It is about time. It has just become unavoidable at this point. I cannot keep my mouth shut any longer on this issue.
I made a deliberate decision to avoid this topic, racking my brain for story ideas, but it’s time.
At least I made it to the midpoint of the season before caving in. Alright, here goes, Red Wavers…
It is finally the right time for the “Ryan Mathews is the best player in college football” column.
Before I gave into peer pressure and while I was still racking the brain this weekend, I went to this newspaper’s handy-dandy Web site and typed “Ryan Mathews” into the search bar. I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t repeat any old, worn-out ideas, you know?
In only .40 seconds, The Collegian Online produced 145 stories, columns and multimedia results. Just for fun, I searched “Barack Obama.” Only 141 results.
Mathews is more popular than the president of the United States and the leader of the free world – at Fresno State at least. Now that’s a column idea.
If this was an election year, I’m sure that Mathews, even though he is only 22 years old, would receive thousands of write-in votes on the ballots across the Valley. I could already imagine shirts with “Vote Green ‘V’ Party” strewn across the chest.
It doesn’t matter if you lean left or reside on the right; you cannot deny that Mathews is an astonishing talent – quite possibly the best to ever play for Fresno State. It’s hard to believe USC recruited him to be a cornerback.
Saturday night, he continued to impress potential voters.
Each time the junior tailback touched the football, Bulldog Stadium echoed with a collective gasp, each fan holding their breath waiting to see what the calm and collected candidate would do next.
Would it a be a 33-yard run finished with a straight arm that sent San Jose State’s best defender on a one-way trip to his back?
“[The straight arm] is a good weapon to use,” Mathews said. Sounds like a potential commander in chief to me.
Would it be an untouched 59-yard touchdown run?
“I was thinking to myself that I don’t want to get caught,” Mathews said. “That would be embarrassing.” He’s playing this close to the chest, but he knows he’s so far ahead in the polls that no one will catch him.
Mathews finished with 233 yards and one touchdown, averaging 11.6 yards per carry and boosting his season total to 974 rushing yards. Mathews is still leading the nation in rushing, now with 162 yards per game – 26 yards per game ahead of the nearest challenger. But, always quick to deflect praise to his campaign team (offensive line), he doesn’t take the credit.
“I don’t think I’m better than anybody,” Mathews said. “I don’t pay attention to that stuff. It’s all just numbers.”
But most people cannot help but pay attention to the numbers. This is a landslide like Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Mathews has two of the season’s top 10 rushing games: 238 yards against Boise State and 233 yards against San Jose State. He’s the only player with two games in the top 10.
He is currently 11th in the nation with 169 all-purpose yards per game, which totals rushing and receiving yards, as well as kick and punt returns. Mathews is the only player in the top 25 in all-purpose yards per game without even one kick or punt return yard.
In the total offense per game category, Mathews actually ranks quite low.
For all the naysayers out there, there is finally something to put in those nasty campaign commercials.
Mathews ranks 99th in the nation in total offense. But that low ranking might be skewed. He’s the only player on the list of 100 that doesn’t play quarterback.
Everything is lining up for Mathews. He has a strong campaign platform, is impressing voters and is getting results even before he takes office. It’s just too bad that he’ll have to wait until 2024 to officially run for president.
Wait a minute – instead of waiting to run for president, why doesn’t he just campaign for the Heisman Trophy this year?