3-point stance: Running backs out of luck

1. Running games still might be the key to success, but you wouldn't know that by the top Heisman candidates. Only two running backs (Reggie Bush, 2005; Mark Ingram, 2009) have won the Heisman in this century, and one of them returned his trophy. So it is in 2013. Arizona junior tailback Ka'Deem Carey is reprising his All-American season of a year ago. He has received little Heisman love. Boston College senior Andre Williams has a shot at a 2,000-yard season. He couldn't get arrested outside of Chestnut Hill.

2. The bowl matchups are made via contracts with conferences, which is understandable as a business proposition and lousy as a product for the fans. What if we could make matchups based on what happens on the field? How about Kansas State playing Duke, in a matchup of teams that started slow and are finishing fast? Auburn playing Boston College in a matchup of teams that combined to win five games in 2012? Oregon playing Texas A&M so we can see Mariota vs. Manziel? Jimbo Fisher taking Florida State to face his mentor, Nick Saban and Alabama? Oh, wait, that one might happen.

3. Oregon's top booster and fan is Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Nike's director of football sports marketing is Bill Kellar, a Stanford wide receiver in the 1970s. They have a standing $5 bet on the Oregon-Stanford game. Kellar and Knight stood on opposite sidelines last Thursday, and they met after the game. But payment is not made until the offseason, when Nike takes the head coaches at its schools on an annual vacation. Last winter, when Knight paid up, Stanford head coach David Shaw took a photo.