Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson took the Big 12 by storm in 2020, rushing for 703 yards on 86 carries (8.2 yards per carrying), and scoring four touchdowns, while catching 15 passes for 196 yards and two scores.
As a result, the rising sophomore heads into next season with an enormous hype surrounding him, with Robinson leading all college football running backs in early Heisman Trophy odds at 25-1 (+2500) in multiple sportsbooks.
“I know there’s a lot of hype around the Heisman Trophy and all that stuff, but I don’t pay attention to that stuff," Robinson told Chip Brown of 247 Sports last month. "If you start paying attention, you start getting a big head and won’t work as hard.”
However, despite those odds, Pro Football Focus seemingly disagrees with the Vegas oddsmakers, after leaving Robinson out of their "Top-10 Returning Running Backs in College Football" list.
So who stands ahead of Robinson on PFF's list? At least 10 other backs, including three running backs from his own conference, as well as a trio of backs from the SEC.
First on PFF's list sits Auburn's Tank Bigsby, who rushed for 834 yards on 138 carries (6.0 YPC) with five touchdowns, followed by Kansas State's Deuce Vaughn, who rushed for 642 yards on 123 (5.2 YPC) carries and scored seven touchdowns.
Robinson was also passed over for Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks, who did not play in 2020, Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr., who ran 91 times for 483 yards and six touchdowns (5.3 YPC), and Ole Miss all-purpose back Jerrion Ealy, who rushed 147 times for 745 yards and nine touchdowns (5.1 YPC).
Iowa State running back Breece Hall was also massively slighted by PFF, landing at No. 6 on the list, despite leading the nation in nearly every rushing category, rushing 279 times for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per rush along the way.
Robinson, meanwhile, ran for 522 yards on just 47 carries and scored five touchdowns (one receiving) in his team's final four games of the season.
The final four running backs ahead of Robinson include Washington State's Max Borghi, Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez Jr., BYU's Tyler Allgeier, and Frank Gore Jr. of Southern Miss.
Clearly, PFF needs to revisit its evaluation process.
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