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2014 SEC Position Rankings: Running Backs

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This week, we look at running games around the SEC.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Southeastern Conference is known for running the football, with people believing the spread wouldn't work in the SEC for several years. It has seen great backs like Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith, Darren McFadden, and Herschel Walker. This season looks to be more of the same. There are talented backs at the top, and there's significant depth.

  1. Alabama - It's pretty unfair that one team has TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry on it... and yet that team continues to sign great running backs who want to play immediately. :-(

  2. Georgia - Until Todd Gurley got injured, he was absolutely amazing. He's probably the best back in the conference. If Keith Marshall can recover from the injury that cost him last year, they could be better than Alabama's backs.

  3. South Carolina - Mike Davis is a fantastic runner and can do work catching the ball out of the backfield as well. If he were to get hurt though, I'm not sure how well South Carolina could recover.

  4. Auburn - I was ready to move Auburn way down the list with the loss of Tre Mason, but unfortunately Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant averaged 6.7 and 9.8 yards per carry respectively last season. Could Gus Malzahn have walked into a program who hadn't recruited at an elite level for the past five years?

  5. Arkansas - Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are going to be solid for several years. If the BERT experiment is to work, it rests almost solely on the backs of those two running backs.

  6. Ole Miss - I'm pretty high on I'Tavius Mathers this season. I think he's going to break apart from the pack at Ole Miss and make a name for himself. Jaylen Walton is a good change of pace, and the Rebels will turn to either Akeem Judd or Jordan Wilkins as a power back.

  7. Texas A&M - I guess Trey Williams and Tra Carson will be splitting carries. Both looked good in limited action last season, but the jury is still out on Texas A&M post-Manziel. Their running game could take a huge hit if people aren't afraid of getting totally demolished by the read-option. Maybe they will still be terrified. I just have no idea.

  8. LSU - Terrence McGee did pretty well in limited action last season. But yay! Jeremy Hill and the way that he would "assault" defenses is gone! Yay!

  9. Missouri - As a sophomore last season, Russell Hansbrough ran for six yards per carry in significant action. He returns, but Henry Josey is gone. Missouri is going to have a little trouble this year unless they can replace a lot of talented, departed skill players.

  10. Florida - Kelvin Taylor was pretty good as a freshman, but I'm not sure I understand the hype that has some people putting Florida in the top 5-6. They just don't really have anything proven.

  11. Mississippi State - Josh Robinson is a pretty legit running back threat, and he caught some balls last season as well. Past him, I just don't know what they're going to do.

  12. Kentucky - The wildcats return their leading rusher, but is that much to brag about when he had just 482 yards? We'll see what Stoops' recruiting has done to help the team.

  13. Tennessee - I think that Marlon Lane is good, but he's certainly no Raijon Neal. He'll be running behind a terrible offensive line as well, and while I probably shouldn't factor that into my ranking here, I'm going to do it anyway, so suck it.

  14. Vanderbilt - Oh, Vanderbilt. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.