The BCS standings have become the most important poll at this point in the college football season and those teams who find themselves within the Top 25 of this poll all have talented running backs who have been crucial to their team coming out on top multiple times this season.
Unfortunately for teams like Oklahoma and South Carolina, their star running backs went down with season-ending injuries and we will replace them with their backups in these rankings.
This list compiles the top 25 running backs whose teams are in the Top 25 of the most recent BCS standings...
Brandon Wilds was a backup to All-American running back, Marcus Lattimore. That is until Lattimore suffered a season-ending knee injury almost three weeks ago.
Had Lattimore stayed healthy, he would likely be one of the top runners on this list.
Brandon Wilds has had a short life as a starter and had a big game against Tennessee, but came back down to earth against a very good Arkansas team as he rushed for just 21 yards on 10 carries.
51 carries, 233 yards, 1 TD
10 receptions, 81 yards
Fitzgerald Toussaint missed Michigan's first two games, but has been a spark since as he has complimented the dual-threat quarterback, Denard Robinson.
Toussaint has been somewhat inconsistent as starting RB for the Wolverines and has compiled over half of his yards against the bottom of the Big Ten, which includes Minnesota and Purdue.
87 carries, 481 yards, 4 TD
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles have been a pleasant surprise this season and it has been Jamal Woodyard starting at running back the past three games after missing two games and having sporadic carries in the earlier part of the season.
In Southern Mississippi's last three games, Woodyard has gone over 100 yards rushing twice and has scored two touchdowns.
Had he spent more time in the starting role and not splitting carries, I have no doubts he'd be higher on this list.
71 carries, 475 yards, 3 TD
9 receptions, 85 yards, 2 TD
David Sims and Tevin Washington have been handling the rock the most in Paul Johnson's triple-option offense that has led Georgia Tech to a 7-2 record and a hopeful shot of reaching the ACC title game.
In Georgia Tech's Week 3 win over Kansas, the Yellow Jackets rushed for a school-record 604 yards and Sims quietly accounted for 70 of those yards on just nine carries, which included two touchdowns
102 carries, 564 yards, 4 TD
2 receptions, 21 yards, 1 TD
Had an injury not occurred to Dominique Whaley, we'd see Oklahoma much higher on this list.
Finch has been a starter for the Sooners the past three games and has been about as good as you can ask for, running the ball hard and making an impact in the passing game.
Since entering as the starting running back three games ago, Finch has accumulated 398 total yards and two touchdowns.
I would love nothing more to put Finch higher on this list, but he hasn't had extensive playing time for half of the season.
64 carries, 358 yards, 3 TD
23 receptions, 215 yards
Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr. have both split carries following a season-ending injury to star running back, Kniles Davis.
In SEC play, it's been Johnson taking the majority of the carries and has played very well over his past three games. He has averaged almost 7.5 yards per carry en route to nearly 300 yards rushing.
Johnson becomes even more dangerous in the passing game where he has made the most out of limited opportunities, averaging over 13 yards per reception.
66 carries, 411 yards, 1 TD
16 receptions, 215 yards, 2 TD
Spencer Ware is a very talented back that has been inconsistent this season. 40 percent of his rushing yards have come in two games and he was suspended for one game, with Tyrann Mathieu, following an incident with synthetic marijuana.
When given the 20-plus carries, Ware has found the end zone four times and has not been held below 80 yards.
There is no doubting Ware's talent, but most anyone would like to see a little more consistency.
144 carries, 541 yards, 6 TD
7 receptions, 52 yards, 1 TD
Edwin Baker had a tremendous sophomore season that saw him for 13 touchdowns and just over 1,200 yards.
He is an incredibly talented back, but having a down season. For his individual ranking, it does not help that rising sophomore Le'Veon Bell is following up his freshman season with a brilliant sophomore season.
Nicknamed 'The Rock,' Baker is this high based on his physical attributes and past season success. His down season is a product of diminished carries and inconsistency.
His best output of the year was in a big game against in-state rival, Michigan, when he carried the ball 26 times for 167 yards and a touchdown.
117 carries, 492 yards, 2 TD
4 receptions, 43 yards
John Hubert is a running back from Waco, Texas that is currently looking like a severely under-recruited product. Out of high school, he had offers from Kansas State, Idaho State, Louisiana Tech, Montana State and North Texas.
