- Jordan Lynch, NIU (190.1 NEPA; .384 NEPA per play)
2582 passing yards, 1504 rushing yards, 38 total TD, 4 INT
MAC football is fun this year. No, it might not be the greatest conference in the land, and no, these teams probably wouldn't win the SEC or Big Ten. That's not the point. The point is that the MAC is fun. Jordan Lynch is a major reason why. On Wednesday, in what was basically the MAC West title game, Lynch passed for 407 yards and 3 TD - and ran for 162 - in the 31-24 win. The guy is pretty much single-handedly winning the conference by himself. According to NEPA, Lynch's performance was over 20 points better than the average player. As someone who looks at NEPA on a regular basis, I can tell you that anything over 20 is extremely good. Now, here's the kicker - it was only his 5th best game of the year. I'm not saying Lynch should definitely win the Heisman, but he definitely should be in the conversation, and it's a shame he's not.
Fun Fact: Lynch is averaging over 60 yards per punt this season.
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (177.3; .335)
3047 passing yards, 1114 rushing yards, 38 total TD, 7 INT
Manziel had an under-the-radar but typical Johnny Football kind of game - 267 passing, 100 rushing, 5 TDs - but against Sam Houston State, it's easy to overlook. The thing is, Manziel has been making almost every team this year look like Sam Houston State. It's the 7th game in which he has topped 20 NEPA, and were it not for his awful showing against LSU, he'd be running away with the lead here.
Fun Fact: Manziel is the only player, freshman or any other class, in SEC history, with over 3000 passing yards and 1000 rushing yards in a season. In fact, he's only the 5th player period to accomplish it.
- Tajh Boyd, Clemson (174.5; .361)
3367 passing yards, 466 rushing yards, 41 total TD, 11 INT
Boyd is peaking at the right time when it comes to Heisman voters. Unfortunately, he won't have an ACC title game to pad his stats, but if he performs against South Carolina the way he did against NC State, he might not need one. Against NC State this weekend, Boyd had a ridiculous 31.5 NEPA. 426 passing yards, 103 rushing, and 8 total TDs accounted for. He hasn't had a below average game once this year. That's something neither player ahead of him can boast.
Fun Fact: Boyd's 8 TDs established a new ACC record.
- Nick Florence, Baylor (155.9; .346)
3429 passing yards, 409 rushing yards, 34 total TD, 13 INT
A date of mine once made me watch the film 27 Dresses. In it, Katherine Heigl is quite literally always the bridesmaid, never the bride. She has many friends marry and come and go, but she's always there, the one constant of these weddings standing near center-stage each weekend. It's a delightfully formulaic and predictable film. Nick Florence is NEPA's bridesmaid. He's been in the top 5 seemingly all season. He watches other QBs come and go, but he's the one constant, each weekend finishing near the top but never #1. In the movie, Heigl's character finds love in the most unexpected place (unless you were watching the movie or had seen the preview, in which it was the most expected place whatsoever, but I digress). Florence may have not gotten his dream wedding, but knocking off the #1 team in the country is his unexpected fairy tale ending. Yes, I just compared beating Kansas State to falling in love with James Marsden.
Fun Fact: I remembered all those plot details without any internet research.
- Seth Doege, Texas Tech (151.8; .311)
3575 passing yards, -19 rushing yards, 30 receiving yards, 35 total TD, 11 INT
Doege (pronounced DAY-ghee) had his 2nd worst game of the year this week in the loss to OSU. Regardless, he's done such a good job beating up on bad defenses he remains in the top 10. Doege (pronounced Dojjh) is a product of his system, sure, but who isn't?
Fun Fact 1: After an INT early in summer camp, Tommy Tuberville tried to remove Doege (pronounced Dodge) from a game, but was unable to rip his helmet off his head, and Doege (pronounced Dog) has remained the starter ever since.
Fun Fact 2: Nothing about Fun Fact 1 was, in fact, factual.
- Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech (146.9; .287)
3679 passing yards, 182 rushing yards, 31 TD, 2 INT
Cameron threw his first 2 INTs of the year on Saturday, snapping an NCAA record 444 attempt streak without an INT.
- Collin Klein, Kansas State (143.5; .338)
2306 passing yards, 787 rushing yards, 34 TD, 6 INT
Klein became the only player in NCAA history with multiple seasons of 10+ TD passes and 20+ TD rushes. The only other players to do it once? Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, and Eric Crouch.
- Marcus Mariota, Oregon (140.2; .369)
2371 passing yards, 607 yards from scrimmage, 33 TD, 6 INT
Mariota looked oddly human in the OT loss to Stanford, just one week after piling up over 30 NEPA against California.
- Cody Fajardo, Nevada (140.1; .305)
2327 passing yards, 900 rushing yards, 27 TD, 7 INT
A drumbeat of consistency, Fajardo has topped 20 NEPA just once this year but has never dipped into negative territory.
