Johnathan Franklin may hold nearly a half-dozen UCLA records, but that wasn’t good enough to earn him the distinction of being the nation’s best running back. Franklin finished second to Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, who also edged out presumptive favorite Kenjon Barner (Oregon).
Here’s a statistical comparison between the three seniors.
12 games, 248 carries, 1,624 yards (6.5 ypc), 21 TD … 19 receptions, 232 yards, 1 TD
13 games, 332 carries, 1,730 yards, (5.2 ypc), 21 TD … 9 receptions, 65 yards, 0 TD
13 games, 268 carries, 1,700 yards (6.3 ypc), 13 TD … 32 receptions, 319 yards, 2 TD
Franklin’s lack of touchdowns obviously hurt him, but he did have a 194-yard performance against Stanford’s top-ranked rushing defense, which had only allowed one team to rack up that many yards all season. At the top of Barner’s resume was his absurd 321-yard, five-touchdown explosion against USC. Ball played on a five-loss team and was almost a non-factor as a receiver, but likely benefited from lifetime achievement: he was beat out by Alabama’s Trent Richardson a year ago despite his FBS-record tying 39 rushing scores.
Franklin can claim another victory though …
Sorry wisconsin nation… Johnathan franklin (rb for ucla) destroyed me in ncaa tonight……so sad.
— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) December 6, 2012