Though the Big Ten has existed since 1896, the conference first used its current name in 1953. Therefore, I will rank what I believe have been the 10 greatest running backs in the Big Ten since 1953.
When coming up with the players for this list, I strongly considered national individual honors, such as Heisman Trophy votes and consensus All-America team selections. These awards allow us to compare the backs not only to their in-conference peers, but also to running backs throughout the country. I considered statistics to a lesser extent, but the numbers do carry a lot of value in this list.
This list includes five players who won the Heisman Trophy a combined six times, as well as the FBS career leaders in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns. Eight of the 10 players are members of the College Football Hall of Fame, including a Class of 2013 inductee.
The conference has had some record-setting runners over the past 60 years, so choosing 10 was difficult. Feel free to debate the list, or to add players who you feel I have missed, in the comments section below.