ESPN Names Arkansas "Running Back U" of the 2000s

Mike Zarrilli

This is pretty cool.

Even though ESPN's David Ching called it "perhaps the biggest upset at any position", Razorback fans are probably not terribly surprised. We've been blessed to watch several outstanding running backs tearing up the field at DWR Razorback Stadium, War Memorial, and throughout the SEC in recent years.

And sure enough, when the worldwide leader created a subjective system to rank schools by positions, Arkansas came out on top of the running back category.

It was a narrow victory over #2 Oklahoma and #3 Alabama, but it's one the Razorbacks have definitely earned. Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Fred Talley, Cedric Cobbs, Knile Davis, Peyton Hillis, and Kiero Small all contributed to Arkansas' point total. And that doesn't include someone like Dennis Johnson, who played in the NFL as an undrafted free agent and had a very successful college career.

UA, naturally, wasted no time in showcasing this:

Hopefully, Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins, and Korliss Marshall can keep this momentum going.

And if you're wondering, Wisconsin came in tied for 4th with Auburn, and most of the Badgers' points came from Bret Bielema's years as coach.

This was the criteria used:

  • College football award winners: 10 points
  • Consensus All-Americans: Eight points
  • NFL first-round draft picks: Eight points
  • Coaches' first-team all-conference picks: Six points
  • NFL draft picks, Rounds 2-4: Four points
  • NFL draft picks, Rounds 5-7: Two points

Awards included: Heisman Trophy (all-around), Maxwell Award (all-around), Walter Camp Award (all-around), Paul Hornung Award (most versatile), Doak Walker Award (running back).

ESPN appears to be going position by position. Arkansas came in at 14th in "Offensive Line U" and 27th in "Tight End U". In "Quarterback U", Arkansas came in tied for 31st, and 41st "Wide Receiver U".

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