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SEC Football: Ranking The League's Running Backs

A Sea of Blue ranks the SEC's running back units top to bottom.

Andy Lyons

SB Nation's SEC blogs are ranking the units of each football team via the SEC Power Poll. The comprehensive results will be published over at For Whom The Cowbell Tolls in the near future. Below are the rankings submitted by A Sea of Blue. The league has a lot of depth at running back this season. When ranking the teams I usually feel there is a noticeable drop-off or two at different points, but in this group I think 5-14 are all pretty close. Call me a homer, but I feel very good about Kentucky's running backs this season, and ranked them in the middle of the pack. This is by far the highest I've ranked a UK unit so far in the SB Nation rankings, and it won't get this high again.

1. Alabama. Just an embarrassment of riches. TJ Yeldon returns with 2,343 career rushing yards along with Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, and Jalston Fowler for short yardage situations.

2. Georgia. There are several good running backs in the SEC this season, and Todd Gurley is arguably the best if healthy. If Keith Marshall is also healthy look out. True freshmen Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were outstanding in high school and will probably get reps this season.

3. Arkansas. Dual 1,000 yard rushers Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams return.

4. South Carolina. Mike Davis is the truth and along with Yeldon and Gurley the best running back in the SEC. Brandon Wilds is a damn good back-up in his own right, and Shon Carson also returns.

5. Florida. I look for this to be the break-out season for Kelvin Taylor. His back-ups Matt Jones and Mack Brown should provide key depth. I think freshman Brandon Powell sees action as well under Kurt Roper's offensive attack.

6. Kentucky. This unit is flying under-the-radar. Transfer Braylon Heard average good numbers at Nebraska, and Jojo Kemp had a strong freshman season while playing with bone spurs in his ankle. Also, finally healthy is Josh Clemons who seemed poised for a great career prior to getting hurt the last two seasons. Mikel Horton and Stanley Williams are freshmen that could see time.

7. Auburn. Replacing Tre Mason won't be easy but Auburn gets to do it with two seniors Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant.

8. LSU. This is mostly a projection of Leonard Fournette. If he is in truth the next Adrian Peterson then LSU will finish much higher. Terrence Magee will be a very very good back-up.

9. Ole Miss. I'Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton both rushed for about 550 yards last season. Dr. Bo will need them this season, and both could improve upon their numbers if the OL stays healthy. The aerial attack should be there to provide balance.

10. MSU. Leading rushers last season were QB Dak Prescott and graduated LaDarius Perkins. Josh Robinson ran for a respectable 450 yards on 78 carries as a sophomore and is poised for a breakout season. Sophomore Ashton Shumpert should provide depth.

11. Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel was the team's leading rusher last season and they graduated Ben Malena the second leading rusher. Juniors Trey Williams, Brandon Williams and Tra Carson return. They roughly split carries last season so I assume it'll be a running back by committee this year too.

12. Tennessee. The loss of Rajion Neal and his 1100 yards rushing hurts. Seniors Marlin Lane and Deanthonie Summerhill look to take the reins, but I foresee star freshman Jalen Hurt getting a lot of carries by the middle of the season.

13. Vanderbilt. Returns leading rusher Jerron Seymour and Brian Kimbrow. The depth below them is what holds them back from being rated higher.

14. Missouri. Russel Hansbrough looks to fill Henry Josey's shoes. Speaking of Hansbrough, there might be more Hansbrough's in Missouri than O'Malley's in Boston. Marcus Murphy will also get carries.