College football offenses love to spread the field, but that philosophy can still include a strong running game.
Yes, there are still a few programs with traditional single-back offenses. But as you scan the nation, you'll find a variety of styles that feature a couple of very productive running backs.
Spoiler alert: lots of SEC and Big Ten.
The list is subjective and based on a team's outlook entering the 2023 season; it is not a projection of the upcoming year. As a result, past production and depth of returning talent are the main factors.
You could expand this ranking with relative ease.
Florida returns Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne, who combined for 1,560 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. Tulane transfer Cam Carroll is a wild card but rushed for 741 yards and 12 scores in 2020.
Auburn brought in South Florida transfer Brian Battie after he scampered for 1,185 yards in 2022. He joins a backfield with Jarquez Hunter, a potential breakout star. He backed up Tank Bigsby in each of the last two seasons but tallied at least 593 yards each year.
Clemson deserves a shout thanks to Will Shipley and Phil Mafah. Shipley totaled 1,424 scrimmage yards in 2022, while Mafah provided 515 yards and four scores on the ground.
Kentucky added two transfers: Ray Davis, a 1,000-yard rusher at Vanderbilt last season, and Ramon Jefferson, an FCS All-American for Sam Houston State in 2021.
And we certainly wouldn't need to stop there.
Florida State, Oregon State and Utah are among the other programs that at least merit some consideration.
8. Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia's running back depth atones for what the two-time reigning champs lack in total production.
Still, there is proven rushing talent in Athens.
Even as Kenny McIntosh paced the Dawgs with 829 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, Daijun Edwards picked up 769 ahead of Kendall Milton at 592. They scored seven and eight times, respectively. Branson Robinson added 330 yards and three touchdowns as a deep reserve.
Given that UGA should have yet another excellent offensive line, the unit has real potential for multiple 1,000-yard rushers.