Powered by:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA
Contains commercial content
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 16 Running Backs in Big Ten History

Top 16 Running Backs in Big Ten History

The best ever!
Publish Date: 11/11/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

The Big Ten started using the name Big Ten in the early ’50s, ranking the top ten running backs from 1952-present.

16) Bob Ferguson, Ohio State Buckeyes

The 1961 Maxwell Award winner also finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. Ferguson lost the 1961 Heisman Trophy by just 53 votes to Syracuse’s Ernie Davis. The Ohio State Buckeye was a unanimous All-American selection in 1960 and 1961. Ferguson accomplished all of this from the fullback position.

Video: 1961 Ohio State football highlights

1961 Ohio State football highlights

15) Lorenzo White, Michigan State Spartans

White was outstanding in 1985 and 1987 for the Spartans, and he helped the Spartans win the Big Ten championship with an incredible season. In 1985 and 1987, White finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, was an All-American and won the Big Ten Player of the Year Award. White led the Spartans to a Rose Bowl win over USC in 1988.

Video: Classic Tailback - Lorenzo White Michigan State Highlights

Classic Tailback – Lorenzo White Michigan State Highlights

14) Shonn Green, Iowa Hawkeyes

Green ran for 100-plus yards in every game of the 2008 season — the only player to do so that season — en route to 1,850 total yards and 20 touchdowns. He became Iowa’s first Doak Walker Award winner, was a unanimous All-American and led the Hawkeyes to an Outback Bowl win with his 3-touchdown performance in 2009.

Video: Shonn Greene: College's Best Running Back 2008

Shonn Greene: College’s Best Running Back 2008

13) Howard Cassady, Ohio State Buckeyes

In his career at Ohio State, Cassady ran for over 2,400 yards and was named the AP male athlete of the year in 1955; that honor meant that Cassady was considered the best male athlete in the entire country. In both 1954 and 1955, Cassady earned unanimous All-American honors. Cassady won the second Heisman Trophy for the Big Ten since the conference changed its name in 1953. Alan Ameche won the first in 1954, just one year prior.

Video: Big Ten Film Vault: 1955 Yearbook - Howard

Big Ten Film Vault: 1955 Yearbook – Howard “Hopalong” Cassidy Heisman Trophy Winner

12) Leroy Keyes, Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue finished in the top 10 of the final AP poll every year Keyes played there (1966-68), and the Boilermakers also won the 1967 Rose Bowl during that time. Those accomplishments are not typical in the history of Purdue football. Keyes almost won back to back Heisman trophies finishing second and third in consecutive years.

Video: Purdue Football | Leroy Keyes Tribute

Purdue Football | Leroy Keyes Tribute

11) Montee Ball, Wisconsin Badgers

Ball, a consensus All-American in 2011 and 2012, finished fourth in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting. Ball won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2011 and the Doak Walker Award in 2012. Ball helped lead the Badgers to three Rose Bowls.

Video: Ultimate Montee Ball Highlights - 2011 Season

Ultimate Montee Ball Highlights – 2011 Season

10) Eddie George, Ohio State Buckeyes

George won the 1995 Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Doak Walker Award and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award. That year, George was also a unanimous All-American selection. When George was the feature back for Ohio State (1994-95), he averaged 302 rushing attempts, 1,534.5 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns per season. The only drawback for George is the lack of bowl wins as the Buckeyes were 0-3 in Bowl games with George in the backfield.

Video: Classic Tailback - Eddie George Ohio State Highlights

Classic Tailback – Eddie George Ohio State Highlights

9) Anthony Thompson, Indiana Hoosiers

Anthony Thompson finished second in the 1989 Heisman Trophy voting but won the most significant awards. Thompson won the 1989 Walter Camp, Maxwell, and Big Ten Player of the Year awards. The Indiana Hoosier was also a unanimous All-American selection in 1989. Thompson owned many records at the time of his graduation.

