Today's Watch List in the Watch List Watch focuses on the running backs, those elusive, yet powerful, runners upon which a team's ground game relies. Their specialized trophy is the Doak Walker Award, named after SMU's three time All-American from 1947-49. Last year's winner was Andre Williams from Boston College, and the next time a Baylor RB takes home the honor will be the first.
Of the 53 RBs named to the Watch List, just 4 hail from the Big 12: Baylor's Rashodrick Linwood (obviously), TCU's B.J. Catalon, and the pair of Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown from Texas. That doesn't necessarily mean the Big 12 lacks quality backs, especially when you consider some of the younger guys that haven't done enough yet to warrant inclusion here, guys like Keith Ford and Joe Mixon from OU. With a young QB in Trevor Knight, both of those guys could eventually be called upon this season to carry a significant load, yet aren't listed here.
Being completely honest, it's going to be really tough to see Shock Linwood put up the numbers necessary to really compete for this. For one, he's got Devin Chafin and Johnny Jefferson around him, and they'll get touches. Who knows, maybe one of them actually unseats Linwood for the majority at some point. For another, we haven't had a RB go over 1600 yards since Terrance Ganaway. That may seem like a weird thing to say since so many others (like Texas Tech) rarely have rushers hit even 1,000 yards, but we're talking about national awards here. You have to compare your RBs to the best of the best, not Tech.