Greatest Player of the Saban Era: Round #2, Match #11 - Trent Richardson vs. Javier Arenas

USA TODAY Sports

Who was the greatest player to wear the Crimson and White while Coach Saban has roamed the sidelines at Bryant-Denny? Let's Check:

Round 1 is in the books, folks. Before moving on to Round 2, let's take a look back at how things have played out so far:

Bracket_medium

Julio Jones (86%) left Courtney Upshaw (13%) in his dust;

Mark Ingram (83%) stiff-armed C.J. Mosley (16%);

Trent Richardson (90%) trucked Dont'a Hightower (9%);

Barrett Jones (88%) pancaked Marcell Dareus (11%);

AJ McCarron (91%) went deep on Andre Smith (8%);

Javier Arenas (64%) returned it for a touchdown against Mark Barron (35%);

Rolando McClain (60%) managed to block Terrence Cody (39%); and

Chance Warmack (65%) overpowered Dee Milliner (34%).

Of the eight matchups in Round 1, the favorites won seven - only Javy was able to pull off the upset. That's probably why they're called "favorites." Not a single defensive player came away with a win over an offensive player - the only two defensive players to make it into this Elitest of Eight did so by defeating other defensive players, and the only offensive player who failed to advance was undone by another offensive player.

What does this mean? Regardless of our rote recitation of the revered refrain "defense wins championships," are well all truly point-happy 12'ers (whether PAC or Big) at heart? Or does the very nature of offensive plays, with their potentially greater opportunity for individual visibility, favor that side of the ball in this sort of contest? Where is that inflection point where the popularity of offensive players in microcosm is overwhelmed by our apparent preference for defense in macrocosm? How does one explain the success of offensive linemen, who are generally only highlighted when they do something wrong? Or is everyone simply voting for the player who is, in their opinion, "greater?"

You tell me.

Now it's on to Round 2, where we will separate the wheat from the... slightly less popular wheat.

Round #2, Match #11

Trent Richardson, RB

129990620

via cdn0.sbnation.com

- Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Official Alabama Profile.
Stats

540 carries for 3,130 yards (5.80 yards per carry), 35 touchdowns
68 receptions for 730 yards (10.74 yards per catch), 7 touchdowns
28 kick returns for 720 yards (25.71 yards per return), 1 touchdown
13 tackles (10 solo)
- http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/trent-richardson-1.html

Alabama records

#1, all purpose yards (season) - 2,083, 2011 (1,679 rushing, 338 receiving, 66 kickoff return)

#8, all purpose yards (season) - 1,600, 2010 (700 rushing, 266 receiving, 634 kickoff return)

#2, all purpose yards (career) - 4,580 (3,130 rushing, 730 receiving, 720 kickoff return)

#5, all purpose yards per game in a season - 160.2, 2011 (2,083 yards in 13 games)

#6, all purpose yards per game in a season - 145.5, 2010 (1,600 yards in 11 games)

#5, all purpose yards per game in a career - 120.5 (4,580 yards in 38 games)

#1, total touchdowns in a season (tie with 1999 Shaun Alexander) - 24, 2011 (21 rushing, 3 receiving)

#4, total touchdowns in a career (tie with John Parker Wilson) - 43 (35 rushing, 7 receiving, 1 kickoff return)

#3, rushing attempts per season - 283, 2011

#7, rushing attempts in a career - 540

#1, rushing yards in a season - 1,679, 2011

#5, rushing yards in a career - 3,130

#2, rushing yards per carry in a game (minimum 10-19 attempts) - 15.2 ypc, vs. North Texas, 2011 (11 carries, 167 yards, 3 touchdowns)

#14 (tie), rushing yards per carry in a game (minimum 10-19 attempts) - 10.8 ypc, at Ole Miss, 2011 (17 carries, 183 yards, 4 touchdowns)

#9, rushing yards per carry in a game (minimum 20 attempts) - 9.0 ypc, in the Land of the Auburnite, 2011 (27 carries, 203 yards, 0 touchdowns)

#5, rushing yards per carry in a season (minimum 100 carries) - 6.2 ypc, 2010 (112 carries for 700 yards)

#4, rushing yards per carry in a season (minimum 200 carries) - 5.93 ypc, 2011 (283 carries for 1,679 yards)

#2, rushing yards per carry in a career (minimum 400 carries) - 5.79 ypc (540 carries for 3,130 yards)

