And the Award goes to.........

With all the players out there, there's a ton of players that have a chance at some post-season hardware. From Grossman to Leftwich, Boulware to Pennright, you've got some serious talent vying for a small number of awards. We give you our picks of who we think will be taking the trophies home.

Dave Rimington

The Dave Rimington Trophy: (Awarded to the best center in the country)

Antoine Mirambeau (FSU) - personally, I think there will be others like Faine from ND or Johnson from Wisconsin that will end up deserving this award more, but with the expected comeback of FSU, Mirambeau will have the FSU hype wagon bolstering his credibility.

Nebraska Winners: Dominic Raiola - 2000

First year of the award: 2000



John Mackey Award: (best tight end)

Doug Ziegler (Ole Miss) - With another Manning (Eli) taking the helm and a huge supply of stud receivers, Ziegler won't be the focus for the defense and Ole Miss's offense will cater to a west coast style, short passes, utilizing the tight end ALOT, so the numbers should be there. Add that to the fact that all around, Miss. should be a fringe poll team or better, I think that boosts Ziegler's stock to the top.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 2000


Ray Guy Award: (awarded to nation's best punter)

Curtis Head (Marshall) - With Purdue's Travis Dorsch gone and his almost 50 yards a punt going to the NFL, it's going to be a wide open race for the second recipient of the Ray Guy Award. Statistically, Steve Mullins from Utah State is the best punter in the country returning, but I'm going for quality over quantity as I think Mullins will be punting a ton this year and Curtis Head should get his snaps, but at a much more comfortable pace.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 2000


Fred Biletnikoff Award: (best wide receiver)

Darius Watts (Marshall) - Anymore, it's pick the best system with the best QB and you usually find if not the best receiver, at least the most prolific, because yards mean awards in voting nowadays. My pick is Watts, who won't just have a great system that allows him to get yards at a huge pace, he will have one of the pre-season Heisman front-runners, Byron Leftwich throwing to him all day. Grossman and Dorsey all have good WR cores, but Watts is going to (at least statistically) stand out from the rest.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 1994


Bronco Nagurski Award (best defensive player):

Eddie Moore (Tennessee) - When you look at an award like this, you just don't look at the talent of that particular player, but the help he has around him. Tennessee's offense should be one of the nation's best this year, sporting a clock-chewing running attack that is bound to give the defense time to rest. As to help on the defensive side of the ball, Eddie will have a significant leg up on the rest of the country having another candidate for this award, Kelvin Burnett right across the field from him. With all that extra assistance, Moore is going to be able to run free and wild on the competition and should have a huge year.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 1993


Lou Groza Award (best kicker):

Todd Sievers (Miami): - The nation's leading kicker in the country last year, Sievers should be the odds-on favorite this season. He's going to have a billion extra points from what should be a prolific Miami offense. Last year, Sievers led all kickers in scoring as well. I don't see any let up this year as Sievers will take his 80% success rate and do it even better this season.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 1992


The Doak Walker Award (best running back):

Dahrran Diedrick (Nebraska): - Anthony Davis would be the front runner here, but I expect Diedrick to get a bundle of carries this season. Though he has a talented back-up in Thunder Collins, Collins has not been able to stay healthy long enough to make a real impact. Also, NU will be sporting a brand new QB and it will actually be the RB that will be the key rusher for the Huskers. Go figure. With a little more balance to the perennially unbalanced attack of the Big Red, Diedrick could put up some serious yards.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 1990


Davey O'Brien Award (best QB):

Rex Grossman (Florida) - Leading the charge this year, Grossman takes his status as Heisman favorite into a season where the existence of a coach named Zook shouldn't have that much of an effect. Zook won't be expected to mess around with something that's not broke, so expect Grossman to put up Florida-type numbers from the QB position and push Grossman at least, to the top of the QB charts in the country. With the usual stable of speedy and versatile wideouts, this year should be a good one for the team, but should be even better for Mr. Grossman. He may even pick up another piece of hardware, yet to be reviewed.

Nebraska Winners: Eric Crouch, 2001

First year of the award: 1977


Jim Thorpe Award: (best DB)

Stuart Schweigert (Purdue) - Coming back as one of the leading players in the country in interceptions, Schweigert will have a ton of opportunities to find balls astray throughout most of their schedule. With the Big Ten seemingly going the way of the Pac Ten in terms of offense versus defense, any quality cornerback is likely to find himself with a ton of chances to make some big plays. Schweigert will do just that and it will help to push him past his nearest competitor, Texas' Nathan Vasher.

Nebraska Winners: none

First year of the award: 1986


Butkus Award ( best LB):

Jarrod Penright (Texas A&M) - Penright led the Aggies last year in Sacks, totaling 10.5. Also impressive was his 56 total solo tackles against Aggie enemies. It's not just his ability, but those around him that make up the typical "wrecking crew" defense that will help Penright find enough opportunities to make this year something special. He is a probable pre-season All-American along with defensive teammate, Sammy Davis.

