NCF Nation: Jarett Dillard
Support for the MAC: After winning two consecutive conference championships and starting this conference season 5-0, you'd think Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour would be a little bit greedy about the three-peat. And while, he wants to win his third consecutive conference title, he thinks that what Ball State, the Chippewas' chief competition for the MAC title, is doing with its undefeated record is good for the conference.
"That's something that's very special because you know how tough it is to come out week after week and be focused and be ready to play," LeFevour said. "So, it's a very special thing that they've done to this point."
He might change his tune when the two teams meet on Nov. 22.
Tulsa pressure: Life was nice and peaceful for the first eight weeks of the season, but now that Tulsa has popped into both national polls and the BCS standings, coach Todd Graham and quarterback David Johnson said the interviews and general conversation about the undefeated season and potential BCS bowl are becoming a distraction from what's happening on the field.
"It's just starting to become a distraction when the rankings and stuff come out now," Johnson said. "Coach Graham has talked about the things that distract us and just focusing on the next step. It's just about understanding how to stay humble and grounded and where our strength and power comes from."
Southern Miss suspensions: Coach Larry Fedora indefinitely suspended two players from the Southern Miss football team, the school announced.
Calvin Wilson, a redshirt junior offensive lineman, and Jamison Hughes, a redshirt freshman defensive back, will continue to practice during the suspensions.
Though the incident was not specified by the university, the violation of team policy is the latest in a series of happenings involving Southern Miss football players. On Saturday night, wide receiver Torris Magee was arrested for residential burglary. Fedora announced in his news conference on Monday that Magee had left the team prior to the incident.
Just when you thought it was solved: Think you know who the Navy quarterback is? Think again. One week it's Jarod Bryant, then an injury forces Ricky Dobbs into the game. Dobbs has an amazing performance in which he rushes for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns. That might warrant a start in this week's game, but several media outlets are reporting that former and oft-injured starter Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada was running the first-string offense in preparation for this week's game against Temple.
While Dobbs, a sophomore, certainly earned the starting spot, Kaheaku-Enhada was the team's starter at the beginning of the season and has been limited by injuries. The game against Temple would be the senior's last true home game.
Jarett Dillard streak ends: Unfortunately, every good streak must come to an end sometime, and wide receiver Jarett Dillard was hoping the one that ended last week against Tulane would have ended with graduation. Tulane held Dillard out of the end zone last week, which broke his streak of 11 consecutive games with a touchdown. It also was the first time since Dillard was a freshman that Rice won a game in which he did not score. He had a touchdown in Rice's last 14 wins. Oddly, the last team that Rice beat without a Dillard touchdown was Tulane in 2005. Rice is 2-0 against Tulane when Dillard is held scoreless and 0-2 when he reaches the end zone.
Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
|Andy Lyons/Getty Images|
|Dan LeFevour had a QB rating of 133.5 for the Chippewas last year.|
It's been 17 seasons since a non-BCS player has won the Heisman Trophy. In 1990, BYU junior quarterback Ty Detmer bested Notre Dame's Raghib Ismail and Colorado's Eric Bienemy, among others.
Could it happen again this year?
The competition is tough, but here are my Top 5 non-BCS candidates worth tracking over the next several months.
1. Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan -- LeFevour was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2006 and the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2007. The junior is the second quarterback in Division I FBS history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
2. Eugene Jarvis, RB, Kent State -- Jarvis is the best running back no one is talking about. He is the nation's top returning rusher, averaging 139 yards per game and 6.0 yards per carry as a sophomore. He one of the nation's smallest backs at 5-foot-5, 170 pounds.
3. Max Hall, QB, BYU -- Hall is already considered a Heisman contender after becoming the nation's top-ranked sophomore quarterback last season by passing for 3,848 yards over 13 games. He led the MWC with an average of 297.1 yards of total offense per game. He also had a league-high 26 touchdown passes on the season.
4. Chase Holbrook, QB, New Mexico St. -- Holbrook suffered a rib injury midseason which contributed to his passing yards dropping by nearly 1,000 from his sophomore to junior seasons. When healthy, he has the ability to repeat his 4,619 yard (70 percent completion rate) sophomore campaign. Holbrook has never completed fewer than 70 percent of his passes in any season.
5. Jarett Dillard, WR, Rice -- Dillard comes into this season as the active NCAA leader in receptions (205), receiving yardage (2,828) and touchdown receptions (40). His 40 touchdowns ranks eighth all-time in NCAA history. His numbers were down last year because of double coverage but still led all C-USA receivers with 14 TDs.
1. Ian Johnson, RB, Boise State -- Led the nation in scoring and touchdowns in 2006 and was on his way to a repeat performance before a bruised kidney sidelined him for two games. He finished with 1,030 yards and 16 touchdowns on 203 carries.
2. Nate Davis, QB, Ball St. -- Davis led the MAC in passing efficiency while compiling a league-leading 3,667 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had a five games 300-plus passing yard games last season.