Friday, December 16, 2016

Very Bad Math

Among the many accomplishments former Wisconsin Badgers Heisman Trophy winning running back Ron Dayne achieved in his four years in Madison was setting the all-time NCAA rushing record.  Dayne racked up 6,397 yards--a record that has stood for 16-years.  However, that mark could be broken this weekend, as San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey is just 107-yards to reach that same record.  Pumphrey takes on Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday night.

It is interesting that Pumphrey would break Dayne's record in a bowl game because that will expose an egregious flaw in the way the NCAA now computes its yardage records.  You see, Dayne's career rushing total does not include any of the four bowl games he played in as a Badger--while Pumphrey's mark will include the three bowls in which he has already competed--plus Saturday's game.

Until 2001 (the year after Dayne graduated), the NCAA treated bowl games as "exhibitions" that did not count toward team's records or player stats.  But then in 2002, the Association decided that it would count bowl games for those records and stats--but only from that date going forward.  Career numbers were not retro-actively amended--even though bowl game statistics are readily available.

If you are to include Dayne's bowl game rushing total of 728 YARDS (including an amazing 246 yards on 30 carries as a freshman in Wisconsin's win over Utah in the 1996 Copper Bowl) his NCAA rushing record would be 7,125 yards.  That would leave Donnell Pumphrey 835 yards behind Dayne--if you compare apples to apples.

Given how humble he his about what he has accomplished, I don't expect Ron Dayne to upset that his record may be broken on Saturday night--even if it actually isn't being broken.

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