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College Football Award Watch: Post-Week 5


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: Geno Smith, West Virginia
With 656 yards and eight touchdowns against Baylor last week, Smith’s season has gone from being simply prolific to potentially record-breaking. With 20 touchdowns in four games, he’s already on pace to break the single-season touchdown pass record set by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan (58) and the touchdown pass per game record set by Houston’s David Klingler (4.9). He has yet to throw an interception in 169 pass attempts.
Others: Kansas State’s Collin Klein, Florida State’s EJ Manuel, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Georgia’s Aaron Murray

Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell have cooled. Though he’s near-automatic in the red zone, Marcus Lattimore has yet to dominate a game as he has in the past. Instead, let’s look toward Joseph Randle, who would have received more national attention had Oklahoma State upset Texas on Saturday. Randle rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns on Texas, the most for a running back against the Longhorns defense since the finale of the 2010 season.
Others: Oregon’s Kenjon Barner, Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell, UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin, Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, Fresno State’s Robbie Rouse, Florida State’s Chris Thompson

Biletnikoff Award (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
Bailey or Austin? Austin or Bailey? This week the nod goes to Stedman Bailey over teammate Tavon Austin after Bailey caught 13 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns against Baylor. It was his second game with at least 13 catches and his third with at least 100 yards.
Others: West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, USC’s Marqise Lee, Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton, Baylor’s Terrance Williams

Mackey Award (Top tight end)
Our leader: Zach Ertz, Stanford
Noticing a trend? It appears the Mackey Award is going to find a home in the Pac-12 this season with contenders at Oregon, Washington and Arizona State. Despite the loss to Washington, Stanford’s Ertz caught six passes for 106 yards. Ertz also had the game-winning 37-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter in the win over USC.
Others: Arizona State’s Chris Coyle, Oregon’s Colt Lyerla, Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Outland Trophy (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Barrett Jones, Alabama
Jones remains the top lineman in the country, but the Crimson Tide offense has room to improve. Alabama is averaging 4.73 yards per carry, 47th in the nation, and the Tide rank sixth in the SEC in sacks allowed. Alabama has an off week before three road games in four weeks.
Others: Texas A&M’s Luke Joekel, Rutgers’ Kaleb Johnson, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, Florida State’s Bjoern Werner

Rimington Trophy (Top center)
Our leader: Alabama’s Jones
Others: Kansas State’s B.J. Finney, Clemson’s Dalton Freeman

Bednarik Award/Nagurski Award (Defensive Player of the Year)
Our leader: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Notre Dame had an off week, so there wasn’t a chance for Te’o to build on his 38 tackles and three interceptions last week. Georgia’s Jarvis Jones (eight tackles) had a quiet game -- relatively speaking -- in the 51-44 track meet against Tennessee.
Others: Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Florida State’s Bjoern Werner

Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader: Te’o, Notre Dame
Others: UCLA’s Datone Jones, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, Arizona State’s Will Sutton, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy, Maryland’s Joe Vellano, Florida State’s Bjeorn Werner

Butkus Award (Top linebacker)
Our leader: Te’o, Notre Dame
Others: USC’s Dion Bailey, Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Iowa State’s Jake Knott, Penn State’s Michael Mauti, Alabama’s C.J. Mosely, Connecticut’s Yawin Smallwood

Thorpe Award (Top defensive back)
Our leader: Dee Milliner, Alabama
With an interception and four pass breakups against Ole Miss, Milliner had his best game since the opener against Michigan. Milliner’s 2.75 pass defended per game (11 total) lead the nation.
Others: Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks, Texas’ Quandre Diggs, Oregon’s Iko Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer

Groza Award (Top kicker)

Our leader: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
At 11 for 11, Budzien is the nation’s only perfect kicker among those with at least 10 attempts. Budzien converted attempts of 44, 34 and 29 yards in the win over Indiana last week.
Others: Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro, Iowa’s Mike Meyer, Florida’s Caleb Sturgis

Ray Guy Award (Top punter)
Our leader: Texas A&M’s Ryan Epperson
Epperson averages 46.7 yards per kick on a team that leads the nation in net punting. The Aggies have faced only four punt returns on 17 kicks.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen, Utah’s Sean Sellwood, LSU’s Brad Wing

Freshman of the Year
Our leader: Brett Hundley, UCLA
As running back Johnathan Franklin has cooled since back-to-back 200-yard games to start the season, Hundley has remained consistent in the last two games. He’s passed for 1,470 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 165 yards and four touchdowns. He has a seven touchdown passes and no interceptions in three games against major conference teams (Nebraska, Oregon State, Colorado).
Others: Georgia’s Todd Gurley, Miami’s Duke Johnson, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon

Coach of the Year
Our leader: Mike Riley, Oregon State
No one expected much out of Oregon State to start the season, but the Beavers have arguably the best three wins through September with victories over Wisconsin, UCLA and Arizona.
Others: Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, Arizona State’s Todd Graham, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, UCLA’s Jim L. Mora

by David Fox

Follow @davidfox615

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