NCAA Football

College Football Power Rankings: Top 25 Offensive Players

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Top 25 Offensive College Football Players

Kenjon Barner TD
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They say that defense wins championships, but it’s the offense that sells the tickets. College football fans were treated with some historically great offensive performances from some of the most talented offensive players college football has ever seen.

There were records falling all over the country, and this season will go down as one of the most prolific offensive seasons in recent memory. Whether it was on the ground or through the air, the offensive playmakers put on a show all season long.

And the incredible athletes that have made those plays are elevating the game of college football for future generations to try and duplicate. We are in a golden-age of offense where the athletes are bigger, faster, stronger and more capable of doing amazing things.

This season alone, we saw so many records fall, and achievements that were once though impossible came to be. Conference records fell across the country, national records some thought untouchable were overtaken and college football’s highest individual honor, the Heisman Trophy went to a freshman quarterback for the first time in history.

With the regular season over and the bowls about to begin, we take a little time to salute the best of the best in offensive play this season. We count down the high flyers, the speedsters, the bruisers, the on-field surgeons and all the best that kept defensive coordinators up at night all season long.

So, without any further ado, we count down the 25 best offensive college football players from the 2012 season.

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25. David Fales, QB San Jose State Spartans

David Fales
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David Fales flourished this season for the San Jose State Spartans as he led his team to a 10-2 record with a phenomenal junior season. He flew under the radar this year playing in the WAC, but his proficiency from the pocket deserves proper recognition.

On the season, Fales completed 72 percent of his passes for 3,798 yards with 31 touchdowns to nine interceptions. His efficiency rating of 170.91 was good for third best in the country and his consistent play was second to none this season. He never completed less than 65 percent of his passes in a game this season and threw multiple touchdowns in nine games this season.

Fales may suffer some fallback in his senior year with his head coach, Mike MacIntyre, leaving to take the Colorado Buffaloes job, but the quarterback’s talent is undeniable. Whoever becomes the next head coach of the Spartans will have an incredible piece to start with as Fales will look to continue his high level of play and make some noise next season as one of the country’s best quarterbacks.

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24. Braxton Miller, QB Ohio State Buckeyes

Braxton Miller
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Braxton Miller took the Ohio State Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 record this season, leading the team in both passing and rushing. However, because of a one-year NCAA imposed postseason ban, the Buckeyes and Miller have nothing to show for it. That’s no reason not to recognize the incredible season Miller had at quarterback, however.

Miller’s 3,310 total yards were good for 275.83 yards per game this season as he guided the Buckeyes through a tumultuous Big Ten schedule. Miller was a true dual-threat for Urban Meyer in his first season in Columbus, doing as much damage with his legs as his arm. While the accumulated stats may not jump off the page, his value to Ohio State’s perfect record cannot be overstated.

Next season, the Buckeyes look poised to make a run for a Big Ten title at the very least thanks to the continued maturing of Miller at quarterback. With Meyer’s ability to design offenses for athletic quarterbacks, expect Miller to explode next season when the Buckeyes actually have something to play for.

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23. Stepfan Taylor, RB Stanford Cardinal

Stepfan Taylor
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The Stanford Cardinal had an impressive run this season where they unexpectedly won the Pac 12 Championship and earned a Rose Bowl bid for the first time since 2000. The team switched quarterbacks two-thirds of the way through the season and the defense suffered lapses in stretches, but the one constant that took Stanford to the top this season was running back Stepfan Taylor.

Taylor rushed for 1,442 yards this season with 12 touchdowns. He added 38 receptions this season for 270 yards, both career highs, with a pair of touchdowns. The senior running back responded well to being the primary offensive weapon this season, averaging nearly five yards per carry and over 100 yards per game.

Taylor was the perfect mix of toughness and athleticism for the Stanford running game. He was never afraid to stick his nose into a pile to gain the tough yards while also being more than capable of breaking loose for a long run. He was a constant source of production for David Shaw as the team tried to figure out their quarterback situation and is the biggest reason for the Cardinal’s trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.

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22. Landry Jones, QB Oklahoma Sooners

Landry Jones
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Landry Jones didn’t have the season that many expected him to. He was a popular choice for a Heisman Trophy run and was looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 season that hurt his NFL draft stock significantly. While he wasn’t able to accomplish either of those things, Jones still turned in a very impressive season.

