College Sports Forum

College Sports Forum

College sports fan talk.

My Top 10 Best College Running Backs All Time Modern Era

+3 HS
awlinBrutus's picture
February 3, 2018 at 7:54pm

I was on twitter earlier catching up on news.(Dam you off season) Tony Gerdman made a comment that a list of the top running backs would be ridiculous without Barry Sanders. Initially I agreed that Sanders was a great RB. So I posted my top 10 all time college running backs off the top of my head:

1-Barry Sanders

2-Archie Griffin

3-Tony Dorsett

4-Herschel Walker

5-Earl Campbell

6-Eddie George

7-Bo Jackson

8-Billy Sims

9-Emmit Smith

10-OJ Simpson

Right after making my list I started checking stats to arrange my list in a more thought out manner. After looking at Barry Sanders college stats I could never rank him higher than Archie, Earl Campbell etc etc if I was compiling a top 10 list of the all time great "College" running backs. If I was making a top 10 list of NFL running backs of course he makes the top 5 easily imo. So I started making a list of the best all time college running backs imo using stats as part of my guidelines. Also, to be considered a top RB receiving was a factor in my list, hard to be a top RB if he's not a 3 down back imo.  So here is "My" All Time Top 20 Running Backs of "College" football.

20-Craig James 1979-82 Rushing 775-3742 4.8 ypc 23 TD's Rec 51-650 3 TD's Could you imagine his numbers without his backfield mate?

19-Montee Ball 2009-12 Rushing 924-5140 5.6ypc 77 TD's rec 10-72 I really struggled with this one, but how can he not be on the list with 77 TD's?

18-Marshal Faulk 1991-93 Rushing 766-4589 57 TD's 82-973 5 TD's-His all purpose yards gets him on my list

17-Keith Byars 1982-85 Rushing 619-3200 5.2 ypc 46 TD's Rec 72-882 3 TD's I just couldn't leave a guy off my list that scored a 80 yard TD with one shoe

16-Barry Sanders 1986-88 Rushing Yards 523-3556 6.8 ypc 65 TD receiving 23-164 1 TD As you can see I drop him all the way to 16 after looking at his stats. His junior year he had over 2600 yards rushing and 37 TD's. I forgot most of his career yards came in one year, his last before heading to the NFL. Now you could definitely make a case that he had the best season  season of any RB all time easily imo. 

15-Adrian Peterson 2004-06 Rushing 748-4041 5.4 ypc 41 TD's Rec 24-198 1 TD

14-Ladainian Tomlinson 1997-00 Rushing 943-5387 5.7ypc 56 TD's 43-267 

13-Emmitt Smith 1987-89 Rushing 700-3928 5.6ypc 36 TD's 56-463 1 TD Great numbers for a RB in the Ol' Ball coaches offense

12-Billy Sims 1975-79 Rushing 544-3820 7ypc 48 TD's Rec 2-77 His lack of receiving stats wasn't a negative because Oklahoma didn't throw much. Probably came the closets to winning a 2nd heisman up until this past year with Jackson

11-Eddie George 1992-95 Rushing 683-3768 5.5ypc 44 TD's Rec 63-534 1 TD His senior year and his receiving makes my list, plus he's a Buckeye

10-Eric Dickerson 1979-82 Rushing 790-4450 5.6ypc 47 TD's Rec 19-190 1 TD Definitely deserving to be on the list one of my favs

9-Bo Jackson 1982-85 Rushing 650-4303 6.6ypc 43 TD's Rec 26-272 2 TD's

8-Earl Campbell 1974-77 Rushing 765-4443 5.8ypc 40 TD's Rec 6-128 1 TD Who doesn't love a bruising RB

7-Herschel Walker 1980-82 Rushing 994-5259 5.3ypc 49 TD's Rec 26-243       3 Td's He was a monster in college

6-Ron Dayne 1996-99 1220-7125 5.8ypc 71 TD's Rec 31-304 Some would disagree with this pick but his yardage and TD's is very impressive 

5-Marcus Allen 1978-81 Rushing 932-4810 5.2ypc 45 TD's Rec 86-801 2 TD's His receiving abilities got him this high

4-Charles White 1976-79 Rushing 1147-6245 5.4ypc 49 TD's Rec 59-541 4 TD's Another Great all around back from USC

3-Ricky Williams 1995-98 Rushing 1011-6279 6.2ypc 72 TD's Rec 85-927 3 TD's Great career

2-Tony Dorsett 1973-76 Rushing 1163-6526 5.6ypc 59 TD's Rec 42-415 4 TD's Great college career, enjoyed watching him and those Pitt teams back in the day

1-Archie Griffin 1972-75 Rushing 924-5589 6ypc 26 TD's Rec 30-350 1 TD I'm sure some are yelling Homer!!! Believe me the last 6 or 7 were hard, you could argue 1-7. Archie will always be #1 for me, deservedly so. His 31 100 yard games in a row I doubt will ever be broken. Plus he's the only 2 time heisman winner which gotta count for something right? Plus Archie is one of two players to have started in 4 Rose Bowls. 




This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

View 67 Comments