Video: Most Iconic Person: Anthony Thompson | B1G Football

Most Iconic Person: Anthony Thompson | B1G Football

8) Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin Badgers

In 2014 Gordon led the nation with 2,587 rushing yards — the second-best total in NCAA history behind Barry Sanders — and 29 touchdowns and won the Doak Walker Award. Gordon racked up 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns in his career

Video: The GREATEST Rushing Performance in College Football HISTORY! 💯

The GREATEST Rushing Performance in College Football HISTORY! 💯

7) Mike Hart, Michigan Wolverines

Hart is just one of a very few to rush for over 5,000 yards in his big ten career. Hart set a Michigan freshman record with 1,455 yards in 2004, and as a junior, he totaled 1,562 yards. Hart holds several Michigan records, including carries (1,015) and yards (5,040) in a career and most games with over 100 rushing yards (28).

Video: Mike Hart tribute

Mike Hart tribute

6) Larry Johnson, Penn State Nittany Lions

Johnson only played for one season, but what a season it was! Johnson rushed for 2,087 yards (second all-time only to Dayne) and 20 touchdowns on 7.7 yards per carry in 2002, earning consensus All-American honors and the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy race, bringing elite size and speed to the backfield.

Video: Larry Johnson Penn State Career Highlights - 2K for LJ

Larry Johnson Penn State Career Highlights – 2K for LJ

5) Alan Ameche, Wisconsin Badgers

Alan “The Horse” Ameche won the first Heisman Trophy (1954) since the conference changed its name to the Big Ten (1953). Ameche held the NCAA career rushing yards record after completing his college career at Wisconsin in 1954. While Ameche played for Wisconsin (1951-54), the Badgers never finished lower than 15th in the final AP poll. Ameche and the Badgers lost the 1953 Rose Bowl to Southern California, 7-0, even though Ameche ran for a then-Rose Bowl record of 133 yards. Ameche was a stud at Wisconsin and is probably best known for his game-winning touchdown in the greatest game ever played, the 1958 NFL Championship game.

Video: Wisconsin's Alan Ameche awarded with Heisman Trophy as outstanding college footba...HD Stock Footage

Wisconsin’s Alan Ameche awarded with Heisman Trophy as outstanding college footba…HD Stock Footage

4) Saquon Barkley, Penn State Nittany Lions

Barkley finished his time at Penn State with 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns on the ground. He also added eight receiving touchdowns, which is elite for backs, putting him over the 50-score mark. He was a big part of Penn State’s Big Ten title run in 2016.

Video: The Human Cheat Code || Penn State RB Saquon Barkley Career Highlights ᴴᴰ

The Human Cheat Code || Penn State RB Saquon Barkley Career Highlights ᴴᴰ

3) Ron Dayne, Wisconsin Badgers

Dayne was the epitome of a workhorse running back, finishing with over 1200 carries for over 7,000 rushing yards. In 1999, Dayne also took home the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award, the AP Player of the Year Award, the Doak Walker Award and the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award. Wisconsin won the 1999 and 2000 Rose Bowls, which were Dayne’s junior and senior seasons.

Video: Classic Performances: Ron Dayne runs over UCLA in the Rose Bowl (1999)

Classic Performances: Ron Dayne runs over UCLA in the Rose Bowl (1999)

2) Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Badgers

When you carry the ball more than 900 times and average more than 2,000 yards per season, you get to be No. 1 on this list. Despite running it a TON, Taylor averaged 6.7 yards per carry and scored 55 touchdowns while at Wisconsin. The big, speedy back finished his college career as the No. 6 all-time rusher in the NCAA and was the first player in history to rush for more than 6,000 yards in three years. He finished in the top 10 of the Heisman voting three times and was a unanimous first-team All-American and recipient of the Doak Walker Award.

