College Football Power Rankings: Big East Running Backs Week 3

Jeff Woollard@JeffWoollardCorrespondent IISeptember 21, 2010

College Football Power Rankings: Big East Running Backs Week Three

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    Welcome to the second edition of the Big East running back power rankings.

    There is still plenty of football to be played in 2010. There are no running backs that are technically out of the race after three weeks.

    Although, there is one back that appears to be removed from contention due to injury. As always, the injury bug will play a significant role as the season progresses.

    Still, the cloud is being lifted for teams this season; some running backs simply do not have enough support from their respective teammates to mount a successful challenge for the rushing title.

    Others appear to be separating themselves despite their team’s struggles, and some just consistently put up numbers.

    So far the Big East is taking it on the chin in their out of conference schedule. It is starting to get ugly for some members of the Big East football conference.

    Thankfully, some Big East running backs are stepping up.

    With three games played, take a look at who has done what.

8. Dion Lewis Of the University Of Pittsburgh Stays In the Cellar.

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    The Pitt Panthers had their first bye of the season this past Saturday. Dion Lewis was not afforded an opportunity to improve on his position because of it.

    Pitt has a big out of conference matchup on Thursday against the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Miami Hurricanes. Lewis will have the stage to mount a comeback for the rushing title.

    A win by Pitt is sorely needed for the Big East football conference.

    There are still no quantifiable reports from Pittsburgh regarding an injury to Lewis.

    Therefore, there can be no asterisk beside his stats for the first two games of the season.

    Lewis shows 35 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns, with a 2.9 yard per carry average.

    That stat line says it all.

7. Demetris Murray of South Florida

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    As with Lewis from Pitt, Demetris Murray and his South Florida Bulls had their first bye of the 2010 season last Saturday.

    South Florida resumes their 2010 play on September 25th against Western Kentucky from the Sun Belt conference.

    With a stellar performance against Western Kentucky Murray could push his way into the debate. The current leaders will ultimately take a Saturday or two off before the end of the season, due to a bye.

    Murray appears to have the pedigree to challenge for the top spot. Certainly, Skip Holtz will provide Murray with the necessary opportunities to mount that challenge.

    Murray shows 21 attempts for 108 yards on the season with one touchdown. Murray boasts a 5.1 yard per carry average.

    As stated last week, keep a wary eye south, Murray may make some noise for the Bulls in 2010.

6. Joe Martinek of Rutgers Will Get His Chance

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    Add Rutgers to the list of teams that took a bye in week three.

    Joe Martinek was unable to add to his season totals of 34 carries for 137 yards and one touchdown.

    Martinek was able to get some much needed rest for is ailing leg. Martinek is listed as probable for the North Carolina game on Saturday.

    Rutgers needs to make a statement against North Carolina, and Martinek needs a good game to stay in contention for the rushing title.

5. Who Will Emerge In Cincinnati?

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    With starter Isaiah Pead hobbled by swelling in his knee, the University of Cincinnati is without its top rusher from a year ago.

    The Bearcats leading rusher through three games is Darrin Williams with 20 attempts for 144 yards and no touchdowns. Williams does boast a 7.2 yard per carry average.

    Teammate John Goebel is also in the mix with 12 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Goebel also boasts an impressive yards per carry average, 7.8.

    With the eventual return of Pead, and Williams, and Goebel splitting the carries, it appears early that Cincinnati will have a difficult time placing a running back in the chase for the rushing title.

    Time will tell, stranger things have happened in college football.

4. Delone Carter Of Syracuse Stays In the Mix

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    Delone Carter of Syracuse carried 15 times for 65 yards in the win over Maine, bringing Carter’s totals for 2010 to 59 rushes for 247 yards and one touchdown.

    Carter still has plenty of football to catch the conference leaders; a few more carries against Maine would have helped his cause. Carter is averaging 4.2 yards per carry so far this season.

    Certainly a respectable average per carry, not eye popping either. Carter needs touches to stay in the race.

    It's beginning to look like Carter may not get those touches to stay in contention. The next few games should tell the tale.

    The next three running backs in the list are beginning to run away from the pack, literally.

3. Bilal Powell of Louisville Slips One Spot This Week

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    Bilal Powell carried 20 times for 83 yards and one touchdown in Louisville’s loss to Oregon State.

    Powell’s average per carry has dropped in each of the last two games. Against Oregon State Powell finished with a respectable 4.2 yards per carry. Unfortunately, not enough to hold on to his second place spot from last week.

    Powell’s totals are 52 carries for 328 yards and four touchdowns so far this season. Respectable numbers for any running back.

    Powell seems to be tailing off after his fast start in game one. Powell will have to pick up the pace to keep from falling any further behind.

    Respectable will not cut it when you are chasing the likes of the next two running backs on this list.

2. Noel Devine Moves Into Second Place This Week

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    Bill Stewart has called Noel Devine the “Mine Mule” for his propensity to show up and put in a solid day of work for the West Virginia University Mountaineers.

    Last Saturday against Maryland was no different for Devine. The “Mine Mule” carried 27 times for 131 yards and no touchdowns in the Mountaineers win. Devine is averaging 4.8 yards per carry so far this season.

    Devine’s season totals are 73 carries for 354 yards and two touchdowns. Add 13 receptions for 89 yards and no touchdowns to the rushing numbers.

    Devine is averaging just over 24 carries and four receptions per game. Opportunity will not present a problem for Devine in 2010, he continues to represent roughly a third of the Mountaineer offense.

    WVU travels to Baton Rouge Louisiana on Saturday to face off against the Louisiana State University Tigers.

    Devine has often shined the brightest in the biggest games. It will be interesting to see if he can continue that trend against LSU.

1. Jordan Todman Secures His Place At the Top

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    Jordan Todman posted impressive stats last Saturday against Temple University, 26 carries for 192 yards and one touchdown, an average of 7.4 yards per carry.

    One look at those stats and the first impression would be how bad did the University of Connecticut Huskies beat Temple. Unfortunately, for UConn it was Temple that registered the win.

    In fact, it was a Todman fumble in the fourth quarter that helped secure the win for Temple.

    Rest assured Todman and UConn will recover, even if the loss appears devastating. Temple is no longer a Big East conference member.

    Although, Temple could be making a case for re-entry into the Big East conference.

    Todman’s season stats are 61 carries for 448 yards and five touchdowns, with six receptions for 22 yards and no touchdowns.

    Todman holds a 94-yard lead over second place Noel Devine of West Virginia. Certainly not insurmountable for Devine, nonetheless impressive after three games for Todman.