Jones completed 61 percent of his passes this season for 3,989 yards, the fifth most in college football this season. He threw 29 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and led the Sooners to the No. 12 scoring offense in the country, averaging 40.3 points per game. He never threw for less than 222 yards this season and threw at least one touchdown pass in 11 games, with multiple touchdown passes in 10.

He didn’t make a Heisman run and he lost snaps to Blake Bell and the “Belldozer” offense in short yardage situations, but the senior signal caller still put together a prolific 2012 campaign. A victim to heightened expectations, Jones will leave Norman with a reputation as being a disappointment, but few quarterbacks put up the kinds of numbers that Jones did for Bob Stoops and Sooner nation.

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21. Giovani Bernard, RB North Carolina Tar Heels

Giovani Bernard
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The North Carolina Tar Heels put together an eight-win season this year under a postseason ban thanks to the efforts of their incredibly talented running back Giovani Bernard. The redshirt sophomore electrified the Tar Heels backfield and punished ACC defenses that got in his way.

In ten games this season, Bernard rushed for 1,228 yards with 12 touchdowns. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry and 122 yards per game, good for the tenth best average in the country. He added 47 catches out of the backfield for 490 yards and five receiving touchdowns. He found the endzone often this season, scoring at least once in each game he appeared in this season.

Bernard has already declared that he will be entering the NFL draft, meaning we’ve seen the last of Bernard in baby blue. If he had come back again next season, he would have likely been a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award, but instead he’ll make some money at the next level.

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20. Collin Klein, QB Kansas State Wildcats

Collin Klein
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The Kansas State Wildcats rose to No. 1 in the BCS for a little while this season and were one loss away from playing for a national championship thanks to the incredible efforts of their quarterback Collin Klein. The senior quarterback carried his team to a near-perfect season and almost got himself a Heisman Trophy in the process.

Klein’s 3,380 yards of total offense paced the Wildcats to their 11-1 record and propelled K-State to the Big 12 title and a BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Klein completed 66 percent of his passes this season for 2,490 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 890 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He provided the bulk of the offense for K-State all season long, scoring at least one touchdown, either through the air or on the ground, in every game this season.

Klein’s importance to the Wildcats this season was more than just production. He was a leader who didn’t mind sticking his nose into the line of scrimmage and churning out tough yardage. He was also capable of breaking a game open with his deceptive speed or with an accurate pass down the field. He wasn’t the prototypical college football star, but his production doesn’t lie.

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19. Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon Ducks

Marcus Mariota
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The Oregon Ducks turned their high-powered offense over to freshman Marcus Mariota this season and have been rewarded with one of the best offenses Chip Kelly has ever put together. Mariota showed poise beyond his years as he guided the Ducks to the brink of a national championship and the No. 2 ranked scoring offense in college football.

Mariota finished the season completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 2,511 yards with 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The freshman’s efficiency rating of 165.36 was sixth best in college football this season. He threw a touchdown pass on 9.62 percent of his passes, the best mark in the country. He also added 690 yards rushing with four touchdowns on the ground as he showed off his remarkable athleticism running Kelly’s blur offense to near perfection.

The most remarkable thing about Mariota’s stats is that he wasn’t in the game after halftime for at least six of Oregon’s blowout wins. Given another year in this system and the chance to play a full game every week, there’s no telling how prolific Mariota could be.

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18. Venric Mark, RB Northwestern Wildcats

Venric Mark
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The Northwestern Wildcats put together a very fine 9-3 mark this season thanks to the versatile talents of running back Venric Mark. The junior tailback did a little bit of everything for the Wildcats this season, carrying the ball, catching it out of the backfield and returning punts as Northwestern’s best offensive threat.

Mark’s primary use, however, was in the backfield as a running back. He gained 1,310 yards this season with 11 touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry in his first season as the feature back for the Wildcats. He was most dangerous in the return game, though, where he averaged over 20 yards per return, breaking off two for scores.

The versatility of Mark was vital for Northwestern to be on the verge of a 10-win season and he’ll return next season as an even better offensive and special teams threat to score. If Northwestern hopes to make a push in the Big Ten next season, Venric Mark will be the key for them to do so.

