Tonight, as is the case every December, the College Football Awards Show will take place. In it, nine awards will be presented, with the Heisman Trophy being awarded the following Saturday. Amongst the awards given out will be the Chuck Bednarik Award for best defensive player, the Maxwell Award for best player, and others. So, without further ado, allow me to put forth my predictions for each award.
Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player)
Prediction: Scooby Wright III
In 13 games, Wright has 153 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. That’s as many sacks as fellow nominee Joey Bosa. He has been the only defensive player given any mainstream attention at all this season, and there’s absolutely no question he will win this award.
Biletnikoff Award (Best receiver)
Nominees: Amari Cooper, Alabama (115 catches, 1,656 yards, 14 touchdowns), Rashard Higgins, Colorado State (89 catches, 1,640 yards, 17 touchdowns), Kevin WHite, West Virginia (102 catches, 1,318 yards, 9 touchdowns)
Prediction: Amari Cooper.
Like the Bednarik Award, this one is a no-brainer. Cooper is the top offensive weapon for the top ranked team in the country. Like Julio Jones a few years ago, Cooper has finally showcased what he’s capable of in his Junior year. Higgins has been great all year, but Colorado State isn’t regarded anywhere near as highly as Alabama is, and White faded down the stretch for a Mountaineers squad that slumped down the stretch.
Lou Groza Award (best kicker)
Prediction: Roberto Aguayo.
College kicking has never been a bigger joke than it was this year. I cannot recall another year where so many pivotal games ended due to missed chip-shot (20-40yd) field goals. It has been such a joke that one of the nominees, Josh Lambert, has missed a kick in each of his last three games!
That said, Aguayo is clearly the best kicker in the game. He has only missed three kicks over his two seasons in college, and deserves to be one of only two kickers to ever win the award twice.
Ray Guy (bet punter), Rimington (best center) and Outland Trophy (best offensive lineman): no idea.
Maxwell (best payer) and Davey O’Brien (best quarterback) awards:
Prediction: Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Oregon.
I could go on and on talking about the achievements of the players nominated for these awards, but the reality is, there is one guy who will likely win them both, unless the voters want to give a sympathy award to one of the others. Mariota came into the season as the most highly regarded quarterback in the game, and has looked just like that. Barring the first game against Arizona, he has been completely dominant. He has thrown for nearly 3,800 yards, about 300 per game, 38 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while rushing for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns. Yeah, it’s safe to say that he’s got this in the bag.
Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)
Nominees: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon (63 tackles, two interceptions), Landon Collins, Alabama (87 tackles, three interceptions), Gerod Holliman (37 tackles 1 sack, 14 interceptions)
Fourteen interceptions? Enough said. He broke the record, he gets the trophy.
Doak Walker Award (best running back)
Nominees: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (237 rush, 1,523 yards, 18 touchdowns), Tevin Coleman, Indiana (270 rushes, 2,036 yards, 15 touchdowns), Melvin Gordon (309 rushes, 2,336 yards, 26 touchdowns)
First off, let me just say that I’m very happy that Tevin Coleman got nominated. His team stumbled to a 4-8 record, and will not play in a bowl game. But, he was the heart and soul of the team, and seeing him get the nomination is great.
That said, Gordon is clearly the best back in the country. He has way more rushing yards than anyone other than Coleman, and has 26 touchdowns to boot. He is the only running back invited to the Heisman ceremony, and while he’ll lose that award, this on is clearly his.
Enjoy the popularity contest, everybody!