- David Fales, San Jose State (139.4; .341)
3431 passing yards, -130 rushing yards, 28 TD, 8 INT
Fales has been more productive on actual passes than any QB in the country this year (180 NEPA). Unfortunately, he gets sacked a lot, leading to a loss of over 40 NEPA on sacks alone.
- Dri Archer, Kent State (93.9; .546)
1684 yards from scrimmage, 18 TD, 37.3 yards per KR, 3 KR TD, 24 passing yards, 1 TD pass
Archer takes the lead thanks to his 17 carry, 241 yard, 2 TD game against a solid Bowling Green defense. He had 2 runs of over 70 yards, which helped his NCAA leading 10.3 ypc average. The guy just does it all. If Jordan Lynch is reason #1 to watch the MAC this year, Dri Archer is a close 2nd. I should note that KR stats are not factored into Archer's NEPA. If they were, he'd be running away with this thing. If all that isn't enough, consider this - Archer is the only RB who has not had a single below average performance in a game this season.
- Kenjon Barner, Oregon (76.0; .309)
1658 yards from scrimmage, 20 TD
Barner didn't have a good week, for the 2nd straight week, but he remains near the top thanks largely to his monumental game against USC (25.9).
- Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech (68.3; .333)
1196 yards from scrimmage, 27 TD
Dixon extends his Freshman record for scoring, and had a decent game against Utah State, despite the loss.
- Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (63.8; .307)
1523 yards from scrimmage, 16 TD, 2 KR TD
The sophomore has established himself as the best ground weapon in the ACC by being consistently above-average, though rarely great.
- Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona (63.4; .221)
1874 yards from scrimmage, 20 TD
Carey leads the country in both rushing and combined yardage, but Carey has had two types of games this year: Wow (Oregon State, Stanford, and his masterpiece against Colorado) and Meh (every other game). The Mehs have it.
Fun Fact: If Jordan Lynch hadn't thrown a pass all year long, he'd occupy this spot, with over 65 NEPA on rushes alone.
- Kerwynn Williams, Utah State (59.5; .256)
1791 yards from scrimmage, 15 TD
As a Sophomore in 2010, Williams led the country in KR yardage, but he rarely handles the duties anymore now that he's the feature back. He had a huge game against LaTech in what amounted to the WAC championship - 20 carries for 162, 4 catches for 125, and 3 TD.
- De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon (56.5; .467)
945 yards from scrimmage, 12 TD, 1 PR TD
Thomas doesn't touch the ball much, but when he does, it usually winds up a long way away from where it was snapped.
- Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (55.0; .186)
1778 yards from scrimmage, 13 TD
Andrews had a great game this weekend (252 combined yards / 2 TD) to push him into the top 10. Also worth noting is that Johnny Manziel, without the benefit of a single pass, would rank here.
- Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech (53.4; .529)
944 yards from scrimmage, 5 TD
Smith ranks so highly because Tech simply doesn't give him the ball very much. When he gets the ball, it's for big yardage. When he doesn't... is most of the time.
- Johnathan Franklin, UCLA (53.3; .207)
1731 yards from scrimmage, 12 TD
Others may have had more yards this weekend, but Franklin might have the biggest run - his 29 yard TD sealed the game against rival USC, clinched the Pac-12 South, and effectively convinced the world that yes, the monopoly in Los Angeles really is over.
- Stedman Bailey, West Virginia (92.8; .786)
88 catches, 1260 receiving yards, 20 TD
Bailey leads the country in receiving touchdowns, including 4 this weekend against Oklahoma.
- Marqise Lee, USC (91.7; .569)
118 plays, 1712 yards, 14 TD
The sophomore leads the country in receptions (107) and receiving yards (1605).
- Tavon Austin, West Virginia (86.3; .523)
135 plays, 1497 yards, 13 TD
Oh, let us bask in the glory that was Tavon Austin's day against Oklahoma: 4 catches, 82 yards. 21 rushes, 344 yards. 8 kick returns, 146 yards. That's 33 touches for... 572 yards.
- Terrance Williams, Baylor (85.2; .681)
84 plays, 1518 yards, 11 TD
Nick Florence's go-to guy all year, he just keeps producing every week.
- DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (80.7; .799)
68 plays, 1171 yards, 15 TD
Hopkins, unlike the 4 that precede him on this list, has not had a NEPA under zero in a single game this season. This week at NC State was the closest he's come.
- Noel Grigsby, San Jose State (73.3; .788)
- Austin Hill, Arizona (66.8; .675)
- Kenny Stills, Oklahoma (66.0; .718)
- Brent Leonard, UL-Monroe (63.8; .510)
- Alec Lemon, Syracuse (61.4; .661)