Cold weather brings the need for a running game

Updated: October 31, 2006, 2:46 PM ET
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
Though there are oases like Los Angeles and Gainesville, the gradual change in seasons is beginning to impact the weather in most parts of the country. The crisp, sun-splashed fall loses ground to the artic, cloud-covered winter each day. Fingers grow stiff and the ball hardens in the cold, making it both difficult and painful to catch. These poor weather conditions also can impact a quarterback's grip on the ball and vision of the field.

Naturally, this is why passing attacks start to suffer this time of year. Teams that can run the football effectively are best-equipped to succeed in November and December. With that in mind, here's a look at college football's top 10 ground attacks in 2006:

Steve Slaton
AP Photo/Jeff GentnerSteve Slaton has rushed for over 1,000 yards in both his seasons.
1. West Virginia Mountaineers
No team in the country runs the ball more effectively than the Mountaineers. Rich Rodriguez has installed the purest form of the "spread" offense, which is operated nearly to perfection by the nation's most lethal backfield-tandem of quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton. West Virginia currently leads the nation in rushing offense with White and Slaton accounting for 239.7 of the team's 319 yards per game. It must also be noted that West Virginia's offensive line, which is anchored by senior center Dan Mozes, is the model of efficiency. The unit makes up for its overall lack of size with exceptional technique, quickness and effort.