Everyone knows that having one superstar in sports is never quite enough. You always need a co-star. Batman had Robin — even though, hate to break it to you, Batman isn’t a superhero — Jordan had Pippen, Magic had Kareem, and the list goes on and on. That is why today we are ranking the top 10 dynamic duos of college football.
10. Brett Rypien and Jeremy McNichols, Boise State
Before you cry foul, check out the stats. Even though Rypien has slightly underperformed for what his expectations were coming into his true sophomore season, he is still completing more than 60 percent of his passes and averaging 283 yards per game through the air.
Whatever slack he’s left has been picked up and then some by Jeremy McNichols, or as he’s known by in Boise, “The Weapon.” McNichols is averaging 111 yards per game on the ground and 43 yards receiving. He has also found the end zone 12 times already this season. He is currently on pace for one of the more astounding seasons in college football history, and if Rypien’s stats go up, as some predict, No. 10 on this list may look too low when all the dust settles.
9. Patrick Mahomes II and Jonathan Giles, Texas Tech
If you ignore the fact that Patrick Mahomes II has rushed for 162 yards this season with seven touchdowns (no idea why you would ignore that, just saying), you are still left with a quarterback who has thrown for 2,274 yards and 20 touchdowns, all on nearly 73 percent passing. Mahomes is the real Mccoy, and so is his go-to target Jonathan Giles. Giles is averaging over 17 yards per catch, and since he is on pace to catch about 100 passes this season, you can see why he and Mahomes II make the list at number 9.
8. Kenny Hill and Kyle Hicks, TCU
Much like Mahomes, Kenny Hill is killing people on the ground and through the air. Hill has 206 yards rushing and seven touchdowns to go along with his over 2,100 yards passing and 12 touchdowns through the air. He does have eight interceptions this season, however, but his running back Kyle Hicks is a dual threat as well out of the backfield, helping pick up Hill when he falters.
He is averaging over five yards per carry, and over 11 yards per catch. Hicks is on pace to rush for over 900 yards and to receive for over 700. There aren’t many running backs in the nation who can say that. If you want to argue that number nine and eight on this list are interchangeable, you may have a case.
7. Deondre Francois and Dalvin Cook, Florida State
At first you would expect this pair to be higher (or lower, never quite understood how this phrasing works) on the list. Florida State was ranked fourth in the nation in the preseason coaches and AP polls. But after what happened to the Seminoles against Louisville, their collective stock took a hit. Francois has shown some eye-popping ability, throwing for over 1,500 yards already this season, and Dalvin Cook may very well be the first running back taken in the upcoming NFL draft. As for this year so far, they land at No. 7.
6. Davis Webb and Khalfani Muhammad, California
This may be the most underrated (by the country and this article) duo on this list. Five games into the season, Davis Webb — get familiar if you aren’t already — has thrown for 2,256 yards and 22 touchdowns, both near the top in the country. His partner in crime Khalfani Muhammad (unanimous winner of the “best name on the list” award) is having himself a year as well, with 377 rushing yards on just 55 attempts. That’s an average of nearly seven yards per carry. Cal’s 2-3 record is the only thing keeping these two from being closer to the top (or the bottom) of this list. That being said, keep an eye on these two.
5. Mitch Trubisky and Elijah Hood, North CarolinaSource: Today’s U
Mitch Trubisky is completing 70 percent of his passes. That is a video game stat. Add in the fact that he also has 1,769 yards, 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions, and you could say Trubisky is off to a hot start in 2016.
His co-star Elijah
Wood Hood (who just returned from Mordor … I’ll show myself out) may be off to just as hot of a start though. Despite only four rushing touchdowns — some being spread around to other running backs — Hood is averaging exactly five yards per carry and is on pace for around 1,000 yards this season. Expect Hood to get more carries around the goal line as the season progresses and his touchdown count to increase. The Tar Heels are for real this season, and these two are a big reason why.
4. Deshaun Watson and Wayne Gallman, Clemson
Watson is a bad man. He gets it done with his feet and his arm. Even though his touchdown-to-interception ratio isn’t great this season, he is getting credit for the quality of opponents he has had to deal with, especially with the gutsy performance he turned in against Louisville. It may not have been Watson’s best game, but he was big when the Tigers needed him most. Wayne Gallman is lesser known of the duo but nonetheless valuable to the Tigers’ success.
Gallman doesn’t get a ton of carries for the Tigers — just under 15 a game — but he averages above five yards per carry when he does and has found the end zone five times. If you don’t know who Wayne Gallman is, look him up — you’ll see him playing on Sunday’s eventually.
3. Greg Ward Jr. and Linell Bonner, Houston
Honestly, you could have picked a couple different people to be Greg Ward Jr.’s partner for this because of the simple fact that Ward is so dynamic he is going to make nearly anyone look great. He has accounted for 17 total touchdowns this season already, 11 through the air and six on the ground and he has the Cougars’ offense running like a well-oiled machine.
His go-to pass catcher, Linell Bonner, is on stride for around 80 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards. The Cougars will need some help from Navy, but if they can win the American Conference, you may get to see these two strut their stuff in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
2. J.T. Barrett and Mike Weber, Ohio State
It feels like J.T. Barrett has been at Ohio State since the Coolidge administration, and like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with time. Barrett is completing 64 percent of passes and has a 5:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In case you were wondering, that’s good. He’s also tallied over 300 yards on the ground this season, adding four more touchdowns.
His running back, Mike Weber, who unlike Barrett feels like he showed up at Ohio State 10 seconds ago, is having himself one hell of a freshman year. He is averaging just under seven yards per carry, and if the Buckeyes didn’t have a stable of thoroughbred running backs to spread the wealth to, his numbers would be even gaudier. Most years these two would find themselves No. 1 on this list, but not this year.
1. Lamar Jackson and Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Not kidding. Lamar Jackson doesn’t need a co-star. Forget all that stuff said earlier about how you always need someone else, like Jordan needed Pippen. Well, MJ, eat your stinking heart out because Lamar Jackson doesn’t need anyone. OK, that is probably an exaggeration, but it doesn’t matter. Lamar Jackson has 28 total touchdowns. 28 freaking touchdowns. He has thrown for 1,625 yards and rushed for 688. He is on a clip to end the season with 3,900 yards passing and 1,651 yards rushing.
So shut up, any argument you pose is invalid, go ahead and start engraving his name on the Heisman now. Matter of fact, rename the award The Jackson. Once again, that’s probably too far, but seriously this is one of the greatest seasons in college football history we are getting to witness. Lamar Jackson, by himself, is the most dynamic duo in college football.
A writer and politican of all things college football and college basketball from Boise State to UCA and beyond.