the upwardly mobile. The four on this list that will still be on FBS rosters in the fall are predicted to increase their yardage total by more than 2,000 yards in 2011.

Look here for more on the methodology and motivation.
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10) Cierre Wood - Notre Dame
Stats: 1102 (2011); 1420 (2012 projected)
Only one back coming off a 1,000 yard season is projected to increase his production in 2012 by more than Wood.

9) (Redacted) Marcus Coker - Iowa Stony Brook
Stats: 1384 (2011); 1425 (projected 2012)
I left Coker in to show what might have been. It will not be.

8) Giovani Bernard - North Carolina
Stats: 1253 (2011); 1485 (projected 2012)
The only thing that should-could hold Bernard back this year is a certain UNC coach - Larry Fedora. Considering Southern Miss running backs rushed for more yards than UNC backs last season, I wouldn't worry too much about a Fedora Effect.

7) Kerwynn Williams - Utah St.
Stats: 542 (2011); 1538 (projected 2012)
He's no Robert Turbin, but then again he doesn't have to be. Turbin and Michael Smith have moved on, taking their almost 2,400 rushing yards from 2011 with them. (No FBS team is losing more rushing yards from running backs than the Aggies). Kerwynn Williams will take over one of the nation's most productive backfields from 2011. Williams is the model's breakout back of 2012.

6) Matt Brown - Temple
Stats: 916 (2011); 1547 (projected 2012)
Matt Brown is another of a small handful on this list that are not on another list - the Maxwell Award watch list. After rushing for 916 yards a season ago, Brown will fill in for Bernard Pierce and his 1,491 yards. The only question in my mind is if he can hold up for 1,600 yards despite falling in the freakishly short range.

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