Three yards and a cloud of dust might be extinct as an offensive philosophy, but the big back still has its place in football.
Take a look at some of the top college programs in the country, and you'll find them. There are big backs getting it done, and showing that they can do much more than just tote the rock 20-25 times per game. They are tremendous athletes, even with massive frames.
A couple backs in this mold have stood out to me this season:
Ohio State's Carlos Hyde: The Buckeyes' scoring average has jumped since Hyde (6-foot, 235 pounds) returned to the lineup. It's currently 6.7 points higher than it was through three games, when he served a suspension.
He showed breakaway ability vs. Illinois last week, and it's not just the struggling Illini he has run over. He's done this consistently throughout the season and will be a huge key if the anticipated Big Ten championship game vs. Michigan State comes to fruition. Against a stout Spartans defense, Hyde has the ability to be the difference.
Oklahoma's Trey Millard: Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended Millard's season last month, and it's not a coincidence that things have declined for the Sooners a bit with him sidelined.
Millard (6-2, 253) is the quintessential do-it-all back. Put him anywhere, and he affects the game. Oklahoma has split him out wide, used him in the slot, at tight end, H-back, fullback and even tailback. He contributes on special teams, too. He does everything well, but he is a dynamic and explosive blocker. If you took him and paired him with Hyde, they'd have to be outlawed. In fact, I thought Millard was the Sooners' best player on offense this season. He didn't get the ball a lot (17 carries for 97 yards, 11 catches for 78 yards), but whenever he was given an opportunity, he was really impressive.
Baylor shows off its depth
Baylor coach Art Briles recently said his team has "Big 12 depth." I think it's safe to say he was dead-on in that assertion after watching what the beat-up Bears' offense did to Texas Tech last week, racking up 675 total yards of offense in a 63-34 win. With top WR Tevin Reese out, WRs Levi Norwood and Antwan Goodley each had 100-plus receiving yards and combined for three touchdowns. Baylor's top two running backs, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, didn't play, either, but Shock Linwood (29 carries for 187 yards and a TD) and Devin Chafin (11 carries for 100 yards and two TDs) stepped right up.
Yes, coach. You have Big 12 depth.