While looking at the 2012 NCAA rushing totals, I was surprised to see only one team with a winning record (Oregon) among the nation’s top five rushing teams.
Army led the nation in team rushing. Army finished with a 2-10 record. New Mexico finished fifth in the nation in rushing. The Lobos finished with a 4-9 record. Air Force finished second in the nation, but also finished with a losing 6-7 record. Georgia Tech, No. 4, finished even at 7-7.
I realize this is a statistical quirk that says much more about the teams’ defenses than the wisdom of repeatedly running the football. The next five teams on the rushing list (Navy, Nevada, Nebraska, Tulsa and Ohio State) finished a combined 48-18 in 2012.