ESPN: Whatever happened to....

Ivan Maisel

Adrian Peterson

It might stun you to learn that after the High Ankle Sprain from Hell, after 10 yards on three carries against Texas, after minus-4 yards on five carries against Kansas, after not even playing against Baylor, one of the two All-Big 12 running backs is the one and only Adrian Peterson.

The sophomore finished the season with four consecutive 100-yard games. He rushed for 237 yards, 210 of them in the second half, in the 42-14 defeat of cross-state rival Oklahoma State in the Sooners' regular-season finale. That half included touchdown runs of 84 and 71 yards, and propelled him to the top in the Big 12 rushing race (1,024 yards in 10 games).

In retrospect, Peterson had a very good year. He just did it when no one outside the conference was watching.

Peterson has carried 142 fewer times than he did as a freshman, and gained barely half the total of a year ago (1,925). But his 14 touchdowns are only one shy of his freshman total. That's a reflection of the limited options the Sooners' offense had in a season with an inexperienced offensive line and quarterback.

What that means is that it might be foolish to begin the 2006 Heisman race as a showdown between senior quarterbacks Vince Young of Texas and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame. The 2004 runner-up will be back. So, too, will the Sooners.

Link to ESPN College Football Page