Continuing our ballots for the 2022 Postseason Awards (and, more importantly, why):
- SEC OPOTY, DPOTY, COTY
- Joe Moore Award (OL) and Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman)
- The Chuck Bednarik Defensive PotY
- Jim Thorpe (DB) and Fred Biletnikoff (WR) awards
The Doak Walker Award
Presented by SMU, the Doak Walker award is meant to “recognize the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community.”
DeWayne McBride, RB UAB
I know what you’re saying: “UAB sucks,” or “It’s Conference USA!”
To which I say, 1. UAB sucks, but it’s not McBride’s fault — he’s the only reason they’re bowl eligible, 2. yes, it’s CUSA, but that also means he has to try and get it done behind a CUSA offensive line, often against big boys in paycheck games, and 3. you would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent ‘back in all of college football.
In CUSA play, McBride averaged 7.44 YPC; in out of conference games it was 7.11 YPC. Against teams with a winning record, he nailed down 7.27 with 10 touchdowns; against teams below .500, it was 7.43 with 9 touchdowns. Against ranked teams, he hit 5.47 — comparable to Blake Corum’s production vs. ranked teams. And, he actually had more rushing scores vs. Top 25 teams than did Blake Corum.
All this culminated with McBride leading the nation in rushing, being third in the nation in YPC average among full-time starters, and finishing second in rushing TDs (In fact, he scored in 10 of the 11 games he played.)
For the year, McBride netted 1713 total yards on 233 carries with 19 tuddies. He is a diamond in the rough that has a future at the next level, even if nothing more than a rotational back. Talent will out.
Powerful. Shifty. Good feet. Secures the ball. Runs through tackles. Decent breakaway speed and good vision. He’s an absolute load.
And, if he reminds you of anyone, he should: He is the poor man’s Trent Richardson.
- Blake Corum, Michigan
- Bijan Robinson, Texas
- Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss
Maxwell Award Winner
Unlike the Heisman, which goes to the “most outstanding player” in the country, the Maxwell Award is a bit different — honoring “the best all-around in the United States.”
As I take the “all-around” part here seriously, one-note specialists better be so good that they are practically able to walk on water, or they must do a lot more than just throw or catch. And, for that reason, our nominee for the Maxwell Award is...
Caleb Williams, QB Southern Cal
Last season, at OU, Caleb Williams came on in relief of Spencer Rattler, who was playing like utter cheeks. It turned their season around. When Lincoln Riley bolted for LA, he took Williams with him, and a 4-8 Trojans team that already had few problems scoring shot into the stratosphere — in yards, points, ball security, per-play efficiency, and in record. The Trojans finished the season 11-2, and P12 runner-up.
And those two losses? 100% not on Williams — he dominated the Utes in both contests. In fact, in two games against Utah (pre-injury) he averaged 7 YPC the first meeting and 12 YPC in the second. He threw for 8 TDs and just 1 INT, 754 yards (10.3 YPA). USC lost, but he wasn’t the reason why.
As a QB, Williams is:
- 6th in yards per game
- 5th in passer rating
- 6th in YPA
- 4th in total yards
- 5th in explosive pass plays
- Leads the nation in TDs thrown (37) to just 4 interceptions
- and has completed 66% of his passes for over 4000 yards
Oh, he’s not done either.
- He’s also the third-leading rusher for the Trojans with 372 yards on the ground
- Added another 10 touchdowns, to lead all non-option QBs
- And he leads the country in yards from scrimmage and scoring.
He’s the only reason the Trojans were even in the discussion, in other words. No matter how bad P12 defenses may be, Williams played his ass off. His production, and USC’s record, is a proximate reflection of that. And for that reason he is our nominee for “best all-around in the United States.”
Elusive doesn’t even begin to describe his footwork.