Skip to main content

Expert Poll: Ranking the Best College Football Running Backs in 2016

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford Cardinal

Personalities and college football experts on SiriusXM College Sports Nation ranked the nation’s top 16 quarterbacks, running backs, coaching staffs, defenses, head coaches, mascots, stadiums, uniforms and fan bases and you can hear in-depth analysis on College Sports Nation, Ch. 84.

Image placeholder title

Among those taking part are former Alabama national championship quarterback Greg McElroy, former Miami and North Carolina head coach Butch Davis, College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz, hosts Chris Childers, Chris Carlin, Mark Packer, myself as well as producers Mike Garvin, Dan Bezilla and Regina Ham, in a collection of expert polls titled #SXMTop16.

Today, we take a look at the running backs. Chime in with your rankings!

Image placeholder title

1. Leonard Fournette, LSU

He’s simply the best. Size, speed, power, vision, balance, production. Fournette can do it all and has done it all. Should he lead LSU to a division title there is no doubt he’ll be in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. There is no excuse for him not to get over 300 touches on offense this fall.

Att.

Yds

TD

YPC

Rec.

Rec. Yds

TD

300

1,953

22

6.5

19

253

1

Image placeholder title

2. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

The record-setting all-purpose dynamo does everything for Stanford. Not reflected in the stats below is 1,200 return yards and two more touchdowns. In all, he finished with an NCAA record 3,864 all-purpose yards on 434 total touches. With Kevin Hogan gone and a rebuilt offensive line, McCaffrey will have to carry his team to another Pac-12 title.

Att.

Yds

TD

YPC

Rec.

Rec. Yds

TD

337

2,019

8

6.0

45

645

5

3. Dalvin Cook, Florida State

There may not be a more explosive player in the country than Cook. He averaged a ridiculous 7.4 yards per carry, willing Florida State to victory numerous times while overcoming nagging injuries all season long. Fans can bet that if Cook can handle the workload, a 300-touch season is in the works in 2016.

Att.

Yds

TD

YPC

Rec.

Rec. Yds

TD

229

1,691

19

7.4

24

244

1

Image placeholder title

4. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

It took first-year coordinator Lincoln Riley a few games to figure it out, but once he started feeding his running game, Perine delivered in a big way. The Sooners bowling ball rolled up 201 yards against Texas Tech, 166 against Baylor, 188 against TCU and 131 against Oklahoma State — all in the second half of the season. In two seasons, Perine has 3,062 yards, 37 touchdowns and the NCAA’s single-game rushing record (427).

Att.

Yds

TD

YPC

Rec.

Rec. Yds

TD

226

1,349

16

6.0

15

107

1

Image placeholder title

5. Royce Freeman, Oregon