Happy Friday, everyone. The college football awards show went down last night, and many of the voters apparently don’t watch football.
“Alabama WR Jameson Williams is ridiculous,” McShay tweeted during the SEC Championship last week. “Did you see how sudden he was on that double move?? Add his value as a return specialist and as a gunner… I’ll be really surprised if he isn’t a top-20 pick in April.”
In last week’s conference title game against Georgia, Williams had seven receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns to help Alabama beat the Bulldogs 41-24 in Atlanta.
But Addison caught eight balls against Wake Forest! Of course, those went for 126 yards and zero touchdowns. The fact that Addison’s season stats are nearly identical to Williams when one plays in the ACC Coastal and the other in the SEC West should have made this an easy choice. Alas, they flubbed it.
Honestly, voters should have simply come out and said that they didn’t want to give the lion’s share of the awards to Alabama players again. Georgia nose tackle Jordan Davis won both the Outland and Bednarik awards that go to the best lineman and defensive player in the nation, respectively. I’m sorry, but anyone who believes that those awards shouldn’t have gone to Evan Neal and Will Anderson simply doesn’t understand the definition of “best.” Davis comes off the field on 3rd and long. He has 28 tackles all year, 3 for a loss and 2 sacks. Meanwhile, Phidarian Mathis has 46 tackles, 8.5 for loss and 8 sacks.
The only argument for Davis was that he was supposedly the anchor of a historic Georgia defense. That should have all gone out the window when Alabama lit them up for 536 yards. Perhaps many of the voters had already cast their ballots. Oh, well. If nothing else, Alabama’s performance raised Georgia’s points allowed per game average to 9.54, preserving 2011 Alabama’s spot as the greatest defense in the modern era. Hopefully the snubs will provide more fuel for our guys as they head into the playoffs.
The one Alabama player who is getting his just desserts is Bryce Young.
A few days before the Heisman Trophy is presented in New York, Young took part in the College Football Awards show with a shot at being the most decorated player of the 2021 season.
Young claimed the Davey O’Brien Award to open the awards show held virtually for a second straight year. And the show ended with him claiming the Maxwell Award for the national player of the year.
In a year where great QB play was scarce, Young easily stood out above the rest. He will take home the Heisman and hopefully a national title this season. If so, he will join Matt Leinart, Mark Ingram and Jameis Winston as modern era players who returned to defend both trophies. None of the other three managed to do it, though Leinart very nearly won another national title and Winston made the playoffs.
Bryce went on with Paul Finebaum yesterday to discuss his awards, and was impressive as usual.
Evan Neal is #3 on Mel Kiper’s big board.
One of Alabama’s true veteran leaders, Evan Neal spoke confidently ahead of the Crimson Tide’s SEC Championship Game performance against then top-ranked Georgia. Neal and Alabama’s front came out and dominated, keeping Bryce Young clean and not allowing a sack during the Crimson Tide’s 41-24 win.
“What really motivates us is to make sure we come with our ‘A’ game,” Neal said, via BamaOnline. “We’re all competitors, man. It’s what it’s all about. ‘You’re the best? OK, let’s line up and go out there and play.’ That’s what it’s all about.”
Williams is the only other Bama player in the top 25, at #6. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, the dude who will be shadowing Williams for Cincinnati, is on there at #16. That will be perhaps the most critical matchup of the semifinals.
Hey, there are some great deals available for the Birmingham Bowl in case anyone is bored that day.
H/T to Roger for that bit of hilarity.
Pitt QB Kenny Pickett has jokes about the fake slide flap.
Last, Najee has already broken one of Le’Veon Bell’s records in Pittsburgh.
Rookie running back Najee Harris helped carry Pittsburgh’s comeback. The former Alabama All-American ran for 94 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries and caught three passes for 10 yards and one touchdown. At halftime, Harris’ stats had been 17 yards on seven rushing attempts.
Harris caught a 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:11 left in the third quarter and had a 1-yard TD run with 14:49 left in the game as Pittsburgh scored on consecutive possessions to start its comeback from a 29-0 deficit.
Harris’ 104 yards from scrimmage on Thursday night lifted him to the Steelers’ rookie record. Harris has 873 rushing yards and 397 receiving yards for 1,270 yards for scrimmage in 2021, bettering the 1,259 that Le’Veon Bell had for Pittsburgh in 2013.
More are sure to follow.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.