This will be a hot topic all season long: Who is the top running back in college football today? There are a few viable candidates that could very well make the case for the top back. One obvious choice is Wisconsin Badgers Melvin Gordon. But he has some stiff competition to contend with in the upcoming 2014 season.
Just in the Big Ten alone Gordon is joined by some good backs. Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), Tevin Coleman (Indiana), David Cobb (Minnesota) and Jeremy Langford (Michigan State) are just a few in the conference looking to put themselves in the discussion as the best back in the nation. And they all were named to the Doak Walker watch list with Gordon.
But besides the Big Ten, the rest of the country has a few big names looking to rise above Gordon as the best running back in the nation. Boise State’s Jay Ajayi is one of the top backs returning for the 2014 season. Ajayi rushed for 1,425 yards and 18 touchdowns plus one receiving yards for the 8-5 Broncos a year ago.
There’s also a back from LSU, the Badgers first opponent of the season, that is in the discussion as well. And I’m not talking about freshman phenom Leonard Fournette. No, I’m talking about senior Terrence Magee, who should have a big impact this season even with Fournette in the mix. Magee ran for 626 yards and 8 touchdowns all while sharing time with Jeremy Hill, who is on to bigger and better things with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The biggest competition in my opinion will come from the Georgia Bulldogs and Todd Gurley. Despite injuries and only playing 10 games a year ago, Gurley rushed for 989 yards, had 441 receiving yards and tallied 16 total touchdowns. And heading into the season the two running backs garnering the most attention and comparisons are Gurley and Gordon.
Badgers running back Melvin Gordon may be on the Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award watch lists, but he’s going to have some tough competition in the Big Ten and around the nation if he wants to be the best running back in college football this season.