WKU’s Rainey voted sixth-best non-BCS player; North Texas’ Dunbar No. 5

Senior running back Bobby Rainey runs the ball during the homecoming game against North Texas last season. Rainey was voted the sixth-best non-BCS player in the country by Sports Illustrated.

Cole Claybourn

North Texas senior running back Lance Dunbar took a subtle jab at WKU senior running back Bobby Rainey during July’s Sun Belt Media Day.

“People expect Bobby Rainey to be the No. 1 running back, but I think I’ve proven that I’m better than him,” Dunbar said. “They see different. I’m going to show them different.”

Whether it’s friendly or not, the Dunbar-Rainey rivalry picked up some momentum this week.

Sports Illustrated released its list of the Top-10 non-BCS players in the nation. At No. 6 was Rainey.

And Dunbar? He sneaked in just ahead of Rainey at No. 5.

The season hasn’t started yet, but it would appear that it’s actually Dunbar who has the slight edge in the public’s eye. Dunbar was selected as co-preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year, and he wasn’t sharing that honor with Rainey.

Rainey countered by making three postseason award watch lists. He did so by shrugging off Dunbar’s comments.

“I look at it as him being competitive,” Rainey said. “I don’t get into that. If he feels like he’s better than me, it’s OK because that’s how he’s supposed to feel. It all goes back to one thing: numbers don’t lie.”

Rainey has a point. His 1,649 yards topped Dunbar’s 1,553 yards from last season, granted Rainey had 66 more carries than Dunbar – 340 in total, which led the nation.

The two will get a chance to settle things between the lines on Nov. 19 when WKU travels to Denton, Texas, to face the Mean Green in the Toppers’ last road game of the season.