It's easy to put the orange and blue glasses on and just shout from pure Auburn-centric love that Bo Jackson is not only one of - if not THE - greatest running backs of all time, he's also one of the greatest athletes in general. The man is a legend. He's such an Auburn legend that a 2013 interview that Chris Fuhrmeister did with Bo still shows up almost daily in our viewed pages.
With that in mind, it's easy to understand why Auburn fans would be outraged that Bo Jackson would be placed on the THIRD TEAM of the Football Writer's Association of America's 75th Anniversary All-America Team.
So who is ahead of Bo?
First Team: Archie Griffin, Herschel Walker
Second Team: Tony Dorsett, Barry Sanders
Third Team: Bo Jackson, Doak Walker
Now bear with me, here. Hold on. Don't get upset. If we go purely on stats, then this is actually being generous to Bo. If you look at sports-reference.com's leaders in rushing attempts, yards, yards per attempt, and touchdowns, then Bo barely belongs in any discussion of great running backs over the last 75 years.
Stats never tell a complete story, though. For a single snapshot in time, let's look at the 1983 season. Auburn played one of the hardest single-season schedules of all-time that year. Numerous teams were in the Top 10. Against that schedule, Bo finished 8th in total rushing yards that season with 1213 and 3rd in yards per attempt with 7.7. He wasn't even in the top 20 of rushing attempts.
It's obvious that the FWAA didn't only look at stats, or else Bo wouldn't have been in this group. Nor would many of the others. This is a group full of dynamic backs who set records in their own time. I'm too young to have watched these players actually play college football and I haven't watched highlights of some of the others in their prime, but it's hard to imagine anyone being truly better than Bo. Even Cecil Hurt agrees that Bo was better than Archie Griffin.
It's easy to quibble with any all-time All-America teams but Bo Jackson was way better than Archie Griffin.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) August 20, 2015
I'm going to defer the level of outrage to those of you old enough to have watched all of these running backs in their prime. As a pure Auburn homer and believer that Bo is one of the greatest athletes of all-time I definitely think he should be higher up the list, but what say some of you who actually watched them all?
Oh, and let's not even get into Tim Tebow being Second Team at QB.