Bowl Matchups 2010-11: Power Ranking the Offenses of the BCS Bowl Teams
When you pit nine of the best teams in the nation—and Connecticut—against each other, it goes without saying that you are comparing some of the best talent in college football.
Who has the best quarterback? Auburn's Cam Newton may be the Heisman winner, but you could argue Stanford's Andrew Luck is a better prospect.
So who has the best offense of the BCS bowl teams and why?
10. Connecticut (8-4)
- Passing Yards: 145.1 ypg (112th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 179.9 ypg (31st nationally)
- Points: 26.9 ppg (62nd nationally)
The Huskies have a big offensive line that opens up some nice holes for Jordan Todman, who rushed for 1,574 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Todman, the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, is Connecticut's only real offensive threat. Seriously, does quarterback Zach Frazier really scare anyone? He's thrown five touchdowns and four interceptions, and at one point this season he was demoted to third string.
UConn's offense does have a few positives, though.
The Huskies have limited their turnovers (17 in 2010) and they have been efficient in the red zone by converting 93 percent of the time.
9. Virginia Tech (11-2)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 202.2 ypg (75th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 208.9 ypg (18th nationally)
- Points: 35.5 ppg (19th nationally)
Over the second half of the season, Virginia Tech's offense has been one of the nation's most efficient and impressive. But those early games can't be overlooked, especially the loss to James Madison.
Senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor is the offensive catalyst. He completed 172-of-284 passes for 2,521 and 23 touchdowns. He also rushed for 637 yards and five scores.
In the ACC, the Hokies had one of the conference's best offenses. Virginia Tech led the ACC in scoring (35.5 ppg), finished second in rushing (208.8 ypg) and third in total offense (411.1 ypg).
Junior Jarrett Boykin is a solid receiver and he is Taylor's main target after pulling in 48 catches for 763 yards and six touchdowns.
8. Oklahoma (11-2)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 336.8 ypg (fourth nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 141.3 ypg (77th nationally)
- Points: 36.4 ppg (17th nationally)
The Sooners have great balance, led by quarterback Landry Jones. The sophomore had a breakout season as he threw for nearly 4,300 yards and 35 touchdowns.
His most impressive outing in 2010? Take your pick, but a 30-for-34 showing for 334 yards and three touchdowns is a good start.
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles is Jones' favorite target as the two have connected 118 times for 1,452 yards and 13 touchdowns. Nine times this season Broyles caught at least nine passes in a game.
DeMarco Murray had his best season at running back for the Sooners. The senior rushed for 1,121 yards and 14 touchdowns.
With these types of offensive studs, it's tough to see how the Sooners didn't go undefeated this season.
7. Arkansas (10-2)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 338.4 ypg (third nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 150.8 ypg (65th nationally)
- Points: 37.3 ppg (16th nationally)
The key to the Arkansas offense is quarterback Ryan Mallett, who is one of the top NFL prospects in this year's draft.
Mallett has thrown for more than 300 yards in nine games this season and has 30 TD passes. He's also led the Razorbacks to six straight wins to earn a BCS spot.
Don't overlook the production that running back Knile Davis adds to Bobby Petrino's offense. Davis has rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He's been especially strong down the stretch as he rushed for 100-plus yards in six of the Razorbacks' final seven games.
6. Ohio State (11-1)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 229.2 ypg (55th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 219.7 ypg (17th nationally)
- Points: 39.4 ppg (11th nationally)
Terrelle Pryor recently stated that if he were in the same offense as Auburn's Cam Newton or Northwestern's Dan Persa, he could put up the same gaudy numbers.
To be honest, Pryor has done pretty well in Jim Tressel's more conservative approach. The junior is a threat to run and throw and he had 2,551 passing yards and 25 touchdowns for the Buckeyes.
Pryor loves to spread it around, but he especially likes to throw it to Dane Sanzenbacher (52 catches for 889 yards) and DeVier Posey (50 catches for 778 yards).
For good measure, Dan Herron is a powerful back who eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing and had 15 touchdowns.
