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Wisconsin's Montee Ball is back in the running for the Doak Walker
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.
Week 9 Previews and Predictions
Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Collin Klein, Kansas State
In a head-to-head meeting against West Virginia’s Geno Smith, Klein finished as the top quarterback in the country, at least for this week. Klein accounted for all seven touchdowns against the Mountaineers (four rushing, three passing). The senior is second in the nation in pass efficiency behind Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and fifth in rushing touchdowns (14).
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, West Virginia’s Geno Smith
Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Hard to believe with the way Ball started the season, but he now ranks fourth in the nation with 979 rushing yards. In four Big Ten games, Ball has 10 rushing touchdowns and 154.8 yards per game.
Others: Oregon’s Kenjon Barner, North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard, Kansas State’s John Hubert, Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson, Northwestern’s Venric Mark, Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor
Biletnikoff Award (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
West Virginia’s passing game is in a funk. USC’s passing game is starting to recover its early season form (facing Colorado helps). Last week, Patton had one of his least productive games of the season with four catches for 41 yards in a rout against Idaho, but he did catch his 10th touchdown pass of the season. Patton is a week removed from a 21-catch effort against Texas A&M.
Others: Cal’s Keenan Allen, West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, USC’s Marqise Lee, Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Baylor’s Terrance Williams
Mackey Award (Top tight end)
Our leader: Zach Ertz, Stanford
After catching six passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, Ertz leads the nation’s tight ends with 505 receiving yards. He’s a big play threat, too, averaging at least 20 yards per catch in games against Duke, USC and Cal this season.
Others: Arizona State’s Chris Coyle, Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert, Washington’s Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Stanford’s Levine Toilolo
Outland Trophy (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Barrett Jones, Alabama
Jones is the de facto favorite to win the Outland again, but the gap is closing -- even on his own team. Guard Chance Warmack is having a standout season, as is tackle D.J. Fluker. And that’s just offense in Tuscaloosa. Two of the last five Outland winners have been defensive tackles (LSU’s Glenn Dorsey in 2007, Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh in 2009). Star Lotulelei and Stephon Tuitt should make a push here.
Others: North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper, Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt
Rimington Trophy (Top center)
Our leader: Alabama’s Jones
Others: Kansas State’s B.J. Finney, Clemson’s Dalton Freeman, USC’s Khaled Holmes
Bednarik Award/Nagurski Award (Defensive Player of the Year)
Our leader: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Te’o continues to lead the Notre Dame defense heading into a huge matchup with Oklahoma this week. Te’o intercepted his fourth pass of the season with a pick against BYU last week, but the senior has only four solo tackles (17 assisted tackles) in the last two weeks.
Others: South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, Utah's Star Lotulelei, Penn State's Michael Mauti, LSU’s Kevin Minter
Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Clowney was unstoppable against Florida, and it wasn’t his fault hte Gamecocks gave up 44 points as South Carolina special teams and the offense handed Florida the ball around the goal line. Clowney will face one of the top lines in the SEC this week against South Carolina.
Others: Oregon State’s Scott Chricton, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Penn State’s Michael Mauti, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt
Butkus Award (Top linebacker)
Our leader: Te’o, Notre Dame
Others:Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, Iowa State’s Jake Knott, Penn State’s Michael Mauti, LSU’s Kevin Minter, Alabama’s C.J. Mosely
Thorpe Award (Top defensive back)
Our leader: Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Banks had eight tackles and an interception returned for 46 yards last week against Middle Tennessee, giving him four picks this season and 16 in his career. This week brings a compelling matchup between Banks and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, who has not thrown an interception this season.
Others: Florida’s Matt Elam, Oklahoma’s Tony Jefferson, Alabama’s Dee Milliner, Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer
SPECIAL TEAMS AWARDS
Groza Award (Top kicker)
Our leader: Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo
Toledo’s offense isn’t all wild passing numbers. Detmer was 5 of 5 on field goals last week in a win over Cincinnati, including kicks of 43, 42 and 47 yards. He’s made the most field goals in the country with 18 converted on 23 attempts.
Others: Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brett Baer, Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien, Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro, Iowa’s Mike Meyer
Ray Guy Award (Top punter)
Our leader: Florida’s Kyle Christy
Christy is the weapon LSU’s Brad Wing was a season ago. Christy helps the Gators with the field position battle by averaging 47.9 yards per kick. Half of his 36 punts have been longer than 50 yards.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen, Utah’s Sean Sellwood, Oklahoma State’s Quinn Sharp
OTHER NATIONAL AWARDS
Freshman of the Year
Our leader: Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Kenjon Barner or Marcus Mariota -- who is the most valuable player on the Oregon offense? A compelling case could be made for Mariota, who leads the Pac-12 in completion percentage (68.3 percent). He had his best rushing day of the season last week by running for 135 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel
Coach of the Year
Our leader: Bill Snyder, Kansas State
The Wildcats are a legitimate national title contender partly on talent, but they’re also one of the most sound teams in the country. Kansas State has committed the third-fewest penalties in the country after Navy and Air Force and ranks seventh nationally in turnover margin.
Others: Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, Rutgers’ Kyle Flood, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien, Oregon State’s Mike Riley
Broyles Award (top assistant)
Our leader: Art Kaufman, Texas Tech
Texas Tech allowed 53 points in a triple overtime win over TCU, but the Red Raiders have gone from giving up 485.6 yards per game to allowing 282 in the first season under defensive coordinator Art Kaufman. Collin Klein and Kansas State are up next.
Others: Oregon State’s Mark Banker, Notre Dame’s Bob Diaco, Alabama’s Kirby Smart
by David Fox