Here's my take on the ranking of Big 12 Running backs after 8 weeks of play.
1. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State - 201 yards , 2 TD's on 26 carries
There is absolutely no question who the best running back in the Big 12 is after Saturday. Kendall Hunter absolutely had his way with Nebraska and gouged them for 201 yards on 26 carries. Hunter is the bread and butter of this offense and the team will live and die by his success on the field the rest of the way. There is absolutely no reason you should ever pass the ball on 3rd and 2 when you have a guy like him. He should be in for another monster game this weekend in Manhattan.
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2. Roy Helu Jr., Rex Burkhead, Taylor Martinez , Nebraska - 195 yards on 41 carries
Oklahoma State actually did a good job against the Nebraska rushing game. Martinez had the best day of the 3 with 112 yards, Helu Jr.finished with 42 and Burkhead had 41. The most striking thing was that Nebraska had zero rushing touchdowns. Zero. When is the last time that happened? They'll face another good run defense against Missouri but Martinez isn't really a running back. He's a quarterback that can run the ball extremely well if he has to and it looks like he can throw the ball pretty well too. Scary really...
3. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State - 113 yards, 2 TD on 22 carries
Solid day for Thomas in Waco. He's done really well against teams with suspect run defenses and not so well against teams that can stop the run. Oklahoma State falls somewhere in between. It's safe to say that Kansas State typically goes the way of Thomas. Stop him and you'll escape with a win. Let him run and it could be a long day.
4. Demarco Murray , Oklahoma - 49 yards on 12 carries
This is really puzzling. 12 carries? Really? He did have 8 catches for 48 yards and a score but that doesn't (and didn't) cut it. This guy is their workhorse and he was underutilized. Let's hope that trend continues throughout the season.
5. Jay Finley, Baylor - 250 yards, 2 TD's on 26 carries
Finely is on a bit of a roll with 393 yards and 4 TD's in his last two games. He might have a little tougher go this week against the Longhorns, or not. If Baylor can get the running game going consistently, they will become even more scary than they already are.
6. Baron Batch, Eric Stephens, Texas Tech- 154 yards on 28 carries
Stephens and Batch combine once again for a solid, but not great performance. Stephens is the real deal and will only get better as he continues to get more carries. They'll have their hands full this weekend against the A&M Aggie.
7. Alexander Robinson, Iowa State- 120 yards, 2 TD's on 24 carries
Just as I'm about to write this guy off, he goes for 120 and 2 TD's against the Longhorns in Austin. Excellent performance. Hopefully this gets him back on track and he's able to finish the season strong. He'll have an excellent opportunity to do that this weekend against when the Jayhawks come to town.
8. Rodney Stewart, Colorado- 34 yards on 20 carries
Yikes. Stewart took a step back this week against Texas Tech with a 1.7 YPC average. That's the same defense that gave up 230 yards to Oklahoma State. C'mon Rod! He'll have a shot to get back on track this week against an OU team that made Missouri look decent.
9. Christine Michael/Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M - 150 yards, 1 TD on 19 carries
There's nothing like a good old fashioned slump buster to get the running game going. Gray won the starting job outright last week in practice and finished the day with 117 yards and a TD on 13 carries. It remains to be seen if this was just a "Kansas" deal but he certainly didn't do anything to lose it.
10. De'Vion Moore, Missouri - 73yards, 1 TD on 10 carries
Congrats De'Vion! You're this weeks winner in the Missouri rushing game! The bottom line here is that they are a committee style running team that is getting the job done. It will be interesting to see what happens when they play someone that can stop the pass... Oh wait! That's this week!
11. Cody Johnson, Texas - 73 yards on 11 carries
Johnson led the way with 43 yards on 9 carries. There is hope for a win in Austin..
12. James Sims, Kansas- 23 yards on 5 carries
As Kansas was getting their asses kicked this weekend, they decided to go to a RBBC. Please trust me that the details of this are not worth reporting.