UCLA’s Paul Perkins earned a spot this morning on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, a trophy no running back has won in over a decade.
Obviously, this alone does not necessarily predict a tremendous season. There are 80 names populating the preseason watch list, 35 of whom are tailbacks. And as the spread offenses proliferate in college football, passing numbers are rising along with the use of backfield rushing committees.
To figure out the Bruin junior’s chances at the Maxwell, given to the top player in the country since 1937, let’s first look at the last four winners.
Looking at these four seasons, 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground seems like the bare minimum — with only George missing out on the yardage mark. All four players also led teams that won at least nine games, and finished top-15 in either the final Coaches’ poll or the AP poll.
In the last few years, however, even those criteria haven’t been enough. Continue reading