Stats & Info: Northern Illinois

Brian Kersey/Getty ImagesNorthern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch is making a case for the Heisman Trophy.
Jordan Lynch ran for 321 yards on Tuesday, breaking his own FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback, and is being mentioned more and more as a Heisman Trophy contender each week. He improved to 24-2 in his two seasons as a starting quarterback.

Here are some nuggets on the special season he’s having, and the incredible career that has only two games left:

• He's the fifth QB in FBS history with 20 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in the same season. Three of the previous four won the Heisman Trophy, and the one that didn't lost out to another guy on the list (see below).

• Lynch has 1,755 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns this season, numbers that are very comparable to the numbers put up by the past five Heisman-winning RUNNING BACKS. And Lynch still has the MAC Championship Game and a bowl game left to play.

• It’s his third career 200-yard rushing game. Denard Robinson (5) and Pat White (4) are the only FBS quarterbacks with more such games in the past 10 seasons.

• It’s his 17th career game with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Only four FBS players have more since his freshman year in 2010.

• He’s got the second- and third-best rushing games in the FBS this season, trailing only Boston College’s Andre Williams, who ran for 339 yards against NC State 10 days ago.

• Williams is the only player with more rushing yards than Lynch this season. The next quarterback on the FBS rushing list is 18th in the country in rushing.

• Lynch has 631 more rushing yards than Navy’s Keenan Reynolds, the next quarterback on the FBS rushing list, and the distance between first and second on the QB rushing list is the same as the distance between second and 19th.

Pac-12 rises to 2nd despite Oregon loss

November, 19, 2012
Despite two of its top five teams losing on Saturday, the Pac-12 has passed the Big 12 in the Stats & Info Conference Power Rankings.

The biggest difference between the Pac-12’s losses and Kansas State’s loss to Baylor is that Kansas State lost to an unranked opponent. As a result, Baylor did not pick up any of the 387 AP votes that Kansas State lost. In comparison, Stanford and UCLA gained a combined 308 AP votes and rose five spots in the AP poll with their victories. Those numbers cancel out Oregon’s fall from 1st to 5th in the AP Poll.

The Big 12 continues to be ranked first by the computers, but its lack of top-level teams has hurt the conference in the AP Poll. Both the Big 12 and Pac-12 have four teams ranked in the AP Poll, but the Pac-12’s teams are ranked comparatively higher.

Whether it is a matter of parity or a lack of top-level talent is unknown, but many of the Big-12’s top teams have been wildly inconsistent throughout the season.

West Virginia began the season 5-0 and ranked in the AP Top 5 before losing its next five games. Texas Tech began the season 6-1 before losing three of its next four games. Finally, Texas struggled at the start of conference play and has now won four straight games. This lack of consistency has led to fluctuations in the polls and the conference rankings.

Elsewhere in the conference power rankings, the SEC remains in first place after wins over seven FCS teams this week. The SEC now has five teams ranked in the AP Top 10 and six teams with two or fewer losses. No other conference has more than one team ranked in the AP Top 10 or four teams with two or fewer losses.

The WAC lost 5.9 points in the rankings after its top team, Louisiana Tech, lost on Saturday. Louisiana Tech was 9-1 entering the game and had a chance to represent the conference in a BCS Bowl game. The MAC, led by 10-1 Kent State and 10-1 Northern Illinois, has pulled within 1.9 points of the WAC for the top non AQ conference in the country.

Rivalry week begins on Thursday as nonconference foes face off with bragging rights on the line. Florida takes on Florida State, Notre Dame heads to USC, South Carolina faces Clemson and Georgia takes on Georgia Tech in notable nonconference matchups with BCS Bowl implications.

UTSA 115, Jarvis Christian 49
Jordan Sims of UTSA scored 26 points, making all seven of his three-point attempts, in 18 minutes off the bench. The 26 points match the most by any player this season in fewer than 20 minutes and the seven three-pointers without a miss also match the most by anyone this season.

Kent State 90, Northern Illinois 56
Northern Illinois’ starting lineup combined to shoot 2-of-18 from the field; the two made field goals are the fewest by any team’s starting lineup this season and the field goal percentage of 11.1 is also the lowest by a starting lineup this season. No team’s starters had shot a lower percentage since December 6, 2009, when San Diego’s starters combined to shoot 2-of-27 (7.4 percent) in a loss to Fresno State. Three of Northern Illinois’ starters did not score, something Texas Tech did later in the night. Entering Wednesday, a team had had three of its starters go scoreless only 10 times all season.

Wright State 69, UIC 63
Wright State’s Julius Mays hit 19 of 20 free throw attempts in his team’s win. Mays’ 19 made free throws are the second most by any player this season and his free throw percentage of 95.0 is the highest percentage (minimum 20 free throws) since North Texas’ Tristan Thompson made all 20 of his free throw attempts on March 6 of last season.

Notre Dame 55, Seton Hall 42
Notre Dame made just 13 baskets in the win; only two teams this season have made fewer field goals in a victory.