For those of you who haven't seen my runner rating post on BHGP, go here to get informed. For those of you too lazy to click on the link, I'll summarize. I created a formula at the end of last season to measure the efficiency of a running back, much like the passer rating. I used the basis of the current NCAA passer rating and adapted it for running backs, using the past 2 seasons statistics to find a good medium.
Now, this year on BHGP, I am planning on doing weekly runner rating updates. They will include the best runner of the week for Iowa, the B1G and the NCAA. I am pretty proud of the formula and I want to show it off as much as I can. The only logical place to do it is at BHGP and OTE.
So, I decided to do a preseason watch list for the top returning rushers for each team and their runner efficiency rating from last year. Then you can defend your rusher in the comments.
**The set of numbers after yardage, TD's and fumbles, set up like: ### - ###, is (rushes of 3 yards or more) - (total rushing attempts). This is my attempt to replace completions/attempts in the QB rating**
1. James White, Wisconsin: 196.77
2010 stats: 1,052 yards, 14 TD, 1 fum., 123-156
Comparable efficient passer: Kellen Moore (182.6 - highest in NCAA)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Austin Peay: 429.32 RR, 145 yards, 4 TD, 10-11
Some of you may wonder why he has such an incredibly high number here. Well, it's that 123-156 stat that really pops out. That means nearly 80% of his runs are 3 yards or more, meaning if you give him the ball every play while driving down the field, he will get the first down in, at most, 4 carries 80% of the time. That is higher than any other runner in the B1G. When you run for 7.0 yards a carry, you will probably top the list of most efficient runners in any conference.
2. Dan Herron, Ohio State: 159.62
2010 stats: 1,155 yards, 16 TD, 1 fum., 139-216
Comparable efficient passer: Brian Moniz, Dan Persa (159.1, 159.0)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Penn State: 197.38 RR, 190 yards, 1 TD, 16-21
Even though he may be out for the first 5 games, he's still a big threat when OSU hits B1G play. When your runner efficiency is comparable to Dan Persa's passing efficiency from last year, you know you are doing a lot for your team.
3. Denard Robinson, Michigan: 156.72
2010 stats: 1,702 yards, 14 TD, 9 fum., 177-256
Comparable efficient passer: Ricky Stanzi (157.6)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Bowling Green: 590.9 RR, 129 yards, 2 TD, 5-5
If not for the fumbles, Robinson very well may have been the most efficient rusher in the B1G. 1,700 yards rushing and 14 TD's are not common among running backs, let alone quarterbacks. If Robinson can hold on to the ball this season, he may be one of the most efficient rushers in the B1G for the second year straight.
4. Edwin Baker, Michigan State: 155.85
2010 stats: 1,201 yards, 13 TD, 2 fum., 132-207
Comparable efficient passer: Tyrod Taylor (154.8)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. FIU: 251.43 RR, 183 yards, 1 TD, 13-15
Baker is an all-around solid back that gets all the yards you need. He averages 5.8 ypc and rarely fumbles. He is a back that will easily get you the first down and will be a perfect duo with QB Kirk Cousins.
5. Rob Henry, Purdue: 137.44
2010 stats: 547 yards, 4 TD, 1 fum., 67-104
Comparable efficient passer: Ryan Tannehill (137.0)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Northwestern: 196.97 RR, 57 yards, 3 TD, 11-17
One thing that Rob Henry doesn't get enough credit for is his running ability. He may not have the accurate arm of Persa, but when it comes to tucking the ball and running, he has him beat. Averaging more yards per carry than many B1G backs, Henry was able to slip into the top 5 most efficient runners in the B1G.
6. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska: 133.84
2010 stats: 965 yards, 12 TD, 7 fum., 74-162
Comparable efficient passer: Ben Chappell (132.5)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Western Kentucky: 497.64 RR, 127 yards, 3 TD, 5-7
Martinez is an interesting prospect. He is essentially a white Denard Robinson with less carries. In fact, give him the same amount of carries, and he's in the 1,550-yard range; not far off from Robinson. He has the same problem holding on to the ball that Robinson does, yet he produces TD's and yardage that is rare among QB's. It will be interesting to watch him this year.
7. Marcus Coker, Iowa: 127.90
2010 stats: 622 yards, 3 TD, 0 fum., 64-114
Comparable efficient passer: Russell Wilson (127.5)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Ohio State: 220.56 RR, 70 yards, 1 TD, 7-9
Most of you probably wonder why Coker's monster Insight Bowl performance isn't his most efficient in 2010. Well, when you carry the ball 33 times and only score twice and have just over 200 yards rushing, the efficiency isn't as high as you might think. But when you score a TD and have 70 yards on 9 carries, you are being efficient. Coker was plagued with an early season injury and got little playing time behind Adam Robinson. This year is his time to shine, and many people are expecting big things out of him.
