10 Greatest College Running Backs

7. Archie Griffin - Ohio State

From Wikipedia...

Griffin played for the Ohio State University Buckeyes from 1972-75. Among Ohio State University college football fans, Griffin holds a status akin to a living folk hero. His freshman year was the first year Freshman could play on the varsity team, so when he got the starting position a lot of Sophomores were disappointed because Griffin took their spots. Former Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes said of Griffin, "He's a better young man than he is a football player, and he's the best football player I've ever seen."

In 1972 Griffin was a T-formation halfback, and from 1973 through 1975 he was the team's I-formation tailback. He led the Buckeyes in rushing as a freshman with 867 yards, but his numbers exploded the following year with the team's conversion to the I-formation. He rushed for 1,428 yards in the regular season as a sophomore, 1,620 as a junior, 1,357 as a senior. Griffin is the only back to lead the Big Ten Conference in rushing for three straight years. Overall, Griffin rushed for 5,589 yards on 924 carries in his four seasons with the Buckeyes (19721975), then an NCAA record. He had 6,559 all-purpose yards and scored 26 touchdowns. In their four seasons with Griffin as their starting running back, the Buckeyes posted a record of 40-5-1. Griffin is one of only two players in collegiate football history to start four Rose Bowl games, the other being Brian Cushing.

Griffin introduced himself to Ohio State fans in his second game as a freshman by setting a school single-game rushing record of 239 yards in the second game of the 1972 season, against North Carolina, breaking a team record that had stood for 27 seasons. Coincidentally, his only carry in his first game had resulted in a fumble. He broke his own record as a sophomore with 246 rushing yards in a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Over his four-year collegiate career, Griffin rushed for at least 100 yards in 34 games, including an NCAA record 31 consecutive games.

Next