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17. Quinton Patton, WR Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Quinton Patton
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The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were the No. 1 ranked scoring offense in college football this season, putting up 51.5 points per game on average. That prolific offensive output was thanks in no small part to their dynamic wide receiver Quinton Patton.

Patton finished the season with 104 catches for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was one of just four receivers in the country to catch more than 100 passes and finished fourth in receiving yards as he averaged 116 receiving yards per game this season. He had four games with double-digit catches, including a 21-catch, 233-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Texas A&M Aggies.

The senior wide receiver will be a difficult cog to replace for new head coach Skip Holtz. His season was so good, he got some marginal Heisman buzz at one point, but playing for a small school with a couple of losses effectively put an end to that. Now, Patton will try his hand at the next level where we will get to see if he can keep his incredible production going.

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16. A.J. McCarron, QB Alabama Crimson Tide

A.J. McCarron
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The Alabama Crimson Tide are on the verge of their third national championship in the last four years thanks to the highly efficient play of their quarterback A.J. McCarron. His leadership and poise in tough situations has pushed the Tide all the way to No. 2 in the BCS and he will be the key for head coach Nick Saban’s hopes of a fourth national title.

McCarron has completed nearly 67 percent of his passes this season for 2,669 yards with 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His efficiency rating of 173.08 was the best of any quarterback in the country this season. He didn’t throw his first interception until November 10, when he threw two against Texas A&M in Alabama’s lone loss so far this season. He’s thrown at least one touchdown in 12 games this year.

Saban doesn’t ask his quarterback to put up gaudy video-game numbers, only to be an efficient leader of the offense and McCarron filled the role perfectly. With the junior’s announcement that he will be returning to Tuscaloosa for his senior season, McCarron will look to continue to improve his game and maybe go for a third straight crystal football trophy in 2013.

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15. Le'Veon Bell, RB Michigan State Spartans

Le'Veon Bell
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The Michigan State Spartans had high hopes heading into this season, but failed to live up to their expectations, finishing the regular season with a disappointing 6-6 record. The one player that was not a disappointment for the Spartans, however, was running back Le’Veon Bell, who acted as the lone offensive weapon in East Lansing all season long.

Bell finished the season rushing for 1,648 yards on a college football leading 350 carries. He scored 11 touchdowns and finished with the third best yards per game average in football at 137.33. He finished sixth in yards rushing and added 30 catches for 154 yards with a touchdown out of the backfield.

The junior is contemplating entering the NFL draft and skipping his senior season where he would likely be turned to as the workhorse for the Spartan offense once again. The life span of an NFL running back is short to begin with, so Bell is likely making the smart choice getting paid before all the tread is worn off his tires. That’s not so good, though, for the Spartans’ chances next season.

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14. Colby Cameron, QB Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Colby Cameron
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Quinton Patton and Louisiana Tech couldn't have had the season they had without the talents of quarterback Colby Cameron. The senior captained the up-tempo Bulldogs offense to over 50 points per game with an efficient, aggressive style of play. If La Tech’s offense was a Ferrari, Cameron was the engine that made it go.

On the season, Cameron completed nearly 69 percent of his passes for 4,147 yards, the second highest yardage mark in college football. He found the endzone 31 times with only five interceptions, zero of which came in Tech’s first 10 games. Cameron threw at least one touchdown pass in every game this season and threw three or more in seven contests. He never threw for less than 227 yards all season long.

While Cameron’s prospects at making it at the next level don’t look great, he enjoyed one of the most prolific passing seasons in all of college football. Cameron’s precision and downfield playmaking were the perfect fit for Sonny Dykes’ pedal-to-the-floor offensive philosophy.

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13. Stedman Bailey, WR West Virginia Mountaineers

Stedman Bailey
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The West Virginia Mountaineers had one of the most unstoppable offenses in the history of college football with wide receiver Stedman Bailey looking like an unstoppable force in the passing game. While the Mountaineers season slowed down significantly, Bailey continued to put up ridiculously impressive stats.

This season, Bailey caught 106 passes for 1,501 yards and led the country with 23 receiving touchdowns. He ranked fourth in receptions and third in yardage. Bailey had six games this season with 100 receiving yards or more and surpassed 200 yards three times, including a 13-catch, 303-yard, five-touchdown showcase in the shootout with the Baylor Bears.

