Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford's passing statistics over his first two seasons have been staggering. And he might be able to do something unfathomable with continued success next season.
Bradford enters the 2009 season with 86 career touchdown passes, a number that ties him for 23rd place on the career NCAA list for touchdown passes with Ken Dorsey of Miami.
Those numbers are even more amazing considering that Bradford produced them in only his first two seasons in college.
Bradford is averaging 43 touchdown passes per season and 3.07 touchdown passes per game.
If he continues at that pace in 2009, he would have 129 career touchdowns at the end of the season, which would place him in third place on the NCAA's career list, trailing only Texas Tech's Graham Harrell (134 touchdown passes) and Hawaii's Colt Brennan (131 touchdown passes). Both of those quarterbacks had the benefit of starting three years for their team at quarterback. And Harrell actually played some in his freshman season, tossing 55 passes and three touchdowns passes in relief of starter Cody Hodges.
But if Bradford duplicated his 50 touchdown passes from last season, he could potentially break Harrell's record in only three seasons as a starter.
Many observers were surprised that Bradford returned for his junior season in 2009 rather than declaring for the NFL draft. And most would be shocked to see him to return for his senior season in 2010.
But if he did, he could potentially obliterate the NCAA record books. If he maintained his current pace, Bradford would end up with a staggering 172 career TD passes. It would be 38 ahead of the current record and would be the kind of statistical domination that Wilt Chamberlain used to produce in the NBA record books.
Only Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and Coach Bob Stoops might be dreaming of those numbers. But perhaps the chance to produce that kind of statistical legacy might make Bradford stun the pundits again by choosing to come back for his senior season.