He signed with Kansas State and is reaping the benefits of playing on the big stage. He is in his first season as a starter and is making Bill Snyder look brilliant.
State has had no trouble producing running backs and it looks like Hubert is next in line. He doesn't find the end zone too much, but has shown signs of greatness after he rushed for 166 yards against Miami (FL) and another 126 against Missouri.
148 carries, 748 yards, 2 TD
14 receptions, 122 yards, 1 TD
Isaiah Crowell is a talented freshman running back that has assumed the starting running back role at Georgia in a year where expectations were and still are high for the Bulldogs.
Crowell is a talented back, but recently served a one-game suspension following an apparent failed drug test.
This brings about a red-flag if the kid cannot go a full season without being suspended. He is instrumental to the Bulldogs success presently and in the future.
In 2011, Crowell has rushed for 100-plus yards three times.
146 carries, 689 yards, 4 TD
5 receptions, 57 yards, 1 TD
Malcolm Brown came to Austin as one of the top high school players in the country out of Cibolo, Texas. From day one, a lot was expected out of Brown to help resurrect a Texas program that experienced one of the most frustrating seasons that one can remember.
He missed Saturday's 52-point outburst against Texas Tech, but has had a tremendous season other than that. His previous two games saw him rush for 254 yards and four touchdowns on 47 carries.
He will become better in the passing game, but one cannot help but be reminded of Darren McFadden when watching Brown play
131 carries, 635 yards, 5 TD
After a magical start to the season, Baylor's defensive woes have caught up to them as they have lost two of their last three games.
This hasn't detracted from Terrance Ganaway's success, a bruising 240-pound back, who has has scored six touchdowns in five Big 12 games.
Ganaway has had just 20-plus carries in three games this season due to Robert Griffin III having the rock in his hands more times than not. Regardless, Ganaway has turned in an impressive 2011 campaign and has a 200-yard game to his name.
139 carries, 844 yards, 10 TD
5 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD
Michael Hayes is of small stature, but is a deceptively a strong runner at just 5'8."
Houston is well-known for their pass happy offense and Hayes does not get the touches that elite running backs get. When he does get carries, he tends to have running room.
Regardless, he is an effective back that has also made an impact in the passing game for the Cinderella Cougars.
He has seen single digit carries three times and has yet to see a game of 20 or more carries. Odds are he'd be well over 100 if Houston balanced their offense just a tad more.
94 carries, 553 yards, 7 TD
30 receptions, 323 yards, 4 TD
Andre Ellington has been one of the most impressive runners this season and has been integral to Clemson's success and rise into the elite of the college football ranks.
Ellington missed Clemson's last game (and essentially the entire game against UNC), which was a loss to Georgia Tech. His absence was sorely missed as Clemson failed to reach 100 yards on the ground.
Despite almost missing two full games, Ellington has rushed for 100-plus yards in three games, which includes a 212-yard outburst in a shootout with Maryland
146 carries, 745 yards, 7 TD
As one of the most experienced running backs in the nation, it should be to no one's surprise that Isaiah Pead is having a good year thus far.
Despite seeing single-digit carries in two games, Pead has been able to rip off three games of 150-plus yards and been the workhorse for Butch Jones and the Bearcats as he has over 20 carries in the last three games.
136 carries, 821 yards, 8 TD
19 receptions, 126 yards, 2 TD
Doug Martin has seen extensive playing time since his sophomore year and while he is not on pace to surpass last year's totals in rush yards, he is having a very effective season for the undefeated Boise State Broncos.
Martin would likely be over 800 yards this season had he not gotten injured in the first quarter against UNLV on Saturday.
148 carries, 756 yards, 9 TD
19 receptions, 180 yards, 2 TD
Stanford is in the chase for an appearance in the National Championship game and Andrew Luck is not the only reason why. Stepfan Taylor has quietly put together an impressive season and the running game for the Cardinal has been one of the most underrated aspects of this team in 2011.
After rushing for over 1,100 yards in 2010, Taylor is on pace to pass that mark this season despite having his workload limited in several games due to the Cardinal removing their starters.
