StatTiger: SEC Football's 1,200 Club

Columnist Stuart Carter writes about the great running backs in Southeastern Conference football history. Auburn backs have fared very well over the years as StatTiger's breakdown of the numbers shows.

During the history of the Southeastern Conference, a running back has eclipsed the 1,200-yard mark on 49 occasions. Auburn University leads the way with 11 1,200-yard seasons compiled by nine different running backs. Georgia and Tennessee are tied with seven followed by Alabama (6) and Florida (6).

Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker are commonly considered the best running backs to come out of the Southeastern Conference, but there have been memorable seasons compiled by other SEC running backs.

Breaking down each 1,200-yard season, I've compiled several Top 10 lists to compare the accomplishments of the best running backs to play in the Southeastern Conference. Finally, I've ranked each back by the Top 10 categories to select the best season by a running back from the SEC.


Top 10 Total Rushing Yardage

1981 Herschel Walker--Georgia…………….1,891

1985 Bo Jackson--Auburn …………….…..1,768

1982 Herschel Walker--Georgia ……………1,752

1977 Charles Alexander--LSU ……………..1,686

1980 Herschel Walker--Georgia ……………1,616

1995 Moe Williams--Kentucky …………….1.600

1989 Emmitt Smith--Florida ……………….1.599

1992 Garrison Hearst--Georgia …………….1.594

2000 Rudi Johnson--Auburn ………….….1,567

1986 Bobby Humphrey--Alabama…………1,471


Top 10 Based on Yards Per Carry

1986 Brent Fullwood--Auburn ……….…. 8.33

1983 Bo Jackson--Auburn …………….… 7.68

1979 James Brooks--Auburn ………….… 7.41

1992 Garrison Hearst--Georgia …………… 6.99

1975 Jimmy Dubose--Florida …………….. 6.84

1987 Mark Higgs--Kentucky ……………… 6.62

1988 Tim Worley--Georgia ……………….. 6.37

1985 Bo Jackson--Auburn ………….…… 6.36

1949 Kayo Dottley--Ole Miss …………….. 6.31

1986 Bobby Humphrey--Alabama ………… 6.23


Top 10 Yards Per Game

1981 Herschel Walker--Georgia …………. 171.9

1985 Bo Jackson--Auburn …………..….. 160.7

1982 Herschel Walker--Georgia ……….… 159.3

1977 Charles Alexander--LSU ……….….. 153.3

1980 Herschel Walker--Georgia ………… 146.9

1995 Moe Williams--Kentucky …………. 145.5

1989 Emmitt Smith--Florida ……………. 145.4

1992 Garrison Hearst--Georgia …………. 144.9

1986 Bobby Humphrey--Alabama ……… 133.7

1949 Kayo Dottley--Ole Miss …………... 131.2


Top 10 Based on Average Carries Per Touchdown

1988 Tim Worley--Georgia …………….. 11.2 (191 / 17)

1992 Garrison Hearst--Georgia ………… 12.0 (228 / 19)

1983 Bo Jackson--Auburn ………….… 13.2 (158 / 12)

1990 Tony Thompson--Tennessee …….. 13.7 (219 / 16)

2003 Carnell Williams--Auburn ….….. 14.2 (241 / 17)

1949 Kayo Dottley--Ole Miss …………. 14.9 (208 / 14)

1986 Bobby Humphrey--Alabama …….. 15.7 (236 / 15)

1978 Joe Cribbs--Auburn ………….… 15.8 (253 / 16)

1999 Shaun Alexander--Alabama ……… 15.9 (302 / 19)

1979 James Brooks--Auburn ………… 16.3 (163 / 10)

Auburn had two backs over 1,500 yards, but only one back in the Top 10 based on yards per game. Four of the top eight backs in terms of yards per carry were Auburn Tigers, including the top three. Once again, four Auburn backs appear in the Top 10 list based on touchdown ratio, a category in which Carnell Williams made his only appearance.

Based on average yards per game, average yards per carry and touchdown ratio, here is the Top 10 list of the 49 1,200-yard running backs.

1. 1992 Garrison Hearst--Georgia …………….. 4.67 1,594 yards-228-19 TDs

2. 1985 Bo Jackson--Auburn …………….….. 7.00 1,768 yards-278-17 TDs

3. 1949 Kayo Dottley--Ole Miss ………………. 8.33 1,312 yards-208-14 TDs

4. 1986 Bobby Humphrey--Alabama ………….. 8.67 1,471 yards-236-15 TDs

5. 1986 Brent Fullwood--Auburn ………….… 9.33 1,391 yards-167-10 TDs

6. 1980 Herschel Walker--Georgia …..……….. 13.00 1,616 yards-274-15 TDs

7. 1983 Bo Jackson--Auburn ……………..….. 14.33 1,213 yards-158-12 TDs

8. 1988 Tim Worley--Georgia ………………… 15.00 1,216 yards-191-17 TDs

9. 1997 Fred Taylor--Florida ………….………. 15.33 1,292 yards-214-13TDs

10. 1995 Moe Williams--Kentucky ………………. 16.00 1,600 yards-294-17 TDs

Garrison Hearst was fourth in yards per carry, eighth in yards per game and second in touchdown ratio, giving him an average ranking of 4.67. Bo Jackson was eighth in yards per carry, second in yards per game and 11th in touchdown ratio giving him an average ranking of 7.00. Brent Fullwood's 1986 season was the fifth most productive and Bo Jackson's 1983 season finished as the seven best performance.

Fullwood's 1986 numbers were very impressive when you consider he was 47th out of the 49 running backs in terms of total carries, but was 14th on the list in terms of rushing yards gained. Of the 11 times an Auburn Tiger rushed for more than 1,200 yards, they averaged 229 carries per season.

Fullwood had only 167 carries during the 1986 regular season, but still managed to surpass the 1,300-yard barrier. Had Fullwood carried the ball 229 times, he would have posted over 1,900 yards rushing based on his average per carry (8.33) from 1986.

Carnell Williams established himself as one of Auburn's all-time best tailbacks.

The remainder of the Tigers…

1979 James Brooks …………. 1, 208 yards-163-10 TDs (No. 13)

1993 James Bostic …………... 1, 205 yards-199-12 TDs (No. 19)

1994 Stephen Davis …………. 1, 263 yards-221-13 TDs (No. 20)

2003 Carnell Williams ………. 1307yards-241-17 TDs (No. 25)

1978 Joe Cribbs ……………… 1,205 yards-253-16 TDs (No. 35)

2000 Rudi Johnson …………... 1,567 yards-324-13 TDs (No. 37)

1980 James Brooks …………... 1,314yards-261-9 TDs (No. 40)

2005 Kenny Irons ……………. 1,293 yards-256-13 TDs (No. 44)

James Brooks' 1979 season nearly cracked the final Top 10 list by finishing third in yards per carry and 10th in touchdown ratio. Because of limited carries, he dropped to 41st in yards per game, giving him an average ranking of 18.00.

2006 Inside the Auburn Tigers Auburn Football Guide


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