Best of the Bunch-Offensive Backfield
Written by Curt Popejoy on 08/26/2011
Best of the Bunch-Offensive backfields
I don't remember exactly when I decided to lump quarterbacks and running backs together when I do these best of the bunch articles, but every year that I do this, it's a mixed blessing. Some years it's really easy to see a great tandem that stands out ahead of everyone else. Oklahoma was one of those teams. Last year's rookie of the year Sam Bradford paired up with running back Demarco Murray was a no brainer. Other years it's hard because the pairing is often very close. One team with the best QB, another team with the best RB so you have to weigh the weaker spots against one another. That's the position I'm in this year.
As I went through and really broke down the offensive backfields in the country and tried to narrow it down, it got easy at first. Boise State's Kellen Moore is a great college quarterback, but I am not impressed with Doug Martin. Then you look at the dominant running game of Texas A&M with Cyrus Gray but I can't put Ryan Tennehill among the elite. In the final analysis it comes down to Stanford lead by quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon lead by running back LaMichael James.
But it really isn't about either of these guys. We know they are elite. We know they command more attention from the defensive than any other player who shares a uniform with them. We know they are both destined for NFL greatness. The real debate here is who to you consider better, Oregon Quarterback Darron Thomas, or Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor. Both exceptional players and great compliments to their more talented teammates. I like both of them very much, but when I break it down and figure in who's going to account for more W's, I have to give the nod to Darron Thomas, and so that makes the Oregon Ducks offensive backfield the best of the bunch.
Looking closely at the Ducks offense, you see one of those fancy read option systems that needs a very specific type of player under center(or in the shotgun in this case). Thomas is that guy. He doesn't create a lot of big plays, but when the running game opens a door, you can bet that Thomas is going to throw through it to the tune of 30TDs last year against only 9ints. And you cannot discount 400 rushing yards and 5 more scores on the ground. The resume' of James speaks for itself. All he did last year was compile 1,832 total yards of offense and 24 touchdowns of his own. And a name to jot down outside of the big 2 that figured into the equation. Running Back Kenjon Barner is LaMichael James-lite and can only make the offense better. The Ducks depth chart is tailor made for their system and is as dynamic a group as their is in the country and with all due respect to how great Andrew Luck is, he can't compete with this group.
Last Edited: 08/26/2011