#1, rushing touchdowns in a season - 21, 2011

#3, rushing touchdowns in a career - 35

#1 (tied with Mark Ingram), most 100 yard rushing games in a season - 9, 2011

#3, most 100 yard rushing games in a career - 13

#5, rushing yards in a career - 3,130

#2, most kickoff returns in a game - 6, at South Carolina, 2010

#4, most kickoff returns in a season - 24, 2010

#2, most kickoff return yards in a season - 634, 2009

#6, most kickoff return yards in a career - 697

#6, most yards per kickoff return in a season (minimum 10 returns) - 26.4, 2010

#3, most yards per kickoff return in a career (minimum 15 retuns) - 25.8

Awards

Unanimous 1st Team All-American (2011)

Doak Walker Award (2011)

SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2011)

1st Team All-SEC (2010, 2011)

SEC All-Freshman Team (2009)

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Richardson

Javier Arenas, CB

158436839

via cdn3.sbnation.com

- Photo credit: Jason O. Watson

Official Alabama Bio.

Stats

154 tackles (104 solo)

17.5 tackles for a loss

7.0 sacks

6 interceptions, returned for 88 yards (14.67 yards per return), 1 touchdown

19 passes defended

125 punt returns for 1,752 yards (14.02 yards per return), 7 touchdowns

90 kickoff returns for 2,166 yards (24.07 yards per return)

- http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/javier-arenas-1.html

Alabama Records

#4 in terms of all-purpose yardage in a career (4,006)

#3 in terms of punt returns in a season (41; 2008)

#7 in terms of punt returns in a season (32; 2009)

#1 (tie) in terms of punt returns in a career (125)

#1 in terms of punt return yards in a game (153; vs. Tulane in 2008)

#2 in terms of punt return yards in a game (147; vs. Mississippi State in 2008)

#6 in terms of punt return yards in a game (101; vs. FIU in 2009)

#9 in terms of punt return yards in a game (90; vs. North Texas in 2009)

#10 in terms of punt return yards in a game (86; vs. Oklahoma State in 2006)

#1 in terms of punt return yards in a season (650; 2008)

#2 in terms of punt return yards in a season (493; 2009)

#1 in terms of punt return yards in a career (1,752) (Interesting Fact: Harry Gilmer is #2, at 1,119)

#3 in terms of average yards per punt return in a season (minimum 20 returns) (15.9; 2008)

#4 in terms of average yards per punt return in a season (minimum 20 returns) (15.41; 2009)

#5 in terms of average yards per punt return in a season (minimum 20 returns) (15.38; 2007)

#1 in terms of average yards per punt return in a career (14.1) (Interesting Fact: Harry Gilmer is #2, at 13.4)

#5 in terms of longest punt return (87 yards; vs. Tulane in 2008)

#6 in terms of longest punt return (86 yards; vs. Oklahoma State in 2006)

#1 in terms of kickoff returns in a game (8; vs. LSU in 2007)

#3 (6-way tie) in terms of kickoff returns in a game (5; vs. Utah in 2009)

#1 in terms of kickoff returns in a season (27; 2007)

#2 in terms of kickoff returns in a season (26; 2008)

#7 in terms of kickoff returns in a season (19; 2009)

#8 in terms of kickoff returns in a season (18; 2006)

#1 in terms of kickoff returns in a career (90) (Interesting Fact: Arvin Richard is #2, at 59)

#1 in terms of kickoff return yards in a season (657; 2007)

#3 in terms of kickoff return yards in a season (614; 2008)

#10 (tie) in terms of kickoff return yards in a season (344; 2006)

#1 in terms of kickoff return yards in a career (2,166) (Interesting Fact: Arvin Richard is #2, at 1,261)

#2 in terms of average yards per kickoff return in a season (minimum 10 returns) (29.0; 2009)

#9 in terms of average yards per kickoff return in a season (minimum 10 returns) (24.3; 2007)

#10 in terms of average yards per kickoff return in a season (minimum 10 returns) (23.6; 2008)

#8 in terms of average yards per kickoff return in a career (minimum 15 returns) (24.07)

#6 in terms of tackles for a loss in a game (4.5; vs. Tennessee in 2009)

Awards

Consensus 1st Team All-American (2009 - AP, AFCA and SI as a CB; CBS and Rivals as a PR)

1st Team All-SEC (2009)

#50 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javier_Arenas_%28American_football%29

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