Despite Bailey’s ridiculous stats, he was largely overlooked this season. He was the third best option on the West Virginia offense and the five-game losing streak hurt the national perception of the team, including Bailey. Many people feel that he was robbed of the Biletnikoff Award, but should be a favorite to be a finalist again next season as a senior. If he can duplicate the production he enjoyed this year, the Biletnikoff may be one of many awards Bailey takes home.

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12. Montee Ball, RB Wisconsin Badgers

Montee Ball
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The Wisconsin Badgers are known for their punishing running game, but nobody has been as prolific in that system, or in any other system, running the football as Montee Ball. While he wasn't as dominant as his 2011 campaign that got him named as a Heisman finalist, the senior running back still finished his career with a flourish.

Ball finished the season rushing for 1,730 yards with 21 touchdowns on a career-high 332 carries. The early struggles of Wisconsin did not seem to affect Ball quite as much as he rumbled to nine games of over 100 yards rushing. He had two games with over 200 yards and two others where he came close (198 against the Indiana Hoosiers and 191 against Ohio State). His touchdown against the Penn State Nittany Lions on November 24 gave him the record for rushing touchdowns in a career as he finished with 76 touchdowns.

The senior running back overcame some offseason trouble after getting arrested for disturbing the peace and then suffering a concussion after he was jumped in the early hours in Madison. That concussion kept him out of fall camp for quite some time and another concussion in the Badgers’ win over the UTEP Miners gave many people cause for concern. Ball, however, overcame the injuries and continued to churn out yards and touchdowns in another stellar season.

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11. Geno Smith, QB West Virginia Mountaineers

Geno Smith
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West Virginia’s early dominance was keyed by an offense that couldn’t be stopped led by Geno Smith at quarterback. The senior’s dissection of opposing defenses made for one of the most dominant opening months of a season for club in recent memory. While opponents’ started to catch up with the Mountaineers’ attack, Smith remained one of the best arms in the country.

In the first five games of the season, all wins for WVU, Smith was out-of-this-world good. He threw for 1,996 yards with 24 touchdowns and no interceptions. Things slowed down during the Mountaineers’ five-game slide, but Smith still finished the season completing 71 percent of his passes for 4,004 yards with 40 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He finished the year ranked fourth in yardage, first in touchdowns, second in completion percentage and seventh in passing efficiency.

While some people were ready to give Smith the Heisman Trophy after his unreal September performances, the five-game losing streak kept the senior from bringing home any individual awards. Smith was still one of the most impressive quarterbacks in the country this season and will be one of the first quarterbacks selected in the coming NFL draft.

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10. Terrance Williams, WR Baylor Bears

Terrance Williams
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The Baylor Bears put on one of the most impressive offensive shows every week in college football this season and one of the stars of that show was wide receiver Terrance Williams. There was concern over how well the Bears would be able to replace the production lost with Robert Griffin III moving on to the NFL, but Williams’ playmaking ability made sure the Bears’ offense didn’t miss a beat.

Williams was a home-run waiting to happen this season as his big-play ability was on display all season long. Despite catching just 95 passes (No. 8 in the country), 17 fewer than leading receiver, Williams gained more yards than anyone with 1,764 yards receiving, averaging 147 yards per game. He had eight games with 100 yards receiving or more including a 17-catch, 314-yard, two-touchdown performance against West Virginia. His 12 receiving touchdowns were tied for seventh best in college football.

Williams had a strong case to win the Biletnikoff Award, but the perception of Baylor’s struggles hurt him. What is undeniable, however, is that Williams was a dynamic playmaker that dominated the college football landscape this season and was always a threat to score each and every time he touched the ball.

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9. Ka'Deem Carey, RB Arizona Wildcats

Ka'Deem Carey
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The Arizona Wildcats responded to first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez and turned things around in Tucson, winning seven games this year behind the strong play of running back Ka’Deem Carey. One of the more unknown playmakers in college football, Carey was an explosive asset in the Cats’ spread attack.

On the season, Carey rushed for an FBS-leading 146 yards per game en route to a 1,757 yard, 20 touchdown campaign. Carey eclipsed the 100-yard mark in nine games this season and burst onto the scene following a 366-yard, five-touchdown clinic put on the Colorado Buffaloes. The sophomore also added 33 catches for 288 yards with a touchdown out of the backfield.

