The Internets have ruined our attention spans to the point that we need to find ways to entertain ourselves between when the regular season of college football ends and the start of bowl season. I swear we used to be able to find things to do before the Internet meant anything, I just can’t remember when because OMGthisissoawesomeonYouTube*.
Er, anyway, we decided that since no one cares about the regular college football awards it was time for us to hand out our own season-ending awards.
The Captain Ahab Award
Given annually to a major conference coordinator who took a job at a school with no hope of winning just to be a head coach and maybe (long-shot) win some games to eventually get a better position.
Winner: Kevin Wilson – Indiana
Since it’s our alma mater, we’re pretty happy with the guy. He seems like he knows what he’s doing and is genuinely interested in winning while in Bloomington. But let’s be real here, there’s very little chance of turning the Hoosiers into anything resembling a winner in the Leaders (seriously?) division of the Big Ten. He’s there because it’s a head coaching job and if he does manage to win some games, bigger programs or the NFL are going to take notice. It’s fine, we know our role in the college football stratosphere. We just have a feeling Wilson is going to wake up one morning very soon and realize just how big a hill he has to climb.
The Purina Dog Chow Roll Over and Play Dead Award
Given to the team that did the best job rolling over in a big game during the regular season when they should have won.
Winner: Alabama in the Iron Bowl
Seriously, a 24-0 lead at home and a chance to ruin their biggest rival’s shot at the national title? Seriously? This choke job even led me to speculate that Alabama (no Rick Roll this time, I swear) went to Vegas the week before the game and went heavy on Auburn and a few prop bets about who’d be winning at halftime. It makes perfect freaking sense to take the game out of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson’s hands and let Greg McElroy throw his way to defeat. Great strategy by the coaching staff there. Even better that the comeback by Auburn totally overshadowed the hurricane swirling around Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
Speaking of that…
The WTF Award
Given to the maker of the most inexplicable, indefensible decision of the year.
Winner: The NCAA
Nick Saban and Jim McElwain almost won this one for going all Mike Leach with Greg McElroy in the Iron Bowl, but the NCAA choosing to not punish Cam Newton on the heels of their ultra-harsh punishment of USC just sucked. It just sucked. They set an awful precedent for the way parents of recruits can behave towards colleges, and they opened Pandora’s Box in such an obviously stupid way that there’s no way they didn’t know what they were doing.
Back in August, I thought the NCAA only cared about problems within programs that involved money. They decided, however, that it only matters when players or their families apparently get anything worth anything, but shoot fire if they’re not allowed to ask for the world. Two hundred and fifty grand just for Cam Newton’s services for possibly one year? That’s outrageous even if Reggie Bush’s family did get a house from an agent or marketer or whatever.*
Worse, Bush’s parents made a deal on their own that had no effect on Bush whatsoever. He was already at USC and was already great and about to win the Heisman when his parents took some stuff from a potential business partner. Cecil Newton just went around asking for money himself or through intermediaries.
And it was those intermediaries that ratted him out, along with Mississippi State the minute it happened. With Bush, the NCAA went on the word of a very shady source who had absolutely no corroborating evidence to back his claims. Even Cecil Newton himself admitted he was asking for money. Any punishment for Newton? Any consequences for Auburn for recruiting an obviously tainted recruit? Of course not. This makes perfect sense all the way around.
Yes, the two cases are different and that means enforcement was going to be different, but to punish one team/player so harshly based on very little evidence, then let the other completely off the hook makes absolutely no sense.
Jesus Christ the NCAA sucks.
*Bush’s family actually just lived in a house rent-free for a few months, they weren’t given it.
The Chris Rix Award
Given annually to the player who exemplifies excellence in disappointing everyone around college football.
Winner: Jake Locker
Fifteen weeks ago, most experts had him up there with Andrew Luck, Jesus, and Roger Staubach in the quarterback pantheon. Twelve games later, even a “Come on, man!” from Cris Carter doesn’t nearly do his 2010 season justice. He was just plain bad, and the Huskies went with him. Not that it stopped them from beating USC for the second year in a row.
Sure it’s not fair for the so-called experts to place that kind of expectations on him with absolutely no precedent, but when they’re this wrong…come on, man!
The Ron Meyer Memorial Hilariously Dirty Program Award
Given to the coach who brazenly runs the most dirty program in the nation, yet goes on like nothing’s happening.
Winner: Butch Davis
This is too easy, considering the season-long controversy surrounding his program. His players were off in Florida cavorting with agents at parties, assistant coaches had major ties to agents, and it all seemed vaguely reminiscent of Davis’ days at The U. Oh right, the academic misconduct allegations at UNC happened too. If Davis’ Carolina teams had ever managed to win anything, there would be a 30 for 30 documentary about them called “Tar Heel Blues!” Get it?!? Hilarious.
