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Productive October may give Giovani Bernard a shot at postseason hardware
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 10 Previews and Predictions
Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Collin Klein, Kansas State
After a slow start against Texas Tech, Klein and the Wildcats eventually defeated the Red Raiders 55-24 for Kansas State’s fifth 50-point game of the season and third in Big 12 play. Klein was 19 of 26 for 233 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards and two scores. He hasn’t thrown an interception since Sept. 15 against North Texas. His 12 touchdowns in Big 12 play is second among any player in his respective conference. Tulsa’s Alex Singleton leads with 13 TDs against Conference USA opponents.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, West Virginia’s Geno Smith
Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
Bernard had one of the best Octobers of any player in the country. His 924 yards from scrimmage during the month was 490 yards more than anyone else in the ACC and 65 more than anyone else in the country. And that doesn’t count his 74-yard punt return for a touchdown to clinch the win over NC State.
Others: Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Oregon’s Kenjon Barner, Kansas State’s John Hubert, Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson, Northwestern’s Venric Mark, Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor
Biletnikoff Award (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Marqise Lee, USC
Marqise Lee became the fourth player to top 300 receiving yards this season, beating out the other three with 345 yards and two touchdowns on 16 catches in the loss to Arizona. Entering this season, there had been only 15 300-yard receiving games in major college football/FBS history.
Others: West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey, Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton, Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Baylor’s Terrance Williams
Mackey Award (Top tight end)
Our leader: Zach Ertz, Stanford
Ertz is second among the nation’s tight ends with 525 receiving yards. In the 24-17 win over Washington State, Ertz caught one pass for 20 yards, giing him 13 receptions of at least 15 yards this season.
Others: Arizona State’s Chris Coyle, North Carolina’s Eric Ebron, Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert, Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Outland Trophy (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Barrett Jones, Alabama
Jones will face his toughest test of the season, but one he has conquered before when Alabama visits Baton Rouge. The Crimson Tide is second in the SEC in rushing at 214.4 yards on the ground per game.
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
Late in the game against Oklahoma, Te’o dove to intercept a deflected pass to record his fifth pick of the season -- a remarkable total for an accomplished linebacker who had not had a career interception until this season. Te’o will take home his share of defensive trophies and perhaps more, but after what Jarvis Jones did against Florida, we have to wonder what the Georgia linebacker would have accomplished had he been healthy all season.
Others: Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Utah's Star Lotulelei, Penn State's Michael Mauti, LSU’s Kevin Minter
Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader:Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jones has missed two games this season, but when he plays, he can simply take over as he did against Florida and earlier this year against Missouri. In the 17-9 win over the Gators, Jones had five tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles
Others: Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Penn State’s Michael Mauti, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, 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 was neutralized against Alabama, limited to four tackles and no big plays. We still like his production over the course of the season (four interceptions), but a key game for Banks will be against Texas A&M and freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel this week.
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
No Groza contender stuck out last week, so we’ll stick with Detmer despite Toledo’s off week. Detmer was 5 of 5 on field goals two weeks in a win over Cincinnati, including kicks of 43, 42 and 47 yards. Detmer is tied for second nationally with 18 made field goals this season.
Others:Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien, Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro, Michigan State’s Dan Conroy, Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins
Ray Guy Award (Top punter)
Our leader: Florida’s Kyle Christy
Florida’s offense stalled against Georgia last week, but Christy remained the biggest weapon in terms of field position. Christy is averaging 47.9 yards per kick on a team that leads the nation in net punting.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen, Ball State’s Steven Schott, Utah’s Sean Sellwood, Oklahoma State’s Quinn Sharp
OTHER NATIONAL AWARDS
Freshman of the Year
Our leader: Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Mariota leads the Pac-12 in completion percentage at 68.6 percent and has 18 touchdowns to five interceptions. A make-or-break stretch for Oregon is upcoming with USC, Stanford and Oregon State in three of the last four
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon, TCU’s Devonte Fields, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel
Coach of the Year
Our leader: Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Kansas State keeps rolling along after a 55-24 win over Texas Tech. The Wildcats are in the top 15 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense while leading the Big 12 in both categories.
Others: 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
There’s no shame in giving up 55 points to Kansas State, as Texas Tech did last week. Kaufman’s defense at least gave Collin Klein fits in the first quarter. Texas Tech’s defense remains one of the most improved units in the country.
Others: Oregon State’s Mark Banker, Notre Dame’s Bob Diaco, Alabama’s Kirby Smart
by David Fox