147 carries, 891 yards, 8 TD
18 receptions, 132 yards, 2 TD
In an offense where quarterback play has been nothing more than average, Silas Redd has propelled the Nittany Lions to the top spot in the Big Ten.
He has rushed for 125-plus yards in all five of his Big Ten games.
With Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin in the distance for Penn State, Redd will need to take his game to another level and find the end zone more than three times in five games.
195 carries, 1,005 yards, 7 TD
After a brilliant freshman season, Michael Dyer was going to be counted on even more after crucial departures from Auburn's 2010-2011 BCS National Title team.
Auburn has suffered three defeats to ranked opponents, but this hasn't diminished Dyer's performances as he is the biggest playmaker that Gene Chizik has to offer.
In the early portion of the season, Auburn went on the road against Clemson and Mississippi State, two venues that are regarded as some of the toughest in the country. Though Clemson went 1-1 in those games, Dyer rushed for 251 yards and four scores on 34 attempts.
186 attempts, 989 yards, 9 TD
Rex Burkhead has been Mr. Consistent this season for Nebraska. He has rushed for over 100 yards in five of Nebraska's nine games and has scored in every single one.
Based off his competitive nature and his tough running ability, Burkhead has been one of the most respected runners in the country this season.
Though he found life tough in the Huskers most recent loss to Northwestern, Burkhead has been the Huskers bright spot in victory and defeat.
Unfortunately for the Big Ten, Burkhead is just a junior and they may have to deal with him for another season.
187 carries, 951 yards, 13 TD
14 receptions, 129 yards, 2 TD
David Wilson has been one of the most impressive running backs in the country this season as he has been instrumental in helping Virginia Tech achieve an 8-1 record and once again find themselves on the road to yet another BCS appearance.
Wilson has rushed for over 120-plus yards in every game except an early season win over Arkansas State (20 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD).
Wilson finds himself second in the country in rushing behind Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State) and has shown no signs of slowing down.
187 carries, 1,185 yards, 7 TD
16 receptions, 99 yards, 1 TD
In Oklahoma State's wide open offense, Joseph Randle has excelled and been an absolute touchdown machine for the BCS title hopeful Cowboys.
Though almost 40 percent of his touchdowns came in the first three games of the season, Randle has clearly been one of the better running backs in the country and has scored in all but one Big 12 game, which also includes nine touchdowns over his last three games.
He is an explosive back, capable of breaking a big run on the ground or through the air.
151 carries, 915 yards, 18 TD
26 receptions, 186 yards, 2 TD
After a slow start to the season, LaMichael James exploded for three consecutive 200-plus yard outputs before an arm injury sidelined him for two games.
Despite missing two games, James is 11th in the country in rushing and third in yards per rush (8.0).
In his first start since the injury, LaMichael picked up where he left off and dashed his way for 156 yards and a touchdown en route to an Oregon win over Washington.
Had it not been for the arm injury, there is little doubt where James would rank statistically among running backs.
133 carries, 1,061 yards, 9 TD
12 receptions, 165 yards, 1 TD
Montee Ball has emerged as Wisconsin's feature back in 2011 after sharing carries with John Clay and James in 2010.
He has exploded onto the national stage after rushing for 151 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout win over Nebraska.
In Wisconsin's last-second loss to Michigan State, Ball rushed for 115 yards and added two touchdowns (1 rush, 1 receiving) despite missing over a quarter with an injury.
He is on pace to break the Big Ten rushing record and with three games left on Wisconsin's schedule, is it out of this world to believe that he could generate nine more touchdowns? With his lowest touchdown output being two this season, it is a very believable statistic.
162 carries, 1,076 yards, 21 TD
13 receptions, 229 yards, 3 TD
1/1 passing, 25 yards, 1 TD
In his first season as a full-fledged starter, Trent Richardson has embraced the opportunity and excelled to a high level.
Alabama has played four ranked teams in 2011 and in those games, Richardson has rushed for 507 yards on 95 carries, good for a 5.3 yards per carry average.
In his latest game against LSU, Richardson struggled at times on the ground, but showcased his ability multiple times and even caught five passes out of the backfield.
172 carries, 1,063 yards, 17 TD
23 receptions, 292 yards, 1 TD