Who to watch: Stanford v. Wisconsin (Rose Bowl)

Stay tuned for must-see prospects from every game of the bowl season.

Rose Bowl

Tuesday, January 1, 5:00pm EST


Mugging on Montee Ball.


Montee Ball, #28, Senior, RB

By some accounts, Ball is the #2 running back in the senior class.  How?  I appreciate that the all-time record holder for what he is, but, in my eyes, that is a results by volume guy, similar to LeVeon Bell.   I looked at more than 50 running backs and summarized their premier game performance. Consider Ball’s performance:

27.6 carries  (#1 rank)

118.2 yards (#12 rank)

1.6 touchdowns  (#4 rank)

4.28 yards/carry (#39 rank)

Well, duh, Jon, if you carry the ball more, your YPC will drop.

Not necessarily, consider that prospects like UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin, Oregon’s Kenjon Barner, or UNC’s Giovani Bernard average 22+ carries and still topped 6.1 yards per carry, nearly 2 yards more per rush than Ball.

Even more shockingly, Ball had ZERO receptions in his five key games that were evaluated.  ZERO!  Of the 50+ runners I studied, Ball was the only one without a reception.

So you’re telling me this guy, who doesn’t catch the ball, and struggles to eclipse 4.2 YPC against college competition is going to be elite in the NFL? Of the top 12 leading rushers in the NFL, 11 of them average more than 4.3 yards per carry.  I don’t see Ball making the leap.  Don’t root for your team to draft him high in April.


Zach Ertz, #86, Junior, TE

It should go without saying that Ertz is a the tight end of the year, but people want to cling to Notre Dame (imagine that) TE Tyler Eifert.  While Ertz was named 1st team All American, it was Eifert that won the Mackey Award for the best TE.   This is silly to me for a number of reasons, but I’m swimming upstream on my anti-Eifert mentality.

Instead, let’s focus on Ertz compared to last year’s “stud” Stanford tight end, Coby Fleener


  • Ertz– 5.1
  • Fleener– 2.6


  • Ertz– 64.4
  • Fleener– 51.3


  • Ertz– 12.7
  • Fleener– 18.4


  • Ertz– .46
  • Fleener– .77

Productivity score:

  • Ertz– .63
  • Fleener– .45

I’d conclude that Ertz plays more of an overall role in the Stanford passing offense in `12 than Fleener did in `11, but it looks like Fleener was more end-zone prone.  To further this point, Ertz actually had more receptions than Fleener when they were both catching passes from Andrew Luck in 2011.  It was only after the 7th game, when Ertz was injured that Fleener took over as the #1 tight end.

It’s expected that Ertz will leave (early) for the NFL draft after this game.  Enjoy your last look at this top tight end prospect.


One thought on “Who to watch: Stanford v. Wisconsin (Rose Bowl)

  1. Pingback: Who to watch: Alabama v. Notre Dame (BCS Championship) « The College Football Experiment

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