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
The Heisman frontrunner answered his first road test by completing 25 of 35 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns against Texas. He lost two fumbles but he hasn’t thrown an interception in 260 consecutive pass attempts, dating to the last regular season game of 2011. The next challenge is completing back-to-back road trips to the state of Texas.
Others: USC’s Matt Barkley, Kansas State’s Collin Klein, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller
Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Lattimore has yet to carry South Carolina on his back, as he did at times during his first two seasons. The Gamecocks haven’t needed it. That said, Lattimore has scored a touchdown in every game this season. Against SEC opponents, he’s averaging 106 yards per game with seven touchdowns.
Others: Oregon’s Kenjon Barner, North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard, Florida’s Mike Gillislee, Kansas State’s John Hubert
Biletnikoff Award (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
Teammate Tavon Austin, with his production in the return game and run game, is more versatile, but Bailey may be the better pure receiver. He has 49 catches for 710 yards with 13 touchdown catches. No one else in the country has more than eight touchdown catches -- and one of those two is Austin.
Others: West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, 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
Teammate Levine Toilolo had the more productive game in the shootout with Arizona last week, but Zach Ertz had a touchdown catch early and then came up with a key catch on fourth down and 9 to set up the game-tying touchdown late in regulation.
Others: Arizona State’s Chris Coyle, Oregon’s Colt Lyerla, Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Stanford’s Levine Toilolo
Outland Trophy (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Barrett Jones, Alabama
The defending Outland Trophy winner returns from an open date to prepare for a unique scheme up front from Missouri. The Tigers are third nationally in tackles for a loss.
Others: North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper, Texas A&M’s Luke Joekel, Rutgers’ Kaleb Johnson, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, 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
Te’o had 10 tackles and one pass breakup against a hot Miami offense to help Notre Dame extend its streak of 12 quarters without a touchdown. With 48 stops, Te’o has 20 more tackles than anyone else on the Irish roster.
Others: South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Utah's Star Lotulelei, Penn State's Michael Mauti
Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Will there be a player to split the defensive player of the year vote with the frontrunner Te’o? Maybe it will be Clowney, who led a dominant effort up front against Georgia. The sophomore had two tackles for a loss against Georgia, giving up 11.5 for the season. Clowney has had a sack in five of six games this year.
Others: Oregon State’s Scott Chricton, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, Ohio State’s John Simon, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy, 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, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, 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: Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
One of the nation’s most underrated defenders is finally starting to get his due. A lockdown cornerback, Poyer had three interceptions last week against Washington State. With four picks this season, he’s already matched his season total from a year ago.
Others: Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks, Florida’s Matt Elam, Alabama’s Dee Milliner
SPECIAL TEAMS AWARDS
Groza Award (Top kicker)
Our leader: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
At 11 for 11, Budzien is one of two perfect kickers with 10 or more attempts. The other is Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro, who is also 11 of 11. Budzien was 5 of 5 in a win over Boston College and 3 for 3 in wins over Vanderbilt and Indiana.
Others: Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brett Baer, 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
The Aggies lead the nation in net punting behind Epperson’s 46.1 yards per kick. Epperson has landed nine of his 18 punts inside the 20.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen, Utah’s Sean Sellwood, LSU’s Brad Wing
OTHER NATIONAL AWARDS
Freshman of the Year
Our leader: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Manziel threw his first two interceptions of the season against Ole Miss. By the fourth quarter he helped vanquish the Aggies’ difficulties in the fourth quarter. Texas A&M trailed by 10, but “Johnny Football” completed 17 of 26 for 191 yards with a touchdown. He also rushed for 129 yards and a score.
Others: Georgia’s Todd Gurley, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Miami’s Duke Johnson, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon
Coach of the Year
Our leader: Urban Meyer, Ohio State
The Buckeyes may come to regret taking the bowl ban this season rather than skipping a bowl last season -- Ohio State lost to Florida in the Gator Bowl to finish 6-7. The Buckeyes are 6-0 and the highest ranked team in the Big Ten by a long shot. Ineligible for the coaches’ poll, Ohio State is No. 8 in the AP poll, followed by No. 25 Michigan.
Others: Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien Oregon State’s Mike Riley, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder
by David Fox
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