Tuesday, November 30, 2021
I don't get a vote.
Individual player awards in College Football are ridiculous, I think we all know this.
Don't get me wrong... it is wonderful to celebrate the excellence in achievement by these athletes. It's even fitting that these awards can often go to players on teams who weren't necessarily in the running for great team accomplishments. Though, those teams are usually well-represented in award season because it only goes to figure that the teams who are able to win at a high level do so because their players perform at a high level (even if the high level at which they perform is completely maligned by their own team's fanbase and its incredibly self-deprecating nature... but I digress). Still, the idea that players can achieve while their teams do not, is worthy of consideration.
It does not stand to reason that the best individual player would HAVE to be on the best team in the nation. I think we can all agree on that, and be ok with it.
When it is clear to the vast majority of people who follow the sport closely (fans, pundits, opposing coaches, NFL players and alumni, Ethyl who sweeps the clippings at the barber shop, etc) that one of the nation's best players at a particular position happens to also play on the nation's best team... and that player is left off a finalist list, it causes a touch of rancor.
I will give you one example. The John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's "Best" Tight End. The stat lines for the finalists are below.
Player, School: Receptions - Yards - TDs
Jalen Wydermeyer , Texas A&M: 40 - 515 - 4
Charlie Kolar, Iowa State: 58 - 723 - 5
Trey McBride, Colorado State: 90 - 1121 - 1
Now, no one is going to confuse any of those schools with the best in the country, and their accomplishments are worthy of note. But there was another tight end on the semi-final list who is arguably (in the most conservative use of the word) better than all of these fine young athletes at playing that position. That young man's name, is Brock Bowers. Now, I am not the only UGA fan to be flummoxed by the inexcusable decision to leave Brock Bowers off the finalist list for this award. In fact, Twitter was abuzz with folks calling out the selection committee for leaving him off when he scored TWO MORE touchdowns to add to his ridiculous freshman season.
Brock Bowers, Georgia: 37 - 652 - 10
Also, his 2 receptions of 70+ yards trail only Bama WIDEOUT Jameson Williams.
I'm pretty sure he's left off the list because he's a freshman and has years left to win this award. Wydermeyer lost out to Pitts last year, so he's my odds-on favorite to win, despite not leading in any category... because our world is currently soft AF, and that's the type of thing I expect (just like the talk of including a 2-loss Alabama or OSU in the playoff, but again I digress). Still, I think you can come with me on the short trip to crazy town that is the decision to leave Brock off the finalist list. Asshats.
And don't even get me STARTED on the Heisman. The idea that this award might go to ANY Quarterback this season is patently ridiculous. If it's me? I'm looking at the story of the season, and right now the story is... Look at the damn Defenses, stupid. The best player in the country is very likely one who doesn't get to know what the play is before it starts, but reads and reacts and puts an end to it at a higher level than anyone else.
QBs are gifted every tool, every call, and penalties tailor-made to protect them... and still, the best ones are being shut down by really good defenses this year.
Get over yourself, Heisman. Look on the other other side of the ball.
And Mackey... admit your stupid mistake and elevate Brock to the level he has earned.
That's what I'd do. But I don't get a vote.