The List compiles it’s 1st annual midseason awards for the 1st half of the college football season. Not quite to the prestige level of the Heisman yet, but we will do our best to disappoint, anger, and possibly enlighten.
So without further adieu, let’s roll out the red carpet.
Winner – Collin Klein QB Kansas State
Yes I understand that Geno Smith has put up video game numbers with the exception of the loss this previous week to Texas Tech. Additionally, even in that loss, Smith has still yet to throw an interception while having a TD:INT ratio of 25:0 while completing 75% of his passes. His statistics are daunting, however, he is not undefeated like Klein, and while he is the most important player on his team, he has incredible playmakers like Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey flanking him. Klein does not have the luxury of these playmakers at Kansas State furthering his valuableness.
Klein is certainly not the passer that Smith is, and even his throwing motion can be a little painful to watch (still not as bad as Taylor Martinez), but Klein makes up for it with his ability to run the football with great efficiency. Klein has ran for 510 yards and 10 TDs thru six games while also throwing for 1,074 yards and another 7 TDs. Klein has also completed 67% of his passes which is a big increase from the 57% he completed last year. Don’t forget to tune into FOX this weekend at 7 p.m. where Klein’s Wildcats will take on Geno Smith and the Mountaineers.
As a side note don’t forget about Freshmen QB Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M whose been putting up his own video game numbers this season.
Most Improved Player
Winner - DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
DeAndre Hopkins had a terrific season last year with 72 catches for 978 yards and 5 TDs. So when you look at those numbers its hard to wonder how one can actually improve upon them. Hopkins however has, and while all we heard about going into the season was how great Sammy Watkins is and how effective Tahj Boyd will continue to be, it has been Hopkins who has been Clemson’s best player. Hopkins has caught a TD in 5 out of the 6 games while also totaling over 100 yards receiving in 4 out of 6. In total this season Hopkins has already caught 49 passes for 777 yards and 8 TDs so far this season.
As you can see from the above graphic, Hopkins has steadily improved every season making himself one of the most consistent receivers in college football right now.
Top Newcomer (i.e. Freshmen, RS Freshmen, Juco Transfer)
Winner - Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
I understand the clamoring that occurs with the numbers that Geno Smith has put up, but I suggest that you take a look and see what Mr. Manziel has been up to. Since the opening season loss to Florida 20-17, Manziel has been nothing short of a phenom. In those 5 games since the loss Manziel has thrown for 301.4 yards per game and 14 TDs while running for 123.2 yards per game and 9 TDs in five Aggie wins. Currently Manziel is 2nd in the country in total offense with 392 yards per game. And no Geno Smith is not #1, its QB Nick Florence of Baylor.
Winner - Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame
Te’o leads the 2nd ranked total defense that has yet to yield a rushing TD and has forced 15 turnovers so far this season. It hasn’t been an easy schedule for the Irish either. Notre Dame has 3 wins over teams that were ranked in the Top 25 when they played them. Te’o has accumulated 59 tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 passes defensed, and 2 fumble recoveries in six games this season
Winner - Bill Snyder Kansas State
The 3-time Big 12 Coach of the Year keeps getting things done at Kansas State, despite low-ranked recruiting classes and very few NFL caliber players. His teams just seem to execute better than others and this year has been no different. Kansas State also has one of the most impressive wins of the year so far when they went into Norman and beat Oklahoma 24-19 in late September.
Best Game/Worst Defensive Game
Winner - Baylor 63 vs. West Virginia 70
Chances are that I have lost the majority of readers at this point in the article, so in turn I’m posting an obvious choice as opposed to my inclination to post something more abstract for this award. So in turn I present you with some irony. The List makes a list of statistics from this game:
- Geno Smith stat line – 45-51 for 656 passing yards and 8 TDs
- 1,507 yards of offense between both teams and in case you can’t do math 133 combined points
- West Virginia receivers gained 351 yards after the catch
- Baylor WR Terrance Williams had 17 catches for 314 yards and 2 TDs
- Both teams combined to convert 23-31 3rd downs
- There was at least 4 TDs scored every quarter
Winner – The Kent State Punt Return
This play really needs no introduction but I’m going to give one anyway. So you’ll soon notice that Kent State LB Andre Parker recovers a muffed punt, which is good. He then has a special surprise in store for everyone when he begins to return the ball the wrong way. Parker wasn’t the only one who made a mistake on this play either. How about the super-aware Towson players who said to themselves “you know, it looks like Andre has figured out the most creative way to Safety his own team, but instead of letting him go, we should definitely just go tackle him.”
Here you go…