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Top non-BCS players in 2010: How many Boise State Broncos are in Top 25?

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Non-BCS players are much better than they used to be. Remember Chase Holbrook? I do. Barf.

This year's crop is loaded with authentic Heisman candidates, future NFL stars, and giant-killing game breakers. There are non-Broncos, too. [Rimshot!] Just how many Boise State players deserve to land on a Top 25 list of the best non-BCS players in the country? Graham Watson has her ideas. I have mine. Join me after the jump for a discussion, and pitch in with your comments.

Graham Watson's list of top non-AQ players

As a fun aside this summer (because there is nothing else going on apparently), Watson has taken it upon herself to come up with a list of the Top 25 non-BCS players in the country, presumably because she enjoys hatemail. Seriously, there is no way she is escaping from this assignment without a death threat or two. I've already penned a rough draft of mine.

There are so many players in the non-BCS conferences and so few spots on a 25-man list (no more than 25, that's for sure). Well perhaps Watson's governing rules for the countdown will help narrow down the candidates.

This list is based on what these players have done to this point and their potential heading into 2010. With so many non-AQ teams, this was a little tricky. There were a lot of players from which to choose. Some were obvious, some had great potential and some were left out because of injury uncertainties. Statistics and the level of competition were taken into account.

Nope. That pretty much includes everyone.

So how is Watson doing? You tell me.

19. RB Eddie Wide, Utah

20. LB Noah Keller, Ohio

21. WR Greg Salas, Hawaii

22. LB Tank Carder, TCU

23. RB Robert Turbin, Utah State

24. TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame

25. WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy

To recap, she has thus far named a RB who may not even play in 2010 (Turbin), she put the non-BCS's best LB (Carder) behind Ohio's best linebacker (Keller), she completely made up that Jerrel Jernigan guy because there's no way he actually exists, and she has a token Notre Dame player (Rudolph) because what's a non-BCS list without Notre Dame.

(Update: Watson has added East Carolina WR Dwayne Harris as her No. 18 player. Ugh)

Bold list so far. I appreciate Watson's thinking outside the box because that is what I inevitably do with my WAC preseason poll (intentionally or not). Fortune favors the bold ... but seriously, an Ohio linebacker?

Still, there is a bigger problem with this list ...

Where are all the Boise State players?

I suppose Watson could be waiting until spots 10 through 1 to list off Boise State players, but even I in all my raging homerism would have too much good taste to do that. I would only go one through eight.

Call me crazy, but I think you could make a case for all eight of these Bronco players being the best at their position among non-BCS players. So if eight are supposed shoo-ins for the Top 25, then why hasn't Watson got to any of them yet? The obvious answer is that she will not be bringing all eight along. The less obvious answer is that she hates Boise State (or so my angry letter subject line states).

My best guess at how many Broncos end up on Watson's list: Three. She has to fake a certain level of objectivity, doesn't she?

I defy myself to find 18 other non-BCS players worthy of a Top 25 list

Ha! I can name 31.

  • QB Case Keenum, Houston
  • OL Jake Kirkpatrick, TCU
  • QB Andy Dalton, TCU
  • WR James Cleveland, Houston
  • OT Matt Reynolds, BYU
  • PR Jeremy Kerley, TCU
  • WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
  • WR DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss
  • OL Marcus Cannon, TCU
  • S Tejay Johnson, TCU
  • KR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
  • S Brian Lainhart, Kent State
  • DE Bruce Miller, UCF
  • OL Rod Huntley, UTEP
  • OL Andrew Jackson, Fresno State
  • OL Zane Taylor, Utah
  • WR/PR Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
  • RB Donald Buckram, UTEP
  • QB Ricky Dobbs, Navy
  • QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
  • RB Bernard Pierce, Temple
  • LB Mario Harvey, Marshall
  • LB Brian Hendricks, Wyoming
  • DB Anthony Wright, Air Force
  • K Kevin Goessling, Fresno State
  • S Shiloh Keo, Idaho
  • LB Ben Jacobs, Fresno State
  • RB Vai Taua, Nevada
  • DE Dontay Moch, Nevada
  • OL Rob McGill, Louisiana Tech
  • WR/PR Phillip Livas, Louisiana Tech

Good luck cramming all those into a Top 25 list. (Tip: Less Nevada players.)

