Truly great running backs don't come along that often. During the BCS era (1998-present), the Heisman Trophy has been awarded to a running back on only four occasions.
While a Heisman-winning running back is clearly a great player, it's not the only measure of his ability. Consistency is always a key factor in the greatness equation.
Besides consistency,three other major factors need to be considered when making a list of the best running backs:
1. Strength of the opposition. (This determines how difficult it was to perform at a high level.)
2. Versatility. (Did the running back simply run the ball, or was he a decent target for the quarterback?)
3. Efficiency. (How many times did he have to touch the ball before he turned it into points?)
Using these four factors, here are the 10 best running backs of the BCS era.
*The final equation for ranking the players was as follows: [(Strength of schedule)/(Number of touches/touchdowns)] = Raw Score. The consistency bonus automatically places players above all the ones without the bonus, and a cheating deduction moves that player to the bottom of his group regardless of statistical superiority.