Recently, PFF College asked followers a question on Twitter that has often led to many discussions in Syracuse football history involving the best quarterbacks and best running backs. The scenario they submitted was to fantasy draft your favorite all-time quarterback and running back college duo. For me, while there are definitely others I’d understand seeing listed, I have to go with Don McPherson and Ernie Davis as my dream combo.
One is the only Heisman winner in Syracuse history who was also on the only national championship team. The other should have won both as well but was robbed thanks to a football game ending in a lame tie and a receiver from Notre Dame. I do think Jim Brown should have won a Heisman when he was at Syracuse but the media at that time failed him likely due to race and other factors.
Syracuse football has had many tremendous names at both positions. It’s likely the names and who you feel is the best varies depending on your age and when you watched most often. Are you Team McPherson or Team McNabb? Are you under 21 and maybe you go Team Dungey versus Team Hunt (who I think if healthy, had the potential to be one of the greats at the position)?
Are you Team Marvin Graves or Team The Absolute Magician Troy Nunes? I don’t think any answer is a terrible answer but I’m 48 (soon to be 49) and my Orange Football prime of fandom began during the McPherson and MacPherson Era, so I may be biased but man that 1987 season was one of beauty even if there were Cardiac Cuse moments along the way as well.
The ultimate Syracuse football quarterback and running back combo is a fun debate.
And as for running back, if you’ve been a fan for a few minutes, you likely know the stories of the legends who wore 44 (the reason I first became a fan at all) especially Davis, Brown and the late Floyd Little. Or maybe you’re a Syracuse and Giants fan from the ’80s who witnessed firsthand how amazing Joe Morris was himself and possibly the best running back in SU history to not wear 44.
If you want to go back to the ’60s and ’70s, the other contender for greatest to never wear 44 was also a Miami Dolphin legend by the name of Larry Csonka. Depending on your age, you could probably say names like Carter, Konrad, Reyes, Drummond, Moose, Brown, Owens, Mungro, Brinkley, Smith or one of my favorite people to put on Orange, Antwon Bailey. If you say any of these names, I won’t call you a liar and likely just assume it’s based on when you watched and fell in love with the Orange.
So who is your choice for the quarterback/running back greats in Syracuse football history that you’d want to see line up together? I mean we’re not even talking about wide receivers yet and even that list would be impressive and extensive (though I’d go Art Monk over Marvin Harrison myself if we had that conversation).
Let us know where you stand but for me, it HAS to be Don McPherson and Ernie Davis without question, especially when you look at them having the two best seasons as well in Syracuse football history.