ESPN: Arkansas is new ‘Running Back U.’


Darren McFadden was a force at running back when he played at Arkansas. (AP photo)

Darren McFadden is one of the best running backs I’ve ever seen.

I still remember him thundering past me as I stood on the sideline at a couple of Arkansas games several years ago.

What a combination of power and speed. And injuries, which, unfortunately for him, have hampered his NFL career.

McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis, his teammates, gave the Razorbacks one of college football’s most feared backfields in the mid-2000s, one that has helped Arkansas claim the title as “Running Back U.” for the 2000s, according to

Arkansas beat out Oklahoma, Alabama and Auburn in the new rankings.

ESPN devised a scoring system that assigned numbers to categories such as winning an award (10 points), being named an All-American and being a first-round NFL pick (both eight points).

So, using that formula, and with players such as Fred Talley, Cedric Cobbs, Knile Davis and Kiero Small, the Razorbacks shockingly finished ahead of Oklahoma (Adrian Peterson and Demarco Murray), Alabama (Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy) and Auburn, which has produced a talented group of RBs, including Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, Rudi Johnson, Kenny Irons, Ben Tate and Tre Mason.

Don’t worry ‘Bama fans, the Tide is first in offensive linemen, thanks to Antoine Caldwell, Andre Smith, Mike Johnson, Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and Cyrus Kouandjio, among others.

Oklahoma is “Quarterback U.” Southern California is “Wide Receiver U.” Miami is “Tight End U.

Other SEC and ACC teams can be found throughout the rankings.

FSU is No. 6 in OL rankings and No. 4 in QBs

Florida No. 5 in QBs

Auburn No. 6 in QBs.

Texas A&M No. 9 in QBs.

Miami No. 7 in the OL.

Virginia Tech No. 10 in RB.

LSU No. 2 in WR.

Clemson tied for No. 7 in WR.

Missouri is No. 3 in TE.

Georgia is No. 5 in TE.



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