Are Austin Pettis and Titus Young better than Greg Salas?

My immediate gut reaction is, "Yeah duh." Stats from 2009 are a little less cut-and-dry.

Salas: 106 receptions, 1590 yards, 8 touchdowns
Pettis: 63 receptions, 855 yards, 14 touchdowns
Young: 79 receptions, 1041 yards, 10 touchdowns

Salas' numbers hold up well, but that is because he plays in an offense where he is the only weapon and a weapon that is only dangerous in five yard spurts. Pettis is a TD machine and one of the best WRs in the country. Young is a game changer at WR and at KR. Ipso facto, Petts & Young > Salas.

Is Jeremy Avery better than Eddie Wide and Robert Turbin?

I do not know much about Eddie Wide, but I do know that Robert Turbin only has working ligaments in one knee. If this truly is a list of the best non-BCS players in 2010 and if Turbin is already on it, then you have to include Avery.

Now might be a good time to bring up an interesting series of thoughts I have had about Boise State running backs. My theory is that Bronco fans overrate BSU ball carriers. I came to this theory when I was thinking about the Eddie Wide vs Jeremy Avery angle. When I saw Wide at No. 19 on Watson's list, immediately I thought that Avery was by far a better back. Why? I have no recollection of ever seeing Wide play. I have no idea how good he is. All I know is that Avery rushed for 1,000 yards for the Broncos and he makes guys miss when he feels like it.

Do I think of BSU running backs higher than I ought to based solely on statistics and the fact that they are Bronco running backs? I most certainly do. I would venture to say that Doug Martin is a better running back than Wide, and Doug Martin only carries the ball about 30 percent of the time for the Broncos.

My homerism is out of control!

Do you think my theory has legs? Were you pretty sure that Avery is better than Wide, too?

Is there any way that Kellen Moore is not the No. 1 non-BCS player in the country?

On behalf of football fans and college experts everywhere, I say, "I sure hope not." Kellen Moore should be the best non-BCS player in any list of non-BCS players. He has put up shockingly good numbers for the best non-BCS team in football over the past two seasons. He is the leader of a Top Five non-BCS school with its eyes on a national championship. He is a legitimate Heisman candidate. It's a no-brainer.

Uh-oh. Brain alert! As we fatefully learned a couple weeks ago, not everyone thinks as highly of Kellen Moore as they ought. Phil Steele's All-America list had four quarterbacks on its top four teams, and Kellen Moore was not one of them. Houston's Case Keenum was.

Couple Keenum love with an odd infatuation with Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, and the debate about the No. 1 non-BCS player is a little more dramatic than it should be. Is Moore the best player among all non-AQs? Yes. Will he be named as such on the Top 25 list? Eh. We'll see.

So help me if she takes a kicker

I will have a fit. Unless it's Brad Elkin.

If I were to finish Graham Watson's Top 25 list for her

  1. QB Kellen Moore, Boise State
  2. QB Case Keenum, Houston
  3. WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
  4. OL Zane Taylor, Utah
  5. OL Jake Kirkpatrick, TCU
  6. QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
  7. WR Austin Pettis, Boise State
  8. RB Bernard Pierce, Temple
  9. OT Matt Reynolds, BYU
  10. WR James Cleveland, Houston
  11. QB Ricky Dobbs, Navy
  12. WR Titus Young, Boise State
  13. WR/PR Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
  14. RB Donald Buckram, UTEP
  15. WR DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss
  16. DE Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State
  17. DB Anthony Wright, Air Force
  18. DL Billy Winn, Boise State
  19. RB Eddie Wide, Utah
  20. LB Noah Keller, Ohio
  21. WR Greg Salas, Hawaii
  22. LB Tank Carder, TCU
  23. RB Robert Turbin, Utah State
  24. TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
  25. WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy

*Bold denotes choices out of my control.

Your turn

How do you think Watson is doing with her countdown of non-BCS players? Should Kellen Moore be No. 1? What about the Avery vs. Wide vs. Turbin debate? Share your thoughts in the comments.