Forget the Heisman Trophy and Sammy Baugh Award – the Homies, everyone’s favorite annual college football honors, are back for a third-straight year. In part one, we’ll hand out some individual awards for the 2009 college football season. In part two, we’ll look at some of the year’s outstanding – and not-so-outstanding – teams, games, moments and trends.
Best Coaching Job: Chip Kelly, Oregon
Honestly, with the offseason the Ducks had, did you really expect them to be playing in the national championship game in January? Half the team made the police blotter at some point. Then star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli’s season-long suspension turned into a permanent vacation when he was caught allegedly ridin’ dirty. Instead of collapsing, Oregon just got better, which is a credit to Kelly.
(Homie Distinction: Gene Chizik, Auburn; Jim Harbaugh, Stanford)
Worst Coaching Job: Mack Brown, Texas
From top five to five wins in the course of 12 games. All for the low, low price of $5 million.
(Homie Distinction: Urban Meyer, Florida; Kirk Ferentz, Iowa)
Stock Way Up: Charlie Strong, Louisville
Forget Dan Mullen – Strong is the real peach from the fruit of Urban Meyer’s coaching loins. Florida’s ex-defensive coordinator has infused life into a Louisville program left moribund by Steve Kragthorpe. If I’m Jeremy Foley, Strong’s my target to replace Meyer.
(Homie Distinction: Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Mario Cristobal, Florida International)
Stock Way Down: Steve Sarkisian, Washington
I don’t care how bad UW has been the last few years. When your season comes down to winning the Apple Cup to make a bowl, that shouldn’t qualify as progress. And Jake Locker certainly looks better than ever under Sark’s tutelage.
(Homie Distinction: Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech)
Offensive Coordinator of the Year: Dana Holgorsen, Oklahoma State
The Pokes had a reputation as an offensive machine before Holgorsen hit town. This season, OSU took it to another level. Holgorsen also groomed Brandon Weeden into an all-conference quarterback.
(Homie Distinction: Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Nick Shaw, Stanford)
Defensive Coordinator of the Year: Mark Stoops, Florida State
FSU’s D had degenerated into a laughingstock under longtime coordinator Mickey Andrews, finishing 108th in the country in total defense last year. This season, the Seminoles moved all the way up to 41st. Stoops has loads of young talent like linebacker Jeff Luc at his disposal going forward.
(Homie Distinction: Dick Bumpus, TCU; John Chavis, LSU)
Lifetime Non-Achievement Award: Dave Wannestedt
Wanny’s Wannestache did more for the cause of college football facial hair than any coach in recent memory. When that’s your greatest achievement in a six-year tenure at a school, you probably kicked way too many field goals.
Cheer up, though, Wanny, and take heart in Tom Selleck’s recent career revival in the CBS hit Friday night cop drama “Blue Bloods.” If Jesse Stone can still find work – with Bridget Moynahan, no less – there’s still hope for you, too.
(If you try hard enough, the parallels between the careers of Magnum, P.I. and Wanny look pretty remarkable. Jimmy Johnson = Higgins.)
MVP: Cam Newton, Auburn
Newton’s 2010 campaign should go down as one of the all-time greats. Unfortunately, it may be remembered more for scandal and controversy off the field than his stupendous feats on it.
(Homie Distinction: Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech; Andrew Luck, Stanford)
Offensive Player of the Year: Newton
The two runners-up had great years. They just happened to do it in a season when Auburn’s quarterback had one of the best ever.
(Homie Distinction: LaMichael James, Oregon; Kellen Moore, Boise State)
Defensive Player of the Year: Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson
Bowers put it all together this year. All that talent recruiting junkies recognized a few years finally shined through, as Clemson’s defensive end led the nation with 15 sacks. Should he come out for the NFL draft, Bowers’ name will be one of the first called.
(Homie Distinction: Nick Fairley, Auburn; Patrick Peterson, LSU)
Freshman of the Year: Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State
Hillman rushed for more than 1,300 yards and had 14 touchdowns in his rookie year, helping to carry the Aztecs productive offense. With Hillman back next year, SDSU could challenge for the Mountain West crown.
(Homie Distinction: Xavier Rhodes, Florida State; Kenny Stills, Oklahoma)
2010 Blatant Homerism All-American Team
QB: Cam Newton, Auburn
RB: LaMichael James, Oregon
RB: Jordan Todman, Connecticut
WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
WR: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
TE: Michael Egnew, Missouri
OL: Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
OL: Rodney Hudson, Florida State
OL: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
OL: Nate Solder, Colorado
OL: Lee Ziemba, Auburn
K: Alex Henery, Nebraska
KR/PR: Shaky Smithson, Utah
DL: Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson
DL: Nick Fairley, Auburn
DL: Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma
DL: Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College
LB: Lavonte David, Nebraska
LB: Von Miller, Texas A&M
DB: Patrick Peterson, LSU
DB: Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
DB: Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
DB: Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee
P: Chas Henry, Florida