The “best regular season” in all of sports will come to an end this weekend, as college football plays its final games of the semester.
Which means that after a few Big East matches and the conference championships, we have a month to brace ourselves for the worst postseason in all of sports.
Funny how those two go hand in hand.
While it would be easy to take shots at the BCS and write a column pointing out the plethora of flaws in college football, we at Gridiron Nation prefer to think positive. After all, besides Texas getting screwed out of the national championship, the Mountain West Conference passing the Big East in overall quality and Ohio State losing every big game of the past three years, some good things did happen this season.
With that in mind, we give you the most prestigious 2008 Gridiron Nation Awards.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award
While I have yet to be awarded a vote by the Heisman committee, at Gridiron we would give the award to Colt McCoy, quarterback of Texas. This season, McCoy accounted for 42 total TDs and 4,021 yards, while completing 77.6 percent of his passes. He also led the Longhorns to victory over three top 10 opponents before falling to Texas Tech on a last-second pass. While rival quarterback Sam Bradford deserves recognition, Bradford also had the benefit of two 1,000 yard rushers, whereas McCoy has none. Besides, McCoy needs something to ease the pain of yet another BCS letdown.
The Did Just Enough To Not Get Fired Award
Apparently the award goes to Charlie Weis. Notre Dame announced Wednesday that Weis will indeed be back for another season, despite totaling a mere nine wins the past two seasons. Riding the strength of three top 10 recruiting classes, Weis led the Fighting Irish to a 6-6 record and a potential bowl berth. Notre Dame’s most impressive win came over the 7-4 Navy, and the Fighting Irish scored less than 10 points in four games. Clearly, the man deserves another chance.
The Most Disappointing Team Award
Amidst a myriad of worthy candidates — South Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois come to mind — the award has to go to Clemson. The Tigers started off the year ranked No. 9 before losing in spectacular fashion to Alabama. In the infinitely winnable ACC, Clemson failed to break .500 in conference, and even more impressively, with a wealth of talent at the “skill” positions Clemson scored 10 points or less six times. Completing the fall from grace, Clemson cut the cord with head coach Tommy Bowden despite signing him to an extension in the offseason. Expectations have been lowered so far that late season wins over Duke and Virginia earned interim head coach Dabo Swinney the permanent position.
The Recruit Everyone Missed Out On Award
And the winner is Jacquizz Rodgers, freshman running back for Oregon State. The diminutive Texas native burst onto the scene when he shredded USC, handing the Trojans their only loss of the season. Rodgers set a Texas state record for touchdowns in high school with 136 and he rushed for 2,902 yards his senior year, earning him the AP player of the year award in Texas. Somehow, Oregon State landed the super freshman over programs such as Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Oh wait, it is because Rodgers is only listed at 5 feet 7 inches. I know recruiting is an imperfect process, but once again, big schools overvalue potential over production. Seeing as Texas’ leading rusher this season is their quarterback, I’m betting the Longhorns would like a do-over where Rodgers is concerned.
The Schadenfreude Award
One team’s misfortune is the rest of the nation’s pleasure. Michigan’s fall from grace this year was spectacular on every level. Here are just a few of the Wolverine’s accomplishments: Michigan lost to a MAC team for the first time in their history. Rich Rodriguez debuted by snapping the Wolverines 33-year bowl streak. And of course, Michigan ended the season at 3-9 losing to Ohio State by 35 points. All of this happened while the rest of the nation sat back and laughed.
Best Reason To Watch College Football Award
With a lack of stunning rivalry games, crazy upsets or surprise national title contenders, this award has to go to the Big XII South division. This division boasts three top 10 teams in Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech, along with another top 20 team in Oklahoma State. It seemed like every week a Big XII shootout was taking the headlines, and almost every legit Heisman candidate comes from this conference. Most importantly though, with a three-way tie between the aforementioned Big Three at the top of the division, more evidence was provided that the BCS is completely broken. Hopefully, if enough big programs complain about the BCS (See: Texas and USC), we will eventually get a true postseason for college football.