Nebraska Winners: Trev Alberts (1993)

First year of the award: 1985


The Lombardi Trophy (best college lineman):

Jon Stinchcomb -OL- (Georgia) Georgia has had it's share of good college linemen and in some cases, great, but nver in the history of the Lombardi has a Bulldog taken home the trophy. Stinchcomb will take his 33 career starts into this season as a favorite to win the award. What will help him is Kevin Breedlove, a co-starter on the line with equal number in starts over his career. From the tackle position, Stinchcomb's 6'6" frame along with the near 290 lbs. he carries is a formidable weapon against anyone, but with his talent and three year experience as a starter, he's going to be close to impossible to get around and don't even think about through.

Nebraska Winners: Grant Wistrom (1997), Dean Steinkuhler (1983), Dave Rimington (1982), Rich Glover (1972)

First year of the award: 1970


The Outland Trophy (best interior lineman):

Jon Stinchcomb -OL- (Georgia): - With the Lombardi in hand, you could have figured this one. Georgia will be ecstatic to say the least, because with the tradition of great running backs that Georgia has, they have had just one Outland Trophy winner, Bill Stanfill in 1968. Plus, this will also be the first time the same player has won both the Lombardi and the Outland in the same year since, Orlando Pace did it in 1996.

Nebraska Winners: Aaron Taylor (1997), Zach Wiegert (1994), Will Shields (1992), Dean Steinkuhler (1983), Dave Rimington (1981,1982), Rich Glover (1972), Larry Jacobson (1971)

First year Awarded: 1946


The Heisman Trophy

The John Heisman Memorial Trophy (best college football player):

Based on the ever-changing criteria of the Heisman, it's not a matter of who wins each year, but what decides the winner.

Wins don't always count, or else Paul Hornung wouldn't have won the Heisman playing on a 2-8 Notre Dame team.

Yards sometimes mean little, because Troy Davis managed not to win the award running for 2,000 yards in back to back seasons.

Break a lot of Records even as a QB? It didn't help Peyton Manning.

And what about the team? Tommie Frazier's '95 Huskers were considered the best that ever played collegiate football and he didn't win the award as well.

Basically, you have to tear it down this way. The pre-season hype. What player is getting more? Last year it was Chris Simms, but the son of a clutch player in father, Phil Simms seems to only be using the clutch to stay in neutral.

This year's glamour boy will no doubt be Ken Dorsey who though was complimented by even being at the D.A.C awards banquet this last season, because Miami is loaded once again, he will no doubt have a bevy of supporters rooting him on.

Florida State's expected resurgence will no doubt throw many players into the awards' mix. Don't count on the incumbent starter at QB, Chris Rix though. Even though he improved towards the end of last season and his O-line should be as good as he has had at least, we think it will be FSU's defense making the noise and no doubt, there will be a few that will be lofting Michael Boulware into God-like status as he tries for the obligatory pre-season Heisman spot for defensive players. His brother, Peter was an All-American for FSU and won a Super Bowl Title with the Baltimore Ravens, so it will be easy to ride his coat tails, even if it's just a token jesture.

Iowa State's Seneca Wallace has everyone thinking Bishop and no, not as in Chess, but one Michael Bishop who was the starting QB for the Kansas State Wildcats. The one bonus for Wallace here though is the fact that while Bishop would get rattled under lots of pressure, Seneca is as smooth as silk. Honestly, the ISU offense should be able to give anyone a run for this money this year, but alas, it's their defense that keeps Seneca from being a real threat for the Heisman. Seneca will get his numbers, but will follow the way of Troy Davis, not grabbing the hardware.

Marshall's Byron Leftwich should be a huge favorite for this year's Heisman campaign. He's got the size, the gun and the accuracy not to mention a stellar receiving core, Marshall having two wideouts in the top 20 last season in receptions, the leader being Darius Watts followed by teammate, Josh Davis. Both Watts and Davis are going into just their junior years at Marshall. The only thing that will be holding Leftwich back is Marshall's strength of schedule or like many others, this would be a hands down favorite.

With all the QB hype, people are wondering where the running backs went. Cedric Benson is one of the front-runners in that position, but with Chris Simms at the helm, teams are giong to be able to play UT to play to their strengths and right now, Simms isn't one of them. Benson will get a lot of carries, but those will be carries everyone will be expecting him to get. Benson will have a good season, but as he will be more than likely one of them prime targets for defenses, this is going to be a long year.

As to the best running back in the country, but not a likely contender for the Heisman, Dahrran Diedrick. Diedrick should have a very good year, because some kid named Eric Crouch is gone and another named Jammal Lord is coming in. With hardly any proven success at passing the ball, Lord will be asking for a little help from Diedrick. This is Diedrick's year to shine, but it won't be enough to take home the hardware.

Rex Grossman, This is who I pick to win the Heisman. Under first year head coach, Zook, Grossman should have a great year. Though, it's not like Zook can really coach, because we just don't know, but one thing is for sure, Rex is one of the most talented QBs in the country and his receiving core is always one of the best as well. You combine that with the overall projected success of the team, that makes for a stellar shot at some post-season hardware. I pick Grossman to take the Heisman for 2003.

Nebraska Winners: Eric Crouch (2001), Mike Rozier (1983), Johnny Rodgers (1972)

First year of the award: 1936

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