Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were a fantastic running back duo for Georgia during the last four years, but were they the best combo in the history of college football? It probably depends on how you want to define greatness.
Former Georgia offensive tackle George Foster claimed Chubb and Michel were the “greatest backfield of all time” in a tweet he fired off on Thursday evening, and former Oklahoma State running back Thurman Thomas would like Barry Sanders’ thoughts on the subject.
Greatest backfield of all time. Gonna miss this duo 😩 pic.twitter.com/msw5S5XTdX
— FOST (@GeorgeFoster72) January 12, 2018
If you look at the body of their work at Georgia, there may be a compelling argument to be made.
After all, they combined for 8,407 yards rushing and 77 rushing touchdowns from 2014-17. Those are numbers that would stack up against any duo for such an extended period of time.
Thomas, who is both a Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame member alongside former Oklahoma State teammate Barry Sanders, had a little fun by firing back at Foster’s tweet and sharing it with his former teammate Sanders.
— Thurman Thomas (@thurmanthomas) January 12, 2018
Thomas and Sanders played together at Oklahoma State from 1986-87.
In 1987, Thomas and Sanders combined for 2,216 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns. For comparison, Chubb and Michel went for 2,572 rushing yards and 31 rushing touchdowns during a 14-game run to the national championship game during the 2017 season.
After Thomas was drafted in 1988, Sanders went off for 2,628 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy.
It’s hard to argue against the resumes of Thomas and Sanders, who are consensus hall of famers after extended success in both the college and professional game. Michel and Chubb could have great NFL career and still fall short of what the Oklahoma State duo accomplished at the next level.
So, really, it comes down to how you want define the “greatest” duo. If you’re looking for a four-year pair, it’s hard to beat Michel and Chubb. If you’re willing to accept greatness in shorter packages, duos like Thomas and Sanders have a strong argument.