10 #CFBRank players who could fall

Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon among top players who could decline this season

Originally Published: August 1, 2014
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Melvin GordonJesse Johnson/USA TODAY SportsMelvin Gordon's negative rushing plays are cause for concern in his #CFBRank.

Players can rise and fall quickly in any sport. Factor in the constant roster turnover in college football, and that ascension or decline accelerates dramatically -- even, sometimes, to players who are considered among the best in the sport.

This second in a two-part series aims to identify the top candidates in the ESPN list of top 100 college football players who could fall from their current spot.

Here are the 10 likeliest candidates to fall on this list as a result of their play this season.


1. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin Badgers

Current #CFBRank: Tied for No. 5
Key downside element: Negative rushing plays

Gordon had the highest yards per carry (7.81) of any BCS conference running back with 200 or more carries last year in part because he had a very small percentage of negative rushing plays (defined as rush attempts that gain zero or negative yards). According to ESPN Stats & Information, Gordon's 11.2 percent negative rushing plays mark ranked fifth best among BCS conference running backs with 200 or more carries. Wisconsin did not fare so well as a team in this metric last year (14.9 percent, ranked 29th), so Gordon could see an increase in these dud plays that quickly impact a ball carrier's yards per carry total.

2. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor Bears