12 Pac: Ranking the Pac-12 12 best running backs in 2013

Stephen Brashear

Bishop Sankey, Ka'Deem Carey and Tyler Gaffney are all very deserving of the top spot.

1. Bishop Sankey Jr. Washington

Very hard decision to make here between Sankey and Carey, but I'll give the edge to Sankey by just a hair because a little bit more production, the fact that he led his team to more wins and since he performed better than Carey in their showdown in September. Sankey was incredibly consistent in 2013 and was even more deadly in the red zone than he was in 2012 while also showing an improved ability to rip off big runs.

2. Ka'Deem Carey Jr. Arizona

Honestly, Carey should probably be 1b with how good he was in 2012. He had another great year where he looked like an NFL back, running through tackles, milking yards on each carry and was a horse in the Wildcats' monumental upset of Oregon.

3. Tyler Gaffney Sr. Stanford

Gaffney was ridiculous with the load that he shouldered in 2012 and more than filled the void left by Stepfan Taylor when most doubted if he could. Gaffney was a battering ram on his way to 20 touchdowns and a huge part of why the Cardinal won the Pac-12 for the second-straight season.

4. Marion Grice Sr. Arizona State

One of the best two-way backs in the entire country, it's unfortunate that Grice missed late games due to injury, especially the Pac-12 Championship Game where more people could have seen him play.

5. Byron Marshall So. Oregon

Marshall filled the "every down" back role in the Ducks' offense nicely and like all the previous backs before him in that system, he put up great numbers. Marshall will likely be the best back returning to the Pac-12 in 2014.

6. Javorious Allen So. USC

Allen might have something to say about that designation for Marshall in 2014, as he emerged as the Trojans' back of the future and seemed to get better and better as the season went on. Allen showed a knack for getting into the end zone in 2013, scoring 13 times.

7. De'Anthony Thomas Jr. Oregon

It was a disappointing season for Thomas with limited production while he battled an ankle injury, but he was still one of the most dangerous backs in the conference, and regularly was effective at distracting defenses, opening up things for Marcus Mariota, Marshall and Tyner.

8. Thomas Tyner Fr. Oregon

Tyner really came on as the season went along and showed why he was so highly-rated coming out of high school with his pure track speed. At times, Tyner looked like he could fulfill Thomas' roll as the Ducks' home run threat at running back.

9. Tre Madden So. USC

Unfortunately the Trojans lost Madden to injury early, but before that, he was looking like one of the best running backs in the conference, especially in the passing game. Madden and Allen should form a scary duo for Pac-12 opponents in the future.

10. Michael Adkins Fr. Colorado

Very few people saw Adkins since he played on the struggling Buffs, but he emerged as maybe their back of the future and an excellent compliment to Christian Powell with his speed. Adkins scored seven touchdowns in 2013 and helped the Buffs to the most wins they have had in a few years.

11. Paul Perkins Fr. UCLA

Another freshman running back that didn't get the attention that he deserved, Perkins led all Bruin running backs in yardage in 2013. Perkins got a bit overshadowed by Myles Jack, but that's not really fair as he ran for nearly twice as many yards as the freshman linebacker.

12. Jordon James Jr. UCLA

James would likely be much higher on this list, had he not gotten injured, but he still ended up with stats were that were near the top of the conference and is probably the Bruins' best back when healthy.

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