While Carey was snubbed for national recognition for the most part, he was able to push his way onto the All-Pac 12 first team ahead of Doak Walker Award finalist Jonathan Franklin of the UCLA Bruins and Stepfan Taylor of Stanford. Carey’s ability cannot be denied and should be a force to be reckoned with next season as he blossoms into the go-to guy in Rodriguez’s high-flying offense.

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8. Nick Florence, QB Baylor Bears

Nick Florence
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Taking over for RGIII at Baylor could not have been an enviable task, but Nick Florence stepped into the role like he was born for it this season. While it didn’t result in a lot of wins or a run at a Big 12 title, Florence flourished this season under center for Baylor.

Nobody in the country gained as many yards per game as Florence did, as his 387.67 yards per game average led the FBS. He completed 61 percent of his passes for 4,121 yards (third-highest in FBS) with 31 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. Florence had at least one touchdown in every game this season and multiple passing touchdowns in 10 games this year. He also rushed for 531 yards and scored nine touchdowns on the ground.

Given a better defense, Florence may have been at the forefront of the Heisman Trophy race (he outgained the winner by 52 yards this season). As it was, not many people took notice of his excellent effort this year, which saw little dropoff from the production of last season’s Heisman Trophy winner. But because of some ugly losses and by virtue of not being RGIII-level fantastic, Florence will unfairly be overlooked for his incredible senior season.

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7. Kenjon Barner, RB Oregon Ducks

Kenjon Barner
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The Oregon Ducks were the No. 2 scoring offense in the country behind their No. 3 ranked rushing attack. While many people predicted it would be DeAnthony Thomas leading the charge at running back for the Ducks, it was senior Kenjon Barner who stepped up and led the Ducks’ running attack and became one of the most explosive running backs in the country.

On a team filled with playmakers, Barner was the most consistent among them. He got the majority of the carries in Chip Kelly’s blur offense and made the most of them, rushing for 135.33 yards per game, the fifth highest mark in FBS. Barner finished the year with 1,624 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 6.55 yards per carry. He broke out this season during his record setting performance against the USC Trojans, when he rushed for 321 yards and five touchdowns.

He was overlooked to start the season, but Barner was rewarded for his decision to come back to school for his senior season with one of the best performances by any running back in the country. A couple of injuries late in the season limited him from finishing the season strong, but Barner’s senior year will be one that Oregon fans won’t soon forget.

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6. Tajh Boyd, QB Clemson Tigers

Tajh Boyd
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The Clemson Tigers had the No. 6 scoring offense in college football thanks to a prolific offense led by junior quarterback Tajh Boyd. The Tigers quarterback has been a playmaker all season long, and with a few extra plays made by his defense against the Florida State Seminoles, Boyd may have been in the conversation for a Heisman Trophy.

On the year, Boyd completed nearly 67 percent of his passes for 3,550 yards with 34 touchdowns through the air to 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 492 yards with nine touchdowns on the ground. His 4,042 yards of total offense rank seventh in FBS and his 43 total touchdowns are tied for the most in all of college football.

Boyd will return to Clemson for his senior season where he will be poised to take the Tigers on a run to the ACC title and maybe a Heisman Trophy for himself. He has shown the ability to make electrifying plays. If he can find a way to win some big games next season, Boyd could go down as one of the greats of college football.

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5. Stefphon Jefferson, RB Nevada Wolfpack

Stefphon Jefferson
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Possibly the biggest snub of the postseason awards, Stefphon Jefferson put together an unbelievable season for the Nevada Wolfpack. One of the more dominant runners that nobody heard of this season, Jefferson routinely took over games and dominated defenses for huge gains as he led the No. 7 rated rushing offense in the country.

On the season, Jefferson ran for 1,703 yards with 22 touchdowns. He finished fourth in yards rushing and his 141.92 yards per game average was second in the FBS. For most of the season, Jefferson led the country in yards per game, but was overtaken by Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona late in the season. The junior running back eclipsed 100 yards rushing nine times this season and gained less than 90 yards just once all season.

