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USC's Matt Barkley reclaims top spot among quarterbacks
The Heisman Trophy isn’t the only award worth watching on a weekly basis. The Lombardi, Outland, Davey O’Brien and Biletnikoff races are all worth watching and debating as the season goes along.
Throughout the season, we’ll keep an eye on all the prominent position trophies through college football in addition to the Heisman.
If you’re looking for our thoughts on that other trophy, check our weekly Heisman poll.
Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Matt Barkley, USC
Barkley didn’t have one of his best days in a USC uniform against Syracuse. His 187 yards is the second-lowest total since the start of last season. That said, Barkley still had six touchdown passes, giving him 20 TD passes in his last four games going back to last year.
Others: West Virginia’s Geno Smith, Kansas State’s Collin Klein, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray
Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
Franklin was not a first- or second-team All-Pac-12 honoree last season despite rushing for 976 yards. He’ll eclipse that total easily if he continues at this rate. Franklin had his second 200-yard game of the season with 217 against Nebraska. He added three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
Others: Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas, Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore
Biletnikoff Award (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Marqise Lee, USC
Just another day for Lee: Double-digit receptions and multiple touchdowns. Lee caught 11 passes for 66 yards with three scores against Syracuse. He has 13 total touchdowns (11 receiving, two kickoff returns) in his last seven games.
Others: USC’s Robert Woods, Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson, West Virginia’s Tavon Austin
Mackey Award (Top tight end)
Our leader: Kaneakua Friel, BYU
Friel came into the season with little buzz, but he’s already one of BYU’s key players. The junior added another touchdown catch, his third of the season, last week against Weber State. BYU faces its toughest opponent of the season this week against Utah.
Others: Arkansas’ Chris Gragg, Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Outland Trophy (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Barrett Jones, Alabama
Alabama’s offensive line had a rough day against Western Kentucky, allowing six sacks and blocking for a run game that averaged 3.3 yards per carry. But don’t forget how dominant Alabama was in the opener against Michigan. It would be shocking for Alabama not to show that again during the SEC season.
Others: Michigan State’s Chris McDonald, Virginia’s Oday Aboushi
Rimington Trophy (Top center)
Our leader: Alabama’s Jones
Others: Clemson’s Dalton Freeman
Bednarik Award/Nagurski Award (Defensive Player of the Year)
Our leader: Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o picked up his first career interception in Week 1. Jarvis Jones had his first pick against Missouri last week. Jones had perhaps the most dominant individual defensive performance of the season with two forced fumbles, two sacks and a pick as Georgia pulled away from Missouri in the Tigers’ SEC opener.
Others: Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Alabama’s Dee Milliner
Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader: Jones, Georgia
Others: BYU’s Kyle Van Noy, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, LSU’s Sam Montgomery, Cincinnati’s Walter Stewart
Butkus Award (Top linebacker)
Our leader: Jones, Georgia
Others: Michigan State’s Max Bullough,Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Virginia’s Steve Greer, Kansas State’s Arthur Brown
Thorpe Award (Top defensive back)
Our leader: Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Banks may start to get his due as one of the premier defensive players in the SEC. His two interceptions against Auburn last week gave him 14 in his career and nine against SEC quarterbacks. Others: Alabama’s Dee Milliner, Texas’ Kenny Vacarro
SPECIAL TEAMS AWARDS
Groza Award (Top kicker)
Our leader: Caleb Sturgis, Florida
Sturgis connected on a 51-yard field goal at Texas A&M on Saturday for his second 50-yarder of the season.
Others: Iowa’s Mike Meyer, Nebraska’s Brett Maher, UTSA’s Sean Ianno
Ray Guy Award (Top punter)
Our leader: Brad Wing, LSU
Wing boomed a 62-yard punt to the Washington 4-yard line in his first punt of the season last week. He finished with an average of 54.3 yards on his three kicks.
Others: Sean Sellwood, Utah, Michigan’s Will Hagerup
OTHER NATIONAL AWARDS
Freshman of the Year
Our leader: Brett Hundley, UCLA
Again, why did Hundley redshirt last season? UCLA’s long-time quarterback troubles may be coming to an end with Hundley, who passed for 305 yards and four touchdowns against Nebraska last week.
Others: Miami’s Duke Johnson, Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon
Coach of the Year
Our leader: Jim L. Mora, UCLA
We’ll learn more once conference play starts, but Mora has made a major change in culture at UCLA. The Bruins could have an impressive record by the time they face USC on Nov. 17.
Others: Arizona State’s Todd Graham, Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer
by David Fox
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