Video: Jonathan Taylor Career Top Ten Plays | Wisconsin Football

Jonathan Taylor Career Top Ten Plays | Wisconsin Football

1) Archie Griffin, Ohio State Buckeyes

Who else could it be? Griffin is still the only man to win back-to-back Heisman trophies. Griffin, a unanimous All-American in 1974 and 1975, also won the Walter Camp Award in both seasons. In 1975, Griffin also won the Maxwell Award.

Video: Classic Tailback - Archie Griffin Ohio State Highlights

Classic Tailback – Archie Griffin Ohio State Highlights

Read Also
Top 11 Big Ten Basketball Teams, since 1960
Through the years, the Big Ten Conference has been one of the ...
The Complexities of Bob Knight: The Greatest Coach of All-Time
  Bob Knight, born in 1940 and raised in Orrville, Ohio, was ...
BetMGM Promo
Top-25 Running Backs in College Football History
I start off by saying that this list does not take into ...
Top 17 Texas Longhorns(Football) Players of All Time
Today we look at the most incredible Longhorns of all time! In ...
Top 20 College Basketball Point Guards of All Time
You win in College Basketball with guard play, and today we will ...
Top 22 NCAA Basketball Championship Games of All-Time
The most incredible month-long, event in sports is the NCAA Mens Basketball ...
Top 15 Greatest Dynasties in College Football History
First, Alabama's current dynasty is not included because if Saban stays there, ...
We got the Return of Celtic Pride Part I: How the 1983-84 Celtics returned to their heritage
The best bookmakers have now adjusted their odds for who will win ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Grading every NFL team’s picks from the 2021 NFL Draft
Quickly, click away if you’re going to get upset by reading draft ...
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now!
-
Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic Review
4.5/5
High5Casino
High5Casino
High5Casino Review
4.5/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
$25 No Deposit + 250,000 Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic Bonus
25 SCs extra free on first purchases + 2 SCs FREE to claim
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
High5Casino
High5Casino Bonus
$5 No Deposit + 250 GameCoins + 600 Diamonds
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
1,000 ($10) No Deposit Free Coins + 360,000 Gold Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Latest News
NFL Week 13 Quarterback Power rankings: A New number one!
Goff's brave resilience has won him fans in ...
Top 10 Dirtiest Boxers of All Time
Dirty boxing was more prevalent in the early ...
Top 10 Left-Handed Pitchers in Baseball History
Two hundred eighty-eight victories, there are currently only ...
Betting Tips
11/29/2023 - 7:15 pm
Chapel Hill
Tip:
North Carolina to Cover
-1.50
FanDuel
11/26/2023 - 4:30 pm
Gainbridge
Tip:
Harvard to Cover
6.50
FanDuel
11/25/2023 - 12:00 pm
Michigan Sradium
Tip:
Ohio State to Cover
4.00
FanDuel
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Indiana Basketball weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Harvard Preview and UCONN and Louisville Recaps!
Indiana Basketball weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Harvard Preview and UCONN and Louisville Recaps!
Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Army Preview and Florida Gulf Coast recap!
Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Army Preview and Florida Gulf Coast recap!
Video: SEC Championship Georgia vs Alabama: Preview and Prediction
SEC Championship Georgia vs Alabama: Preview and Prediction
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now!
-
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic Review
4.5/5
High5Casino
High5Casino
High5Casino Review
4.5/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
$25 No Deposit + 250,000 Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic Bonus
25 SCs extra free on first purchases + 2 SCs FREE to claim
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
High5Casino
High5Casino Bonus
$5 No Deposit + 250 GameCoins + 600 Diamonds
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
1,000 ($10) No Deposit Free Coins + 360,000 Gold Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
up to $1,500 back in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
$1000 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Place your first cash bet up to $1,000, and if the bet loses, you will have your wager refunded in Bonus Bets. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+10
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
aukje
aukje
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
berina
berina
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Move to Top
Close
Players accepted in the US US Flag
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
$25 No Deposit + 250,000 Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site