Big threes have been a big thing over the past couple of years, specifically in the NBA when the Boston Celtics had Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, and most recently with the Miami Heat combining Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Sports Illustrated named some of their top "Big Threes" in college football, and one of those groups reside up on The Hill.
Sports Illustrated sees quarterback Travis Wilson, running back Bubba Poole, and wide receiver Dres Anderson as one of the best trios in the country, and one of the three best out of the Pac-12 with ASU and USC. SI used a statistical analysis to find the top trios in the country and here's how:
To formulate a composite ranking, each returning player was broken down into multiple categories and ranked against the other returning players at their respective positions. This creates an average national ranking for every player based on their position. For quarterbacks, there were 11 stats used, seven were used for running backs and seven were used for wide receivers/tight ends...
Quarterbacks were evaluated on a composite of attempts, completions, yards per attempt, touchdowns, interceptions, efficiency rating, attempts per game, yards per game, points per pass, interceptions per pass. Running backs were evaluated on a composite of attempts, yards, yards per carry, touchdowns, carries per game, yards per game, points per rush. And wide receivers were evaluated on a composite of receptions, yards, yards per catch, touchdowns, receptions per game, yards per game, points per catch.
This is pretty impressive considering that Wilson was out multiple games, Poole was really a non-factor the last third of the season, and Anderson was dealing with constant double teams the second half of the season .
Here is how they ranked the Ute's big three with their average national ranking:
Utah (Travis Wilson 24, James Poole 81, Dres Anderson 20), 41.7
The question going into 2014 is will these names remain after the season is over? Could we see a different combination? We could see a different name at all three positions for a Utah "big three." Kendal Thompson could slide in at QB, Troy McCormick or Devontae Booker could take over the running back slot, and it's very possible that Kenneth Scott takes the wide receiver role.
When it comes down to it, it's really going to depend on the offensive line to keep either the incumbent Utah players on that list, or their potential replacements. Wilson could have been a lot better last season, but he wasn't able to sit in the pocket and make confident decisions. Bubba Poole really had to rely on his speed and elusiveness much of the time to get the most out of his productivity. And with Anderson, he can't protect and throw the ball to himself. It's all up to Jim Harding's crew to provide this offense the spark it needs to produce to the level that the team needs.
If the offensive line does its job, coming out of the 2014 season I see the "big three" altering just slightly. If I were to predict Utah's "big three" of 2014, I'd go with Travis Wilson, Devontae Booker (provided he solves his fumbling issue), and Dres Anderson. However, I think Scott will give Anderson a run for his money, and I think we could see 2,000-plus yards receiving between those two.
Check out Sports Illustrated's top trios and see where the Ute's version fall on the top-10 list: click here to see more.