Alabama Football: Breaking down a misguided ranking of running back groups

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports /

Some fans love football’s silly season. As in the period of the offseason when anything goes in predicting a coming season. Alabama football fans have less interest in sketchy claims, because we know, even at worst, the Crimson Tide will be very good.

It is wise to be selective in paying attention to what is said about players and teams. There is plenty of good, solid content. There is also a degree of nonsense that unfortunately it is impossible to ignore.

A case in point is a recent offering about college football’s best running back rooms. To save Crimson Tide fans from wasting time, skip the link. A summary follows. In fairness, I don’t doubt the intent of the list was to be unbiased. Not for a moment will I denigrate the praise given to the running backs of the 11 college football teams highlighted. I am willing to submit every running back discussed was fairly rated.

The problem is the running backs (four in particular) that were not included. Each will be wearing Crimson and White this fall. They are, of course, Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams, Jam Miller and Justice Haynes. If Richard Young had enrolled early, I would include him as well.

Whether it is measured by four or five running backs, it is the Alabama Crimson Tide that has the best running back group in college football. At the end of the 2023 season, results will prove I am correct. The only way it doesn’t happen is if the Alabama Crimson Tide offensive line is no better than last season. And the Tide’s ‘Big Uglies’ are expected to be improved – perhaps much improved.

At least one writer for CBS Sports strongly disagrees with my contention. How do I know that? Because in his list of the 11 best running back groups in college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide was omitted.

After that stunning exclusion, the list was (in order) Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Georgia, Oregon, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Ole Miss and Wisconsin.

I am prepared to concede that Alabama Football does not have one of the nation’s top running backs. In a  list of four or five, Michigan’s Blake Corum must be included, as does Ole Miss running back, Quinshon Judkins. Arkansas Razorback, Raheim ‘Rocker’ Sanders is probably another.

Alabama Football No. 1 in Running Backs

But no college football team can match the Crimson Tide’s top four running backs. The three guys mentioned above, along with their running back teammates, will not be as good as the Crimson Tide’s quartet. A fresh Alabama running back will be available for every Crimson Tide snap, and the third or fourth one on the Bama depth chart will be as big a threat as RB1. Some Alabama football fans are confident Alabama’s two best running backs are Jam Miller and Justice Haynes.

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In fairness, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But when an opinion is so flawed, it cannot be ignored.