Injuries have always been an accepted part of college football. Unwanted, but accepted nonetheless.

They are examples of the unfortunate dark side of the game, if you will. The 2015 season has been, it seems, extraordinarily cruel in its example.

Here are five of the biggest injuries suffered in college football this season:

  1. RB Nick Chubb, Georgia: Lost for the season with a knee injury suffered in the first quarter of the Tennessee game, Chubb’s injury left a huge void in the Bulldogs offense and ended a potential Heisman Trophy run. At the time of the injury, Chubb had rushed for 745 yards on 91 carries (8.2 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns in five-plus games. The Bulldogs, heavy favorites in the SEC East, quickly fell out of contention with losses to Tennessee, Alabama and Florida.  Georgia has bounced back to win its last two games and can still finish 9-3 with wins over Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, but that’s not the kind of record the Bulldogs were hoping for had they lined up with a healthy Chubb all year.
  1. QB Seth Russell, Baylor: A fractured bone in his neck ended the season for Russell, another legitimate Heisman candidate. Russell suffered the injury in the final minutes of Baylor’s 45-27 victory over Iowa State. Going into that game, Russell led the nation with 27 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. The Bears got by Kansas State 31-24 in the first game without Russell under center, but there was a noticeable drop-off in Baylor’s high-powered offense the following week. With Russell out of the lineup, the Bears fell 44-34 to Oklahoma, severely damaging not only their Big 12 championship dreams but also derailing their bid to make the playoffs.
  1. QB Taysom Hill, BYU: Among the Heisman hopefuls entering the 2015 season, Hill and the Cougars were poised to make a run at the playoffs. But a season-ending Lisfranc injury in his right foot ended that dream before it ever really started. The injury occurred in the season opener, a dramatic 33-28 victory over Nebraska. At the time, the victory was thought to propel the Cougars into the upper echelon of college football. But as the weeks went on and losses mounted for the Cornhuskers, BYU’s victory wouldn’t have carried as much wait as first anticipated. But that would turn out to be a moot point. Without Hill directing the attack, BYU lost two of its next three games and last week bowed to Missouri to fall to 7-3 for the season. Still a good season, but it’s been one that’s left Cougars fans wondering “what if?”
  1. TE Dillon Gordon/FB John David Moore, LSU: This combination of injuries has played a significant role in bringing LSU’s vaunted running game to an almost complete stop. The two, used almost exclusively as blockers in the Tigers’ power running game, went down with injuries in back-to-back weeks. Dillon was sidelined with an Achilles injury in the Florida game and then Moore suffered a knee injury a week later against South Carolina. As both standout blockers watched from the sidelines, the Tigers were completely shut down in consecutive weeks by Alabama and Arkansas. The untimely injuries have turned LSU’s bread-and-butter gameplan to toast. The Tigers, who moved all the way up to No. 2 in the polls, are now reduced to wondering if they will even manage to eke out another win in the final two games of the regular season, facing quality opponents in Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
  1. QB Jesse Ertz, Kansas State: Injured in the first game of the season, Ertz was unable to lead a Kansas State team that many believed would compete for a Big 12 title. Ertz suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2015 opener against South Dakota and the Wildcats have not been able to recover. Though valiantly battling without their leader through the gauntlet of conference frontrunners, the Wildcats came up just short in the biggest of games. Losing by one score to Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor, Kansas State fans are left wondering if Ertz could have made the difference and turned around those scores and the 2015 season.

Apparently avoiding the list is Michigan State QB Connor Cook, who injured his shoulder and missed the second half of the Spartans’ 24-7 victory over Maryland last week. The Heisman hopeful said he landed on it funny and that he expects to play in this week’s big game with Ohio State. If true, the Spartans can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

So can TCU, if QB Trevone Boykin returns this week from an ankle injury suffered in the first half of the Kansas game on Saturday. Though he did not return for the second half of the Horned Frogs’ 23-17 victory, he is expected to be back under center for Saturday’s showdown with Oklahoma.