When App. State knocked off then #5 Michigan in Ann Arbor on September 1st, we figured that would be just a blip on the radar on this season and everything would go according to plan. USC and LSU would run the table and set up the next "Game of the Century", Michigan would recover and go to the Rose Bowl—and various other predictions that we made would come true.
With one week left in the 2007 regular season, the only thing we've learned is that just when you think we have all the answers, the questions change.
Who would have thought that Kansas and Missouri would be playing for the Big 12 North title—much less a chance to play for a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP?
How many people predicted that the only undefeated team left in the season plays in the WAC...and is NOT named Boise State?
And be honest with yourselves, did you REALLY think that we would have not one, but two 2,000 yard rushers who play in the same conference (pop quiz on that shortly)?
Well, as much as I would love to say I saw all of this coming, I'm like the rest of you and enjoying this wild, unpredictable season of college football. With the season set to end in a week, I will take this time to spark some talk about the big names and story lines of this 2007 season.
10) Michael Crabtree
When the season began at Texas Tech, all of the hype was about junior QB Graham Harrell and the Air Raid offense coached by Mike Leech. It was all about the system and chucking it up 60-70 times a game to all different types of receivers. Then this freshman comes along and all he does is lead the NATION, not his team, not the conference, but THE NATION in receptions (125), receiving yards (1,861), and touchdowns (21). To put those numbers in prospective, look at the leaders in those categories last season. Hawaii's Davone Bess had 29 fewer receptions (125 to 96) , New Mexico State's Chris Williams recorded 436 less receiving yards (1,861 to 1,425), and Rice's Jarred Dillard has the same number of touchdowns as Crabtree. Even more stunning is that he surpassed Texas Tech's leading receiver last year Joel Filani stats (91-1,300-13) in only NINE GAMES!!! That is just the tip of the iceberg in what I think is the most amazing statistical season by a freshman ever:
1. He's had only one game where he has had less that 8 receptions (4 vs. Baylor) and they followed that up with a 9 reception, 185 yard, 2 TD performance versus Texas.
2. His lowest total catches in consecutive games was 13 (4 vs Baylor, 9 vs. Texas). In the other 10 games Crabtree played, he had five games with 12+ receptions.
3. Only two games in which he's had under 100 yards receiving (61 vs Baylor, 95 vs Mizzou). In the other 10 games, Crabtree AVERAGED 173 yards per game.
He's a lock to win the Biletnikoff Award, certain first-team All American, and if I had my way, would be in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation (more on that later on). No matter how his career shapes up, Michael Crabtree, for this season is having the greatest season of ANY RECEIVER in college football history.
And you can take that to the bank!
Up Next: #9 (Coming Monday Morning)