To be fair, Butch Davis has a formula for winning, and he’s going to follow it whether it’s legal and ethical or not. And if the namby-pamby NCAA and University of North Carolina aren’t OK with that, well, there’s a reason they’re not in the SEC or the old Big Eight conference, isn’t there?
Congratulations Butch Davis. You have achieved something great for dirty football programs once again. Only this time, there’s no NFL job waiting for you.
The Urban Meyer Quitter Award
Given yearly to the man who best exemplifies quitting. Named for former Florida coach Urban Meyer after he quit during preparations for the 2010 Sugar Bowl.
Winner: Urban Meyer
First it was heart problems and then it was wanting to spend time watching his kids play sports. Either way, Meyer is gone from Florida (again) and he’s not coming back this time (Muschamp!). And sure, family is most important thing in a man’s life, but if major health problems aren’t going to keep you away from the job that’s killing you, this whole family thing seems like an excuse to get away from John Brantley, and fast. So now his kids matter, but all those other years he wasn’t sleeping and never went home were cool?
On the other hand, I’m sure the Indiana job will be available when Meyer decides to return to coaching…
The Isiah Thomas “So Crazy It Might Work” Award
Given to the program, school, or coach that creates a completely untenable situation like a toddler running headlong into a wall.
Winner: West Virginia
The Mountaineers win this one for telling Bill Stewart he was either fired or getting one more year with a coach in waiting.
And congratulations to Dana Holgorsen for getting the WVU job in 2012 while getting to spend 2011 undermining Bill Stewart and doing whatever the hell he wants.
This was a very late entry into the awards, but it won for its sheer stupidity. Why the school thought this could work and why Stewart would agree to it at all is completely beyond us. Everyone would love to be in Holgorsen’s situation, what with his head start on recruiting, snarky comments at coaches’ meetings, and installing his offense. But anyone who thinks a team with two leaders is going to do anything in 2011 is high from the burning couch fumes.
/west fu*king virginia’d
The Dan Mowrey Award
Given to the kicker who manages to miss a kick in a historical, permanently painful, and yet slightly hilarious way.
Winner: Kyle Brotzman
Everyone had been high on Boise State since before the season started. Everyone knew the Nevada game was going to be tough. Everyone knew Brotzman had been rock solid for the whole year too. Boise had a Heisman contender in quarterback Kellen Moore, they even had a shot at a historic berth in the BCS championship game even though Alabama had thrown the Iron Bowl earlier in the day.
Then in the actual game, Nevada tied it in a fantastic comeback only to have Boise do this. Then Brotzman did this. And this (1:20 mark). Nevada’s kicker nails the game-winner, the Wolfpacks’ fans storm the field, give me a classic image of Boise’s kicker with hands on head … Aaaaaaaand scene.
Sucks to be Kyle Brotzman pretty much forever. This one isn’t going away, which is what makes him truly deserving of the Dan Mowrey Award since Mowrey is probably sitting at home hoping people had finally forgotten his name. Sorry Dan.
The Gerry DiNardo Thanks For Nothing Award
For the fired coach who was supposed to do SOMETHING at his former job but failed miserably.
Winner: Tim Brewster
Brewster’s time at Minnesota was pretty much a disaster from start to finish. He tried to run the spread and the pro-style offense. He didn’t even recruit as well as his predecessor, Glen Mason. He was even beset by injuries to his bad players at the end. The Gophers ended up with Jerry Kill as a reward for their suffering, but I’m pretty sure they’d rather have those four years back.
Special Honoree for 2010:
The Marv Marinovich Award for Outstanding Parenting of a Young Athlete
Winner: Cecil Newton
Usually reserved for the parents of tennis/soccer/hockey/baseball players, Cecil Newton managed to achieve greatness in 2010.
Not only did he completely taint his son’s Heisman Trophy-winning season, he managed to throw Auburn’s entire season into question, get the NCAA to utterly contradict itself and still make himself the story by not attending the Heisman ceremony in New York because he didn’t want to be a distraction.
That, friends, is some spectacular parenting, and we haven’t even mentioned how he and a couple of friends went around asking different colleges for boatloads of money so his son Cam would play football for them.
The man is an excellent example for all insane, micro-managing sports parents in the future. We really can’t say enough about the man and his utter lack of grace or understanding of basic concepts of right and wrong. You, sir, are the king of sports parents. And thanks to the NCAA, you and Cam will receive no punishment for anything you’ve done over the past year.
Cecil Newton’s achievements in 2010 simply cannot be equaled, making this a fantastic way to end our awards ceremony for the year. Thank you so much for actually reading this far, and we’ll see you next year when more absurd sh*t happens. This is, after all, college football.