Rank Your Top 5 USC Tailbacks

Everyone is doing lists these days.

So let’s pick the top 5 tailbacks in USC history. I list mine below. I’m fine with either O.J. Simpson or Charles White being No. 1.

1. Charles White

White could get the physical yards and be a breakaway threat. What more could you want? The final drive of the Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State says it all.

2. O.J. Simpson

He’s generally listed No. 1. I can’t disagree. And he had the most memorable run in USC history.

3. Marcus Allen

The amount of carries he had were staggering. He had 40-or-more carries in five games in 1981.

4. Ricky Bell

If he had not gotten injured, he might have been in the top 2. His highlight was rushing for 347 yards against Washington State in the Kingdome.

5. Reggie Bush

It’s pretty easy for me to find people who say he was overrated because he wasn’t a conventional “run inside the tackles” back.

But if you look at games like Virginia Tech, Fresno State, Stanford, etc., he was the reason USC won those games. And how do you ignore the career average of 7.3 yards per carry?

OK, now it’s your turn.

39 thoughts on “Rank Your Top 5 USC Tailbacks

  1. So many great ones, but have to agree that OJ is first, then it is very close between White, Allen, and Reggie. There is Anthony Davis, who was tremendous. Going back in time, there is also Jon Arnett and Frank Gifford, who were great in their own right.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Garrett was stronger and faster —but Jon was more athletic and way more fun to watch. As a matter of fact if we’re giving out style points, I put Jon near the top. Kinda like watching Ray Leonard box: Poetry in motion.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with your ranking. I’m lucky enough to be around to personally observe all the running backs you mentioned. I definitely agree with your inclusion of Reggie. I know that every time Reggie got the ball whether a kickoff or running play he had a chance to score each time.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I want nothing to do with OJ Simpson. He’s a degenerate human being who should be locked away in a jail cell someplace. He will not be on any list even though he was a talented football player.

    1. Marcus Allen — basically won 2 Heismans

    2. Charles White

    3. Mike Garrett

    4. Reggie Bush — the best player I’ve ever seen, but I have a hard time celebrating his accomplishments.

    5. Anthony Davis

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand where you’re coming from but may I point out that each of the persons on YOUR list has — just like practically everybody else— at some time or another— been accused of misconduct? Maybe no one is pure enough to be considered one of the best five.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s a disgrace that USC honors the murderous OJ before every game with the giant #32 in the peristyle end of the Coliseum. That’s not mere misconduct. Ron and Nicole’s blood cries out for justice. Meanwhile OJ has not shown the slightest bit of remorse for that or his conviction for kidnapping.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Agreed, gt. O. J. falls into a whole different category. [I was confining my remarks to the people on SCD’s own list]……

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This list has nothing to do after college or the pros. Who cares about your
      opinion outside football dumb shit. Found not guilty by the jury and that’s
      what counts in our society. Pres. Trump has killed way more people with
      his slow actions.


  4. Everybody on that list were great running backs, but since John Robinson said that Charles White was physically the toughest back he’s ever coached, then that’s who I’m going with.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m shocked that my all time favorite is not getting any love. Reverse order- 5) OJ Simpson
    4) Anthony Davis
    3) Reggie Bush
    2) Marcus Allen
    1) Ricky Bell
    John Robinson told me @ Julie’s Tavern- Ricky Bell was robbed by East coast writers who gave Archie Griffin & some back from University of Pittsburgh- ever heard of Tony Dorsett. Of course Ricky gets screwed- after Davis & pre White. 1975 would have been another championship if not for the biggest mistake ever by McKay. He announced after the Trojans started 8-0 he was leaving for the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers- result Usc lost the last 4 games. I’m in the minority but I’m sure that you would agree with my assessment on Bell’s extreme talent and skill if you watch the tape of his career. Robinson also stated no one had a better work ethic.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. 67- You are atop of the standings now and Michael is 1a. I had the honor of meeting him twice and I was a stupid 10 year old kid. My father used to tease me unmercifully because my eyes 👀 were as large as can be & I couldn’t stop smiling. He took his time and was my first interaction with a superstar. I’m hoping that you can explain something to me, why are all these people so amazed at recruiting prowess from being SC. No Calloway,Nansen,Baxter,Pendergast,Chad K,everyone is gone for a blue blood program and the new staff is being paid to do what they are supposed to. Logical – How in the world is hel—- still there? I am just guessing but the next coach next year has one requirement for acceptance to keep the current staff intact- which leads me to believe it’s going to be Bobby Stoops. I’m saying this on good authority ( Not Wolf) How close he was taking the job- sticking point was the assistant coaching staff. I believe that Urban is pie in the sky thinking. What do you think?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Bobby, that is a great story about meeting Mr. Bell. He was as humble and polite as they come. In terms of future coaches, the challenge with hiring Urban is Folt seems dead set against it. And he has some medical issues that are exacerbated by coaching – but on the other hand, he strikes me psychologically as a guy who really wants to be back out there.


  6. Put OJ, Reggie, Marcus in a hat and choose. If SC beats Texas and Reggie gets the ball to seal it, he’d be the clear cut #1 with a Heisman and 3 National Championships.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. There are so many great ones that there should be categories:

    1) Best Season
    2) Best Run
    3) Best game against ND
    4) Best game against UCLA
    5) Toughest Back
    6) Most Explosive
    7) Best Game

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good idea, with a couple of extra categories added

      Best Career – Charles White
      Best game against ND – Anthony Davis
      Best game against ucla – Reggie, 2005
      Best run ever – OJ vs ucla, 1967, #1 vs. #2
      Most entertaining run – Reggie against Fresno State
      Best season – OJ, ’67
      Best game overall – Ricky Bell, Washington State, 340 some odd yards
      Most explosive – Tie between OJ and Reggie
      Toughest – Tie between Charles White and Ricky Bell

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Arturo are you thinking of Sam Cunningham? He had something like 4 TDs against ‘Bama in 1970, when ‘Bama was segregated, and one year later, they had their first Black player (an RB, I believe).

      If there was a category for “Best blocking back”, it might be a tie between Sam Cunningham and Marcus Allen

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Saw all in person except OJ. Totally agree with your list. I think John Robinson once said Charlie White was the toughest football player he ever coached. Reggie is the best football player I ever saw in person, followed by Marcus. But Charley was the best running back. Reggie might have been in top 2 if it for Lendale White. What would be very fun would be a top 10 list. Who would make the next 5???


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.