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2010 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings, RBs
Alabama RB Mark Ingram
Alabama RB Mark Ingram
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 16, 2010


CFN 2010 Preview Unit Rankings from top to bottom - Running Backs


Preview 2010 - Unit Rankings

Running Backs


2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

1. Alabama
Virginia Tech and Wisconsin have legitimate claim, but Alabama should have the most talented group of backs in America. Mark Ingram is a special talent who can catch, run inside, and bust big plays on the outside, and this year he’ll prove that he really was unquestionably worth the Heisman Trophy (and didn’t just win it because no one outside of the Pacific Time Zone saw Toby Gerhart play). Trent Richardson is a devastating No. 2 and would start for almost anyone else.

2. Wisconsin
As long as everyone can hold on to the ball (a big problem at times throughout last year) and as long as John Clay can stay healthy, Wisconsin can challenge Alabama and Virginia Tech for the honor of having the nation’s best stable of backs. There are three runners (Clay, Zach Brown, and Montee Ball) able to crank out 100 yards at any time, and there should be a terrific rotation to keep everyone fresh. With all five starters returning up front, and with a good passing game to take the pressure off, anything less than 2,750 yards from this group would be disappointing.

3. Virginia Tech
Two years ago, Tech responded to the dismissal of Branden Ore with Darren Evans. Last year, its answer to Evans’ injury was Ryan Williams. Now that both are on hand, the biggest challenge will be keeping everyone happy. Add mobile QB Tyrod Taylor into the mix, and opponents won’t know where to turn to stop this running attack. ‘Bama is the only other school with an argument about the best backfield in the country.

4. Nevada
With a great rotation, a terrific line, a fantastic offensive scheme, and plenty of speed and skill, the Nevada running game will be among the nation’s leaders yet again. Vai Taua and Mike Ball could end up being the first-team All-WAC runners, and Courtney Randall and Lampford Mark will get more than their share of carries to keep the rotation fresh. Combining with QB Colin Kaepernick, the ground game will crank out over 4,000 yards again.

5. Oregon State
Quietly, this program never seems to have a problem developing elite players out of the backfield. Jacquizz Rodgers is clearly the next in line. After two seasons, he has established himself as one of America’s most exciting playmakers and a model of consistency. Jovan Stevenson is capable of surprising those people who believe this is a one-horse stable at Oregon State.

6. Pitt
Dave Wannstedt has been pointing to this day for years, when he has a loaded backfield that can wear defenses down for four quarters. Dion Lewis, the undisputed star, has looked even better and stronger this offseason, and Ray Graham plans to make life tough on the staff. Particularly as a new starting quarterback gets broken in, both will be used liberally in 2010. Lewis is a legitimate All-America candidate and Graham would start for a bunch of schools not named Pittsburgh. This is an ideal situation for Wannstedt, who’s biggest concern this season might be making sure that all of his gifted backs are happy.

7. Oregon
As long as LaMichael James is upright, Oregon will have one of the nation’s premier backs and a candidate for all kinds of individual honors. And if the staff chooses to lighten his load a little bit this fall, it has plenty of viable options, from veterans Kenjon Barner and Remene Alston to rookies Lache Seastrunk and Dontae Williams. Losing LeGarrette Blount early in 2009 means the program is much better prepared in the backfield in 2010.

8. Utah
As always, the Utes will tear off more than 2,000 yards on the ground and well over 20 scores, but unlike past years almost all the production will come from the running backs. With Matt Asiata, Eddie Wide, and Sausan Shakerin, there’s no reason to let anyone else take a pounding. How deep are the Utes? Shakerin would probably be a first-team All-Mountain West star for anyone else. It’s not a bad thing to have too many good backs to get the ball to.

9. Georgia Tech
Although Jonathan Dwyer’s presence will be missed, Allen is around to minimize the damage. He’s going to pile up huge numbers as the new focal point of the backfield. More output, however, will be needed from the A-backs, like Roddy Jones, Embry Peeples, and Marcus Wright, who were a little too quiet a year ago.

10. UTEP
Donald Buckram is a rare gem in West Texas these days and easily the best reason to watch a UTEP game. He’s one of the country’s most exciting playmakers and the type of weapon that’ll keep the Miners in games that it otherwise would be overmatched. If he stays healthy, 2,000 yards rushing might be within reach, especially against a schedule void of defensive heavyweights.

COULD EASILY BE IN TOP TEN

Air Force M-West
Auburn SEC
Boston College ACC
California Pac 10
Georgia SEC
Ohio State Big Ten
Oklahoma Big 12
Penn State Big Ten
West Virginia Big East

SOLID, WILL BE A POSITIVE

Arkansas SEC
Army Ind
Boise State WAC
Clemson ACC
Connecticut Big East
Florida SEC
Florida State ACC
Houston C-USAW
Iowa State Big 12
Kansas State Big 12
Kent State MAC
Kentucky SEC
Navy Ind
Nebraska Big 12
Oklahoma State Big 12
Ole Miss SEC
TCU M-West
Temple MAC
Tennessee SEC
Texas A&M Big 12
Vanderbilt SEC
Washington   Pac 10

AVERAGE

Arizona Pac 10
Ball State MAC
Buffalo MAC
Cincinnati Big East
Colorado   Big 12
Fresno State WAC
Illinois Big Ten
Iowa Big Ten
Kansas Big 12
Louisville  Big East
LSU SEC
Maryland  ACC
Miami   ACC
Michigan Big Ten
Michigan State Big Ten
Mississippi State SEC
Missouri Big 12
North Carolina ACC
Northern Illinois MAC
Notre Dame Ind
Rutgers  Big East
South Carolina SEC
Stanford Pac 10
Texas Big 12
Texas Tech Big 12
USC Pac 10
Utah State WAC
Wake Forest ACC

NEEDS WORK

Arizona State Pac 10
Arkansas State Sun Belt
Baylor Big 12
Colorado State M-West
Duke ACC
Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
Indiana  Big Ten
Minnesota Big Ten
NC State ACC
North Texas Sun Belt
Northwestern Big Ten
Purdue Big Ten
Rice C-USAW
South Florida Big East
Southern Miss C-USAE
Syracuse Big East
Toledo MAC
Troy Sun Belt
UCF C-USAE
UCLA  Pac 10
UL Monroe Sun Belt
UNLV M-West
Virginia   ACC
Western Kentucky Sun Belt

A PROBLEM

Akron MAC
Bowling Green MAC
BYU M-West
Central Michigan MAC
East Carolina C-USAE
Eastern Michigan MAC
Idaho WAC
Louisiana Tech WAC
Marshall C-USAE
Memphis C-USAE
Miami Univ. MAC
Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
New Mexico   M-West
New Mexico State WAC
Ohio   MAC
San Jose State WAC
Western Michigan MAC

THE BOTTOM TEN

FIU Sun Belt
Hawaii WAC
San Diego State M-West
SMU C-USAW
Tulane C-USAW
Tulsa C-USAW
UAB C-USAE
UL Lafayette Sun Belt
Washington State Pac 10
Wyoming M-West

CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007