The most prominent and recognizable award, offensive MVP, is where I crashed and burned the hardest. The "duel-threat" quarterback only rushed for 177 yards and threw 12 picks to his 12 touchdowns. Of course, Meyer got little help from his friends as the Cyclones' season spiraled out of control. The overmatched Whirly-Birds had a pitiful 1-7 conference record, which resulted in the firing of the then-dean of Big 12 coaches and the hiring of then-Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.
Also, when I said that Iowa State is on the "cusp," I meant on the cusp of a Big 12 North Division crown, not on the cusp of oblivion.
Defensive MVP - Michael Griffin, Sr. S, Texas
This didn't end up being a terrible pick. Griffin once again led the Longhorns in tackles with 116 and also had 4 picks, a sack, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pair of blocked kicks, but was outshone in the Texas secondary by Thorpe Award winner Aaron Ross.
I did strongly consider Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander for the award and now wish I had picked him as it would have made me seem quite prophetic. Ok, perhaps not when coupled with my offensive pick, but still.
Comeback Player – Larry Birdine, Sr. DE, Oklahoma
37 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 2 pass break-ups and a forced fumble. Not quite the "double-digit" sack total I predicted for Birdine, but still a solid performance for a player who missed all of last season with a torn biceps.
"Now that Texas A&M is switching to a three-wide, primarily passing, shotgun offense and they're getting all of their receivers back from injury, McGee will have the second best season of any quarterback in the Big XII, behind Offensive MVP Bret Meyer."
All indications, especially from the McGee camp, was that the passing abilities of the quarterback who threw over 100 TDs in high school -- most of them to Jordan Shipley – would be featured in the Aggie offense in 2006. Instead, Texas A&M opted for an option attack, which got them three players with over 500 rushing yards, including McGee. Although passing was not the focal-point of the Aggies' offense, McGee was efficient with the football, completing 61.7 percent of his passes for 2118 yards and 11 TDs while throwing only 2 INTs.
True Freshman Standout (offense) - Jevan Snead, QB, Texas
Another one that didn't quite go as predicted. Snead was 26-of-49 for 371 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs as Texas' back-up quarterback and isn't even in the Big 12 Conference anymore.
This pick was based on the idea that Snead was eventually going to take over as the starting quarterback for Texas and lead the Horns as a true freshman. After all, Snead is bigger, stronger and fast than Colt McCoy and, having arrived at Texas in the spring, was only a half-step behind McCoy in terms of experience. But McCoy's extraordinary performance in the fall scrimmage quickly put an end to that debate and also an end to Snead's tenure at the University of Texas.
True Freshman Standout (defense) - Eddie Jones, DE, Texas
I mentioned above that my worst pick was Bret Meyer for Offensive MVP, but an honorable mention has to go to my selection of a true freshman standout who actually never played a snap and redshirted. Although I will continue to reserve judgment on the wisdom of this pick because I still believe Eddie Jones will be a phenomenal defensive end for Texas.
I'll give my overall postseason awards after the bowls have concluded. You know, POST-season. When you're supposed to.