Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the B1G has some really good running backs returning to the field next season.

The conference that has been known to produce some of top talent out of the backfield will not be short of skilled running backs in 2020. In fact, the pool is so talented that it was really difficult to narrow this list down to a top five. There are easily a handful of other ball carriers who could easily be included on the last, and you’d be able to make a pretty strong case.

Before diving into the top five, I’ve included a list of players who deserved at least an honorable mention in this category. Here’s a look at some of the best running backs returning to the B1G in 2020:

Honorable Mentions

Tyler Goodson, Iowa; Dedrick Mills, Nebraska; Stevie Scott III, Indiana; Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

5. Isaih Pacheco, Rutgers

Yes, the worst offense in the B1G has one of the five-best returning running backs in the conference. Considering the heavy workload Pacheco has been forced to carry over the last two years, and behind an offensive line that has had serious issues, his 729 yards and seven touchdowns is no small accomplishment.

Pacheco possesses outstanding breakaway speed and has proven to be pretty durable through his career in Piscataway. He still has some work to do as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and a pass protector, but he’ll likely be the heart and soul of Rutgers’ offense again in 2020.

In his career, Pacheco has eclipsed the 100-yard mark five times, including in games against Michigan (2018) and Penn State (2019). If the Scarlet Knights improve up front, he’ll have a chance to become the first Rutgers running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since Jawan Jamison in 2012.

4. Elijah Collins, Michigan State

Not a bad year for the redshirt freshman, who rushed for 988 yards, added 99 receiving yards and scored five touchdowns as the primary ball carrier for the Spartans. Collins is a reliable weapon out of the backfield who should be able to help Michigan State establish a stronger presence on the ground in 2020.

Collins showed the ability to squeak through gaps and speed away from defenders in his first season as the primary running back. He has excellent vision and the ability to pick up a few extra yards when nothing is available. He posted three 100-yard games last fall, including a career-high 192-yard performance against Western Michigan. He also galloped for 170 yards and two touchdowns against Illinois.

With Michigan State’s offense struggling mightily again in 2019, Collins probably didn’t receive the recognition he deserved for a breakout season. But with the goal of hitting 1,000 yards next season, he probably won’t fly under the radar too long into the 2020 campaign. With a full year now under his belt, Collins may provide the Spartans with just the spark they need offensively.

3. Zach Charbonnet, Michigan

When you set a freshman touchdown record at a place like Michigan, you must be pretty good. And that’s the case with Charbonnet, who became the prominent running back for the Wolverines last fall. His potential is through the roof.

Charbonnet finished his first season in Ann Arbor with a team-best 726 yards and 11 touchdowns,averaging 4.8 yards per carry. His vision is among the best in the B1G and he possesses a knack for making defenders miss. The rising sophomore isn’t necessarily the fastest guy on the field, but he makes up for it with his shiftiness. He was also money near the goal line.

Perhaps the lone knock on Charbonnet is that he isn’t quite as good at breaking tackles as some of the backs in the conference — but an additional year in the weight room should help with his ability to run over defenders. If he adds that element to his game, he could be one of the most difficult backs to bring down in the conference.

Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

2. Master Teague III, Ohio State

It’s hard to imagine that Ohio State’s running game won’t miss a beat without J.K. Dobbins in the backfield, but that sure likes that will be the case. In a backup role in 2019, Teague rushed for 739 yards and four touchdowns while also catching four passes for an additional 60 yards. With an even bigger role next season, those numbers could skyrocket.

Teague possesses every skill that you want in a B1G running back. Not only does he have incredible speed — running backs Tony Alford said Teague was probably the fastest guy on the roster last year — he’s got excellent lower-body strength and power to bust through tackles, making him tough to bring to the ground. He’s not a guy who’s going to be stopped by single-arm tackles very often. Teague is also excellent at reading his blockers and finding open space.

At the end of last season, Teague’s production dropped off significantly. But remember, that came against Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Clemson, all of which had solid defenses. He might be able to do a little more damage if he’s the No. 1 running back for the Buckeyes next season.

1. Journey Brown, Penn State

Penn State is oozing with running back talent right now, and while there’s a good chance next year’s backfield situation could be by committee — in a good way — Brown still stands out among the rest. Aside from being the complete package at running back, Brown had some of his best days when the lights were brightest.

Brown rushed for 109 yards on 10 carries against Pitt. He piled up 124 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota, and followed it with another 100-yard outing against Indiana. He averaged 5.84 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown against Ohio State. Oh, and in the Cotton Bowl, he eviscerated Memphis’ defense for 202 yards and two touchdowns.

The advantageous aspect of having so many game-ready running backs on the roster is that Brown can stay fresh throughout the course of a game. He only finished with over 20 carries one time last season. Through the course of a rigorous B1G season, that’s pretty significant.

Brown brings great balance to the field and can easily shed defenders at times. If he gets a gap at the line of scrimmage, he’s almost impossible to catch. Combine that with great vision and pass-catching ability, and you’re looking at the best running back in the conference.