What If? Earl Campbell's 1980 Season

David Funk@davidfunk74Correspondent INovember 11, 2008

Welcome to another entry of the What If? Fantasy Football edition. This is where I look back at a season long before fantasy football became prominent among us in our society as figure how the fantasy numbers would look if the fantasy game existed then.

Today, we look back at the 1980 season for Houston Oilers star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell. I'm using the default scoring systems for Sporting News and Yahoo! to calculate the point totals.

Here's the point scale for SN(default configuration):
60 points for every touchdown
2 points for every rushing, receiving, and punt return yard gained
1 point for every kickoff return yard gained
2 points for every reception
1 point for every passing yard
-10 points for every kickoff return attempt
-45 points for lost fumble and interception
-2 points for incomplete pass

Here's the point scale for Yahoo!(default configuration):
6 points for every rushing, receiving, and return touchdown
4 points for passing touchdown
1 point for every 10 rushing and receiving yards
1 point for every 25 passing yards
2 points for every two-point conversion
-1 point for every interception
-2 points for every fumble
No points are given for receptions or return yardage in the default configuration.

Here are the stats for Earl Campbell in 1980 and fantasy points for the SN games:
Passing yards: 57 = 57 points
Passing touchdowns: 1 = 60 points
Incomplete passes: 1 = -2 points
Interceptions: 0 = 0 points
Rushing yards: 1,934 = 3,868 points
Rushing touchdowns: 13 = 780 points
Receptions: 11 = 22 points
Receiving yards: 47 = 94 points
Receiving touchdowns: 0 = 0
Fumbles Lost: 2 = -90 points
Total points: 4,789 points
Total points per game: 319.27
Campbell played in 15 games in 1980.

Here are the stats for Earl Campbell in 1980 and fantasy points for the Yahoo! game:
Passing yards: 57 = 2 points
Passing touchdowns: 1 = 4 points
Interceptions: 0 = 0 points
Rushing yards: 1,934 = 193 points
Rushing touchdowns: 13 = 78 points
Receiving yards: 47 = 4 points
Receiving touchdowns: 0 = 0
Fumbles Lost: 2 = -4 points
Total points: 277 points
Total points per game: 18.47
Campbell played in 15 games in 1980.

Statistical source: pro-football reference

Campbell set a career-high in rushing yards in 1980, and was coming off a season in which he had 19 touchdowns. In the opening game of the season, Campbell threw a 57-yard touchdown to Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and rushed for another in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In Week Seven, he rushed for over 200 yards in a win against Tampa Bay. The following week, Campbell rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 11, Campbell rushed for 206 yards against the Chicago Bears.

In the season finale, Campbell would have his fourth game of at least 200 rushing yards when he ran for 203 against the Minnesota Vikings. Campbell averaged 5.2 yards per carry in 1980.

The Oilers clinched a playoff spot with an 11-5 record, and faced off against the Oakland Raiders in a Wild Card matchup. Campbell ran for a touchdown, but that would be all the Oilers would score that day in a 27-7 loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champions.

Campbell, the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner out of Texas, rushed for 1,000 yards during five of his eight NFL seasons. He rushed for 9,407 yards, 74 touchdowns, and averaged 4.3 yards per carry in his career. Campbell was a first-team All-Pro in the first three years of his career, and made the Pro Bowl five times as well. For his efforts, Campbell earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

His bruising style of play eventually led to serious health issues which requires him to use a wheelchair much of the time. These days, Campbell is a businessman In Austin, Texas where he is still actively participating in University of Texas Athletics. He is currently president of Earl Campbell Meat Products which sells his own smoked sausage as well as barbeque, too.

If anyone wants to suggest a past player, then you can do so in the comments section. The only thing I ask is that the player and year be before 1990 because fantasy football wasn't as prominent then.

Past What If? posts:
Walter Payton's 1977 season
Gale Sayers' 1965 season
Eric Dickerson's 1983 season
Jim Brown's 1963 season
Dan Marino's 1984 season
Jerry Rice's 1987 season
O.J. Simpson's 1975 season
Johnny Unitas' 1959 season
Sid Luckman's 1943 season
Sammy Baugh's 1947 season
Beattie Feathers' 1934 season
Charley Hennigan's 1961 season
Timmy Brown's 1963 season
Rolland Lawrence's 1977 season
Dan Fouts' 1981 season
Don Hutson's 1942 season
Jim Zorn's 1979 season