Monday, 25 July 2011

2011 SEC Preview: Ranking the RB's

This season is being dubbed "The year of the RB" in the SEC as the conference will feature some of the best RB's in the nation. This article will rank my top 5 RB's in the SEC this year, so tell me what you think!

If you disagree with the ranking of your favorite RB don't get mad, because I think the talent level between the top five is beyond unmeasurable and I originally found it hard to name the five in this particular order. But none the less we will carry on as always:

1. Knile Davis - Arkansas Razorbacks
Yes, through all the squabbling over SEC fan bases the past few months about "which prized RB is the best in the conference" my personal no1 is Knile Davis. Davis is a prototypical big back, standing at 6'0 and 220lbs. Davis came on strong near the end of last season as he put up some big numbers, especially a 187 yard and 2 TD game against against Miss. State.

Davis was the SEC's leading rusher last season as he put up 1322 yards and 13 TD's. One upside he does have (statistically) is that Petrino covers a run and gun passing offense that gives Davis more space to run when defenses try to cover the pass. Arkansas is going to be dangerous on offense this year yet again and Davis will have another year to put
up even better numbers, and even improve his NFL draft stock. I believe Davis will be a very solid NFL RB and I think this will be his last year in the college game.

2. Marcus Lattimore - South Carolina Gamecocks
I was really upset when Marcus Lattimore ended up committing to South Carolina on the eve of Signing Day 2010. I knew Auburn lost out on a real stud, but it didn't exactly affect us too much (see Auburn's 2010 rushing numbers). Lattimore played the workhorse role at times last year and really impressed against Georgia (182 yards, 2TDs) and Florida (212 yards 3TD's). In the Florida game he ended up with 40 touches that game! Its obvious that Spurrier has a stud on his hands and with the chances Marcus will get he will flourish through the rest of his college career.

But will the work-horse role cost him in his later years in the pro's?

For now, I see him as the second best RB in the conference but will eventually become one of the best RB's in school history for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

3. Michael Dyer - Auburn Tigers

Wait a minute, this is an Auburn blog? Why is Michael Dyer
NOT the no1 RB in the SEC? It doesn't make any sense? Well it does a little. I love Big Mike and I think he could potentially go down as one of Auburn's best ever players. I did mention before that the rankings are close, so Dyer being third is not a shot at him by any means.

Dyer started last season behind Mario Fannin on the depth chart. After Dyer seemed to be outperforming Mario, he got the starting role and he severely impressed last season in a backfield with Cam Newton and Onterio McCallebb. Dyer still got sufficient touches, and made the most of every one he got. He is a strong efficient runner that always fights for the extra yard, and Auburn may lean on him early in the season whilst they get the passing game under control.

Dyer had some big games last season, especially against Ole Miss where he racked up 180 yards and 1 TD with 21 carries. He is also took over on offense in the BCS National Championship game, as he ran for 143 yards on 22 carries. That game was not Cam Newton;s best game, but Dyer's extra efforts earned Auburn the crystal ball and he is going to be key to how the offense will roll this season. He will have a new offensive line which is not in his favour, but never the less he will still have a respectable season.

4. Trent Richardson - Alabama Crimson Tide
I'm not hating on Trent, because someone had to be 4th didn't they? Trent is one of the nation's best RB's and could potentially have a big year if Bama's offense can develop a passing game. If they can't, then teams will stack the middle and stuff Trent every time. Richardson is built like a tank, as he stands at 5'10 225 pounds but statistically hasn't had a break out year (which he is poised for this upcoming season).

Trent looked great in some games last season (Against Penn State he had 144 yards and 1 TD with 22 carries), but hasn't had enough carries for him to break past the 1000 yard mark. He is as talented as they come, and will end up being a very good RB in the pro's. With the majority of the carries this year, Trent will be the premier threat on Bama's offense.

5. Vick Ballard - Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs are turning into a legitimate threat in the SEC and Vick Ballard is the main work horse on their offense. Last season, Ballard racked up 968 yards with 19 TD's, and his numbers are poised to improve. Perhaps he is ranked this low because the Bulldogs are not a popular team to talk about in the conference, who knows?

Ballard had a lot of good games last season, including his 150 yards and 3TD performance with 33 carries against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Ballard is a touchdown machine and is built rock solid at 5'11 225 pounds.


The SEC is rich in talent, and these are the standout RB's in the SEC going into 2011. The rankings are close in my mind because all 5 have legitimate pro potential and it will be interesting to see how they progress and blossom through their careers.