Playing for a smaller school and Nevada’s swoon at the end of the season losing four of their last five games likely prevented Jefferson from getting the recognition he probably deserved. As one of the best running backs in the country, look for Jefferson to dominate in his senior season as a young Wolfpack team grows up around him and he becomes a breakout star like he deserves to be.

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4. Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia Mountaineers

Tavon Austin
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The most dynamic member of the West Virginia high-octane offense was running back/wide receiver Tavon Austin. The senior playmaker lined up all over the field for West Virginia and found paydirt everywhere he went leading WVU to the No. 7 scoring offense in FBS.

As the second leading rusher and receiver for the Mountaineers, Austin gained 1,857 yards of total offense. Most of his damage came in the passing game as he caught 110 passes for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns. He finished tied for second in the country in receptions and seventh in yards receiving. His dozen receiving touchdowns were also good for seventh most in FBS.

Austin proved to be a dynamic weapon for Dana Holgerson and the West Virginia offense. While he was only the second-best receiver on his own team, the added dimension that Austin provided made him an extra spark that could ignite the Mountaineers offensive attack. That versatility pushes him up this list and will serve him well as he tries to make it at the next level.

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3. Jordan Lynch, QB Northern Illinois Huskies

Jordan Lynch
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Jordan Lynch led the Northern Illinois Huskies all the way to the BCS this season with one of the most impressive offensive seasons in history. The junior quarterback led his team in both passing and rushing and was always there to step up and deliver when times got tough. Lynch drove the high-powered NIU offense, the No. 9 ranked scoring offense in FBS, with a reckless playmaking abandon that made him one of the best players in the country this season.

Lynch led the nation in total offense, gaining 4,733 yards from scrimmage. His 364.08 yards per game average was good for third best in FBS. His 1,771 rushing yards were the most of anyone in the country this season and broke the record for rushing yards by a quarterback previously held by Michigan Wolverines’ quarterback Denard Robinson. His 43 total touchdowns this season were tied for the most in college football.

In short, Jordan Lynch put together a historic season and one that will be difficult to top for anyone in the future. Though Lynch is certainly going to try to top it next year. With the positive publicity push he’s likely to get from the lead up to the Orange Bowl, a good showing against the Florida State Seminoles could jumpstart a Heisman Trophy campaign for the NIU QB.

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2. Marqise Lee, WR USC Trojans

Marqise Lee
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The USC Trojans were supposed to be on their way back to the top of the mountain this season. They tripped on their way, though, and stumbled down off the AP top 25 after being the preseason No. 1 team in the country. There was plenty of disappointment to go around, but none for wide receiver Marqise Lee.

The sophomore wide receiver put together one of the most dominant seasons for a receiver in recent memory. He led the nation in receptions with 112 for 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns. He broke the Pac 12 record for receptions in a season, receiving yards in a season and receiving yards in a game when he exploded for 345 yards on 16 receptions with two touchdowns against the Arizona Wildcats. He broke the 100-yard mark eight times and averaged over 10 yards per catch in 10 games.

Lee was the most impressive wide receiver in college football this season as he walked away with the Biletnikoff Award and he’s only going to get better as he moves into his junior year. As he continues to improve his game, he’ll only get more dominant and unguardable, which is bad news for Pac 12 defensive coordinators next season.

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1. Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M Aggies

Johnny Manziel
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The freshman phenomenon that stole the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Manziel led the Texas A&M Aggies to a 10-2 record in their first season in the vaunted SEC and broke just about every record he could on the way. Johnny Football did things this season that no offensive player has ever done, let alone a freshman in his first season of major college football.

Manziel’s 4,600 yards of total offense broke the SEC record previously held by Cam Newton. His 1,181 yards rushing led the SEC for all rushers and his 383.33 yards per game of total offense was the second best mark in the FBS this year. Manziel scored 43 total touchdowns, tied for the most in FBS, and set the single-game SEC record for total offense in a game when he exploded for 576 yards and six touchdowns against Louisiana Tech. Then there was that time he walked into Tuscaloosa and beat Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

In short, Johnny Football deserved the Heisman, and he deserves to be recognized as the most outstanding offensive player of a season that was filled with incredible offensive players. The bar is set impossibly high for Manziel in the rest of his college career, and anything less than another record-breaking season will be considered a disappointment. There are some who say he peaked this season, but even if he did, it was one heck of a peak to hit.