8. Silas Redd, Penn State: 125.82
2010 stats: 437 yards, 2 TD, 0 fum., 40-77
Comparable efficient passer: Ryan Katz (126.4)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. jNW: 256.86 RR, 131 yards, 1 TD, 9-1
When you are backing up the schools all-time leading rusher, you are going to have troubles finding a lot of playing time. He only got double-digit carries in two games last year, making for a tough year to be efficient. Royster was the one to punch the ball in the endzone, so the low TD number hurts Redd's rating. It will be interesting to see how he develops with the questions at QB at Penn State.
9. Mike Trumpy, Northwestern: 125.56
2010 stats: 530 yards, 4 TD, 0 fum., 68-116
Comparable efficient passer: Jerrod Johnson (125.4)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Illinois: 250.35 RR, 129 yards, 2 TD, 8-13
I'm going to get yelled at for not having Persa as Northwestern's rusher, but I'm pretty sure (although I didn't do the statistics) that Trumpy had the better stats. He had more yardage and more ypc, which is a big deal when it comes to efficiency. Persa will be in full force this year, but don't be surprised if they hand the ball off more to Trumpy for saftey sake.
10. Darius Willis, Indiana: 121.39
2010 stats: 278 yards, 4 TD, 0 fum., 30-64
Comparable efficient passer: Jeremiah Masoli (121.1)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Towson: 197.93 RR, 102 yards, 2 TD, 6-14
Not a very impressive year for Indiana running backs. 278 yards? Denard Robinson had 258 vs. Notre Dame. Ben Chappell was an impressive quarterback, but for a team to be successful, there needs to be some kind of balance. Willis may get his chance this year with a new quarterback in the system.
11. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois: 114.67
2010 stats: 868 yards, 5 TD, 5 fum., 111-185
Comparable efficient passer: Austen Arnaud (116.2)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. Northern Illinois: 178.59 RR, 115 yards, 1 TD, 11-16
Scheelhaase is a threat. But efficiency wise? Not so much. Averaging 4.6 yards a carry isn't anything too impressive and the lack of TD's for a rusher with 850+ yards, along with the abundance of fumbles makes him less efficient than he is as an overall athlete. He is a great passer with legs as a threat. This year he will have to carry more of the load now that Leshoure is gone, so expect his numbers to go up.
12. Duane Bennett, Minnesota: 112.23
2010 stats: 529 yards, 3 TD, 0 fum., 66-123
Comparable efficient passer: Garrett Gilbert (111.0)
Most efficient game 2010 vs. SDSU: 182.89 RR, 104 yards, 2 TD, 11-18
This is abysmal. To put it in perspective, Austen Arnaud was a more efficient passer than Duane Bennett is a runner. Now, 529 yards and 3 TD's isn't horrible for a 2nd string back, but when you average less YPC than any other rusher in the B1G, you are not efficient. Nearly half of his runs were 2 yards or less and that will not get you first downs. Minnesota is going to need Marqu
is Gray to step up in the run game.
So there you have it. Please, please, please tell me your opinion and what may need changing. If you have any requests, I will be happy (maybe) to run the stats and post them below. My main goal is to have the weekly thread on BHGP during the football season, but if it's popular enough here, I would be more than happy to do it on here. Please vote in the poll so I know whether this is a good idea or horrible idea. Thanks!
Note: This took me 3 days to get all of the information. I had to go to ESPN.com, find every team's returning rusher, click on every game individually, go to the play-by-play, and analyze every single carry each runner had. This was extremely tedious and pretty boring after a while. If you are going to criticize my formula, please do it nicely. I observed over 1,780 rushing attempts individually to correctly compile these statistics. Until you spend hours and hours of research over one stupid formula, I don't want to hear how this was completely dumb. Thank you again.
As requested, I will do a ranking based on just B1G running backs alone, no QB's. Not going to do the summary or season stats, etc. I'm keeping this one simple. Here it goes:
1. James White, Wisconsin: 196.77
Note: Montee Ball has a rating of 193.61. Wisconsin may not need Russell Wilson to win a natl. title this year.
2. Jason Ford, Illinois: 160.51 (inflated, due to high TD number)
3. Dan Herron, Ohio State: 159.62
4. Edwin Baker, Michigan State: 155.85
5. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska: 135.96
6. Marcus Coker, Iowa: 127.90
7. Silas Redd, Penn State: 125.82
8. Mike Trumpy, Northwestern: 125.56
9. Darius Willis, Indiana: 121.39
10. Vincent Smith, Michigan: 117.72
11. Duane Bennett, Minnesota: 112.23
12. Reggie Pegram, Purdue: 34.70 (on only 5 carries. Purdue has NO proven backs)