Monday, November 25, 2013
Recapping B1G award finalists, snubs
By Adam Rittenberg
It is my duty as a Big Ten reporter to pass along pertinent information about national college football awards. Before doing so, let me preface this by pointing out that I'm generally not a fan of these awards as they miss the mark more often than not.
I'm not trying to slight the Big Ten players named finalists, who are deserving of the honors. But several others also should be included and are not. It's a shame, but it's also not a surprise.
Here are the Big Ten finalists named today:
Ray Guy Award (top punter): Cody Webster, Purdue
Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back): Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
Butkus Award (top linebacker): Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Again, congrats to Webster, Dennard and Shazier.
Now, for the snubs. No Chris Borland on the Butkus list? Brutal. He has been the top playmaker on one of the nation's more improved defenses.
Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien should be among the finalists for the Lou Groza Award, which continues to make puzzling selections year after year.
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah should be among the finalists for the Doak Walker Award. Although Arizona's Ka'Deem Carry, Boston College's Andre Williams and Washington's Bishop Sankey all are great backs, Abdullah merits a spot among them after gaining 100 rush yards in all but one game, where he gained 98. A real shame.
Michigan State's Mike Sadler also should join Webster on the Ray Guy list. He has been a huge part of the Spartans' division-title-winning team.
Add Penn State's Allen Robinson to the list, as the Big Ten's top wide receiver isn't among the finalists for the Biletnikoff Award.
There you have it: a lot more to disappoint than to celebrate. With the college football awards, you shouldn't be surprised.