Bill Conley, Bill Connolly, Barry Sanders discussed on The Paul Finebaum Show


Check out our live and we are about to check in with Bill Conley. We're an hour away from Kirby smart, joining us here. Previewing the Georgia spring game. So we mentioned this the other day, Bill Connolly, who is good at doing lists, came up with one about the best running backs in modern time, ranking college football is a hundred best running backs of the past 60 years, top ten Barry Sanders. Archie won two Heisman's Herschel, Ricky Williams, a lot of these are first named people. OJ, he had a killer instinct. Tony Dorsett, Mike Rozier. Bo Jackson, Earl Campbell, and Reggie Bush. Bill Conley, joining us. Bill, thank you always for being here. Before we get too deep, just give us the backstory on how you went about amassing this list. Yeah, I mean, it always ends up being kind of a combination of I wanted a great guy based on the era they played in through the three yards in cloud of dust area. If you ever 60 yards per carry in that era, that was probably really, really, really good. And so I try to adjust for that, try to give you a bonus points if you did it over a good number of years, but I try to, you know, the best seasons of all time, that should matter too. That's how Barry was number one. And yeah, it ended up being this weird mix of complicated factors and create a little point system spit out a list and then make adjustments based on my own, my own preferences, I guess. Listen, there's no easy way to do something like this. And you've done this many, many times. So I usually ask you pretty much the same questions. And my first one is always, where are you getting the most blowback from? Yeah, I mean, I have no problem. I'd like Barry Sanders being number one is not going to be not too many people are going to have a problem with that. But Georgia fans are probably going to have a problem with that. I certainly got pushed back for picking Barry over rehearsal, especially since Barry was. I mean, he wasn't just a one year wonder guy, but most of the damage he did was in one season. So I expected that. Alabama fans weren't amazingly happy. I Derek Henry was really hard to figure out since he was really only a starter for one year, but he was great that year, won the Heisman, all of that. I couldn't really, that was a hard one to place in Alabama fans weren't really fond of where I placed him at the end. But I do feel like the top 9 were the top 9. Like, you might disagree with the order, but it's hard to it's hard to disagree with those 9 being the guys in some order. Yeah, I'll throw a couple at you and I mean, oh, J Simpson forget what happened later in life, but you did not have a long career at USC, did he? Right. No, he was a two year. I mean, he was the juco transfer. He was there two years. There were two phenomenal years, but they weren't necessarily as good as Herschel Walker's best. I mean, Archie Griffin's best two years, I should say. And so yeah, he was, he was obviously, he was always going to rank real high, but bigger it out him versus Ricky versus doorstep was pretty tricky. And I know there are different type of runners, but and there's only so much room in the top ten, but it's still hard to look down and see Earl Campbell 9 and BoJack. Yeah. No, I mean, I think you could make a pretty good case for all of those 9 guys being top 5. And I guess with Bo, he was obviously good early on, but he wasn't a feature back. He got hurt as junior year exploded as senior year. So it became one of those kind of not one year stories, but he did most of his damage that one year. Maybe that hurt him a little bit. Earl was kind of the same way he battled injuries for a while and then put it all together late. Yes, I looked at these in every which way, like best season average season, et cetera. Maybe the fact that their average season wasn't as good hurt them. But again, you can easily make a case for them in the top 5 and I'm not going to argue. Eric Dickerson's number 24. Now this is ranking best running backs, not highest paid, right? That is right. Not a running back with the best cars. He was another one. And there were some guys on this list too, where like Jerome Bennett, I remember Jerome bettis, he was awesome, but he never rushed for more than 900 yards in a season because Notre-Dame had a lot of awesome running back to the same time. The fact that Eric Dickerson was splitting the backfield with Craig James among others, obviously that kind of he just did have the volume necessarily even though he was clearly awesome. We're chatting with Bill Connolly and yeah, when you go through there are so many names and all these names just pop out and I know you have to have some discipline. You just can't go on well I remember my dad or granddad was talking about that guy back in the day, so leaving people out entirely. You mentioned Henry, who else was on the chopping block. Yeah, and I mean, Henry's still made the list obviously, but it was still, you know, number one, it was hard to figure out how to differentiate between Wisconsin running back. There were so many of them that put up gaudy numbers. I couldn't tell if I was over rewarding all of them for it or anything like that, but there are a whole bunch of guys there in the teens and 20s that were kind of hard to differentiate. Garrison Hearst was a guy like another guy who was good for a couple seasons and then phenomenal all of a sudden and those were the probably the hardest guys to figure out overall. Those and then like the Cedric bensons of the world who were just steadily awesome, but didn't have like the one season where everything was absolutely nuts. So yeah, this was you're comparing types of back then and you're mashing them into one list and it gets weird. I'm just going to run through a couple of names just because they're really great players. Sean Alexander. 85. That's really remarkable to Emmett Smith 70 7. One of the best running back to have ever seen Nigel Harris 76. Four net 75, I'm just kidding. I'll keep going through it. Dalvin cook 71. He was stunningly good. Barclay 68, as I'm racing through here, chub 65, let's see here another name that might, I mean, Gail sayers 57. I realize what you're doing here, but it's hard to separate the NFL career, isn't it? Yeah, that was the hardest part. I wanted to judge Emmett on hit for instance on his college steps. We know what he became and even Florida fans were a little confused, like really Eric is ahead of Emmitt Smith, but I mean, I can make a case if you only look at the college staff, and that's what I really wanted this to focus on. Yeah, I mean, you can look at Gale sayers. I mean, he played an era where there weren't even feature backs. He was throwing passes half the time because I was the offense at the time..

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