Zone Read PM: Kenjon Barner hauls in All-American honors; USC-Notre Dame strikes ratings gold

Posted by Matt Walks on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 2:51 pm.

How glad do you think senior running back Kenjon Barner feels about coming back for a final year?

After a virtuoso season, the Riverside, Calif., native was named first-team All-America by the nation’s collegiate coaches, the athletic department announced Wednesday.

Joining Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in the All-American backfield, Barner is also one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back. The last Oregon player to win the Doak Walker was — surprise, surprise — also the last Duck to be named All-American: Duck legend and Barner’s best friend LaMichael James.

Barner’s recognition comes on the heels of a 1,624-yard, 22-touchdown season. He’s second in the country in touchdowns scored, as well. In four of the Ducks’ 12 games, Barner ran for at least 195 yards.

The honors didn’t stop there. The athletic department also announced Barner was named a finalist for Walter Camp 2012 Player of the Year award, an award he was placed on the watch list for prior to the season.

You see USC? ABC has announced the numbers from USC-Notre Dame, and they’re even more impressive than the game was exciting.

Just more than 16 million Americans watched the No. 1 Fighting Irish punch their ticket to the national championship over Lane Kiffin’s Trojans. It was the most-viewed regular-season college football game since No. 1 Ohio State played No. 2 Michigan in 2006.

Birmingham, Ala., was the highest-rated market for the game, with local-area Crimson Tide fans hoping the Irish would gift Alabama an early spot in the title game with a loss.