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3-point stance: Paring down award finalists

10/25/2010

1.I filled out ballots for two awards on Monday. The Lombardi Award will announce 12 semifinalists but it asked me for only four players (They must not like to count too many names). My choices: Purdue defensive tackle Ryan Kerrigan, who has played with too little help from his teammates, four-time SEC weekly award winner Nick Fairley, the Auburn defensive tackle, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn and Clemson sackmaster Da’Quan Bowers.

2.The Davey O’Brien Award voters picked 16 semifinalists. My fellow voters and I do not hew closely to passing efficiency statistics. Three of the top 10 in that category -- Tyrod Taylor of Virginia Tech, Greg McElroy of Alabama and Dan Persa of Northwestern -- failed to make the list. The least efficient semifinalist? Landry Jones of Oklahoma (34th). The Sooners are talented, young, and based on Saturday night, a year away from seriously contending for No. 1. The same goes for Jones and the O’Brien.

3.Mack Brown called out his Texas players and assistants for being self-satisfied. It’s not as if Brown didn’t know this might happen. He saw it in 2006, the year after the Longhorns won the BCS. Players who won rings as backups may think that they earned them when, in fact, many of them watched from the sideline. After Florida won in 2006, Urban Meyer called Brown looking for advice. Meyer had trouble anyway. Coaches learn year after year. But players will always be 19. They must learn how to block, tackle and handle success.