Running Back University  

Posted by Frazier

Or... How We Once Again Prove That the SEC Gets Love Around Here...

Dammit! Usually we here at The 323 like to do our own research into a topic, come to our own conclusions, and then debate amongst ourselves, or with anyone else who stops by. Well, sometimes it's just a monumental waste of our time. There are plenty of great RB schools, but two are simply better than the rest. First, a couple of mentions:

-Oklahoma St. They only produced three legit pro's, Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, and Tatum Bell. However, with Sanders and Thomas, they are the only school to produce two absolute sure-fire Hall-of-Famers. Not to mention the fact that Sanders was not only the most electric runner ever, but he also had a stunning college career capped by one of the most remarkable seasons ever.

-Florida. They are greatly helped by the remarkable Emmitt Smith. But if Fred Taylor could stay healthy, they would have had a chance to crack the top two. Producing seven effective pro's (Emmitt Smith, Neal Anderson, Errict Rhett, Fred Taylor, John L. Williams, James Jones, Lorenzo Hampton) including the completely underrated Anderson. Not bad for the boys from the Fun n' Gun.

The Runner-Up:

-Georgia. They produce solid pro running backs, and as stated, the injuries to Edwards and Davis were devestating to their professional productivity, not to mention the Walker debacle. Still, seven solid pro's (Herschel Walker, Garrison Hearst, Rodney Hampton, Terrell Davis, Tim Worley, Robert Edwards, Olandis Gary) an aptly named fullback (Mack Strong) and great talent and consistency. They beat Florida because they had three guys with great pro careers cut short to some bad luck.

The Winner:

-Auburn. It's been said before. They produced solid pro's for years. Jackson averaged over 5 yds/carry over his tragically short career. They have two of the best young backs in the league (Brown and Williams) and another (Johnson) playing pro-bowl caliber ball. They have a very promising guy in the college ranks just waiting to join the fun (Kenny Irons). They also have produced EIGHT solid running backs (Bo Jackson, James Brooks, Stephen Davis, Joe Cribbs, Brent Fullwood, Carnell Williams, Rudi Johnson, Ronnie Brown) along with excellent fullbacks (Fred Beasley, Tony Richardson). A note on Fullwood, a disappointing career, but he did make a pro bowl, which not everyone can say. Oh, if you include William Andrews, (who played in 1986 and is technically eligible for the list, but whose career essentially ended in a 1983 knee injury) and his four pro bowl's, that only makes their success the more obvious. The SEC produces running backs, and no team more prodigiously than Auburn.


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