Saturday, August 14, 2010

2010 College Football Predictions: Top Five Running Back Duos in the Nation

There is always a lot of talk, conjecture, and debate when it comes to individually ranking the top running backs in the nation.

But what about the top running back duos—that is, the best backs who are teammates.

Here are my top five. I encourage everyone to post your comments on which of my rankings you agree or disagree with.

Duo Number Five

Brandon Saine and Dan Herron - Ohio State

In 2008, Herron replaced the injured Beanie Wells and impressed the coaches so much that he entered 2009 as the starter.

Saine came back healthy in 2009 and led the Buckeyes in rushing yards by a running back with 739. He also had 224 receiving yards and scored six total touchdowns.

Herron added 600 yards on the ground and seven touchdown runs.

Entering 2010, it appears that Saine is the No. 1 back with Herron a very close second.

With the O-line expected to be one of the best in the country, another huge year from the Buckeye backfield should be on tap.

Duo Number Four

Adam Robinson and Jewell Hampton or Adam Wegher - Iowa

With Hampton out for the season due to injury, Robinson led the Hawkeyes rushing attack in 2009 with 834 yards and five touchdowns, and Wegher added another 641 yards and eight scores.

Before being injured, Hampton was considered to be the guy who would take over for NFL-departed Shonn Greene.

In 2008, Hampton rushed for 463 yards and scored seven times as Greene's backup.

I'm sure Robinson did enough in 2009 to be Iowa's No. 1 or No. 2 in 2010, so the only question is who will be his main sidekick, Hampton or Wegher?

I'm still leaning towards Hampton, but no matter who it ends up being, expect plenty of production behind their big line and the reduction of pressure on turnover-prone quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

Duo Number Three

Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray - Texas A & M

A year ago, Michael just edged Gray to lead the Aggies in rushing with 844 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gray added 757 rushing yards, 226 receiving yards, and seven total touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving).

QB Jerrod Johnson, who is also a pretty decent ball carrier himself, is one of the best passers in the Big 12 and is expected to pass more than scramble this season.

That should allow Michael and Gray even more running room in 2010.

1,000 yards seasons could be possible for both.

Duo Number Two

Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson - Alabama

Everyone knows about Ingram, the 2009 Heisman winner. He gained 1658 yards on the ground and had 334 receiving yards. In total, he scored 20 touchdowns (17 rushing, three receiving).

Not everyone knows about Ricahrdson, but they soon will. He is considered by many experts and fans alike as one of the best non-starters in college football.

Last season, he averaged nearly 5.2 yards per carry, as he rushed for 751 yards and scored eight touchdowns.

Only a sophomore in 2010, he's tough,fast, and just might someday be Alabama's second Heisman winner.

He was twice named the SEC freshman of the week in 2009 and was also tabbed as a member of the SEC All-Freshmen team.

QB Greg McElroy seems more of a game manager type to me, so it's not hard to imagine another huge year rushing for the Tide with both Ingram and Richardson carrying the rock.

Duo Number One

Ryan Williams and Darren Evans - Virginia Tech

Coach Frank Beamer has a huge problem on his hands heading into 2010.

However, it's not a problem he minds having.

How will he decide which one of his star running backs will be 1A and 1B?

In 2008, freshman Darren Evans rushed for 1,265 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Prior to the 2009 season, Evans tore the ACL in his left knee and was lost for the entire season.

Hokie fans were at a loss and many thought the season would be a disaster.

But for the second straight season, a freshman, this time Ryan Williams, ran wild.

Williams unexpectedly had one of the best statistical seasons of any back in the nation, gaining 1,655 yards and finding the end zone 21 times.

Expectations are sky high for the 2010 Hokies, and Williams and Evans are two of the biggest reasons, justifiably so.

That's it. That's the list. Now let's hear from my fans and haters alike.

Let the debating begin.

Click For The Block Nation Front Page


  1. Where is the love for Washaun Ealey and Caleb King? Based on the list you have I'd put them at #3 after Bama and VT. Caleb King had a broken jaw for the first half of the season but still put up 594 yds and 7 TD on 5.2 ypc (put up 166 yds on Georgia Tech). Washaun Ealey only played in 9 games (he was a freshman last year) but rushed for 717 yards and 5.7 ypc and 79 ypg (put up 183 yds on Georgia Tech). Ealey averaged 95 ypg in the last 7 of his freshman year.

  2. Kevin, it's clear you are a fan of Georgia and if you think Ealey and King are good enough to be # 3 on this list, you'd have to admit you are biased as a UGA fan.

    While they had decent stats, UGA did not have a good year in 2009 and they probably aren't going to have a much better 2010 -- we'll see though, I could be wrong...

    I know and agree that they are 2 fine backs, but based on what all these RBs have done and the expectations of them in 2010, sorry but IMHO, your UGA guys do not make my top 5 ahead of any other pairs I ranked.

    I do appreciate the read and comment from you -- Thanks, HD

  3. The WI Badgers have the best duo of running backs with John Clay and Montee Ball.

    Which conference has the best and toughest collection of running backs? Who was chosen as an "All American" running back last year? Who was the most valuable player in last year's Champs Sports Bowl game? Who was picked as the Big Ten's offensive player of the year for 2009?

    Answers: John Clay!

  4. Uhm, sorry badger fan, but Montee Ball is a complete nobody


Do you really like or really hate one of our articles?

Do you agree or absolutely disagree with something you've read here?


You can post anonymously or add your name if you like.

Either way, registration is NOT required!

BlockONation's Expanding Web Presence


Numerous BlockONation articles have been posted on or linked to from some very well known, high-volume sports websites.

We'd like to take a moment to both acknowledge and thank those sites for their support in helping make BlockONation one of the most popular new Ohio State Football blogs on the web!

In no particular order:

Again, thanks so very much to those sites for all their support and also, a huge thank you to the fans who have visited the site to date!

I'd also like to personally thank all those individuals who have contributed to the success of the site! I wouldn't be here without your help over the last 8+ years. You all know who you are!

It is our mission here at to continue to provide top-notch, fresh content for our readers and we will always do everything possible to meet your expectations!

Honestly, I really can't thank you all enough....

HD Handshoe

Thanks for visiting BlockONation
Copyright © 2004-2012 All rights reserved. Site powered by Blogger. Site design and layout by HD Handshoe. This web site is not affiliated with or endorsed by The Ohio State University. Logos, helmet and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. Some photos on this site courtesy of the Associated Press, and Getty Images under the Fair Use Doctrine (Sections 107-118) of the 1976 Copyright Act.