5. Stanford (11-1)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 256.3 ypg (30th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 211.0 ypg (17th nationally)
- Points: 40.3 ppg (eighth nationally)
There's no question Stanford's offense is centered on the gifted Andrew Luck, who finished second in the Heisman voting this season.
The junior quarterback threw for 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns, while being considered the top prospect by most NFL teams. He can also run it when needed and is the Cardinal's second-leading rusher with 438 yards.
While Luck makes the offense go, sophomore running back Stepfan Taylor should not be overlooked. He's helped take a lot of pressure off Luck by rushing for 1,023 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Receiver Doug Baldwin has enjoyed an outstanding senior season with 56 receptions for 824 yards and nine touchdowns.
If not for a bad second half at Oregon, Stanford might be playing for a national championship.
4. TCU (12-0)
George Frey/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 230.3 ypg (53rd nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 261.2 ypg (eighth nationally)
- Points: 43.3 ppg (fourth nationally)
TCU is normally known for its stringent defense, which it has again this year. However, Gary Patterson has one heck of an offense also.
The Horned Frogs are led by senior QB Andy Dalton, who has thrown for 2,638 yards and 26 touchdowns in leading one of the nation's highest scoring teams.
TCU is able to pile up some big numbers against lesser opponents, but there's no getting past the Frogs' explosiveness.
Jeremy Kerley is a great possession receiver who has 50 receptions and 10 touchdowns. Leading the rushing attack is Ed Wesley with 1,065 yards and 11 touchdowns.
3. Wisconsin (11-1)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 202.8 ypg (74th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 247.3 ypg (12th nationally)
- Points: 43.3 ppg (fourth nationally)
The Badgers have put up some crazy numbers lately, but mostly against bad teams. That's right, 83 against Indiana isn't that impressive.
Instead, that was Bret Bielema's way of making sure the Badgers won the BCS sweepstakes in the Big Ten. Nothing wrong with that, but don't over-think Wisconsin's offensive prowess.
Wisconsin has an outstanding 1-2 punch at running back with John Clay and James White. Clay is a bruising back, who can also bust a big one. He finished with 936 rushing yards, but missed two of the three final games.
White took advantage of the absence and rushed for 1,029 yards, including 459 in the final three games.
The Badgers' offense runs so smoothly because of QB Scott Tolzien. The senior passed for 2,300 yards and 16 touchdowns.
2. Auburn (13-0)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 210.5 ypg (69th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 287.2 ypg (sixth nationally)
- Points: 42.7 ppg (sixth nationally)
After close victories over Mississippi State (17-14) and Clemson (27-24 OT), Auburn's offense has been in high gear almost every week since.
Of course, Heisman winner Cam Newton is the catalyst. So far, not a defense in the nation has had an answer for Newton's dual-threat skills.
Newton has completed 165-of-246 passes for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns. He's also run for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns. His best rushing game was a 217-yard performance against LSU. His best passing game was the 335 yards he put up against South Carolina in the SEC championship.
Freshman running back Michael Dyer took some of the pressure off Newton as he rushed for 950 yards and five touchdowns.
But really, this offense is all about what Newton does.
1. Oregon (12-0)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
- Passing Yards: 233.7 ypg (48th nationally)
- Rushing Yards: 303.5 ypg (fourth nationally)
- Points: 49.3 ppg (first nationally)
Chip Kelly's offense has been a work of art all season.
The Ducks opened 2010 with a 72-0 dismantling of New Mexico and they haven't stopped (except for a 15-13 win over Cal). The up-tempo, fast-paced approach should be fun to watch one more time this season against Auburn.
Running back LaMichael James, who finished third in the Heisman balloting, was the nation's best back all season. He rushed for 1,682 yards and 21 touchdowns and he missed that season-opening romp.
Darron Thomas has far exceeded expectations after he had to take over for the exiled Jeremiah Masoli. The sophomore quarterback completed 195-of-321 for 2,518 yards and 28 touchdowns.
His 308-yard passing game against UCLA was his best overall performance of the season.