Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

The Homies

With the regular season finally in the books, Blatant Homerism presents its first edition of the Homies, honoring the best and worst in college football. Without further ado:

Best Coaching Job: Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Alabama's Nick Saban almost certainly will garner the majority of coaching honors this offseason, and with good reason. Check out what Fitzgerald did in Evanston this year, though. The Wildcats rolled up nine wins this year. You could argue that NU made hay against a lackluster schedule, but Fitzgerald led his team to victories despite dealing with serious injuries all year in his offensive backfield.
(Homie Distinction: Saban; the head coach at Penn State)
Worst Coaching Job: Tyrone Willingham, Washington
I hate to pile on a guy who has been beaten up ad nauseam this year, but Willingham probably could not have done a worse job. The lack of urgency with which the Huskies played reflected the attitude of a coach who just did not care. Following the controversial loss to BYU, Washington's players played the entire season like they were hoping to lose every game.
(Homie Distinction: Charlie Weis, Notre Dame; Tommy Tuberville, Auburn)
Stock Way Up: Turner Gill, Buffalo
If you're looking for proof of how hard it is to win in upstate New York, see: Syracuse. Two years ago, the Bulls were the absolute dregs of college football, and Buffalo alums were happy to win a couple games. This year, Gill led his squad to a conference championship. Unfortunately, it looks like Gill's time in Buffalo may be running short.
(Homie Distinction: Kyle Whittingham, Utah; Brian Kelly, Cincinnati)
Stock Way Down: Dan Hawkins, Colorado
When Hawkins took over in Boulder, his zen-like approach offered CU fans a refreshing change from his loathsome predecessor, Gary Barnett. The Buffaloes appeared to be close to challenging for the Big 12 North division after an early upset of West Virginia. Overall, however, CU failed to take any significant steps forward this year. His successor at Boise State, Chris Petersen, has ignored bigger schools' overtures and continued to enjoy success, which may have Hawk questioning his last career move.
(Homie Distinction: Tom O'Brien, North Carolina State; Steve Spurrier, South Carolina)
Offensive Coordinator of the Year: Kevin Wilson, Oklahoma
Who could be more deserving than the architect of what could be the best offense in college football history? Wilson pushed all the right buttons in games this season, as the Sooners scored more than 60 points in five straight at the end of the year. His work installing a no-huddle, quick-tempo attack in the offseason may be even more impressive. Enjoy it while it lasts, Sooner fans, as Wilson could be pacing the sidelines as a head coach somewhere in 2009.
(Homie Distinction: Dan Mullen, Florida; Jay Paterno, Penn State)
Defensive Coordinator: Nick Holt, USC
While Oklahoma's prolific offense raised most of the eyebrows in the national media this season, USC may have put on an equally impressive performance on the other side of the ball. The Trojans have fielded nasty defenses before. Credit Holt, however, for molding this talented unit into the best of head coach Pete Carroll's tenure in Troy.
(Homie Distinction: Charlie Strong, Florida; Dick Bumpas, TCU)
Most Valuable Player: Colt McCoy, Texas
If your Hesiman Trophy criteria is most valuable, you should vote for McCoy. The redshirt junior did everything he could to give the Longhorns a crack at the national championship game, and he did it with fewer weapons than his top challengers, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow. McCoy's performance against Oklahoma was about as close to a perfect game as Homerism can imagine.
Offensive Player of the Year: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
McCoy may have been more valuable, but Bradford was the best player in college football this year. I hate hyperbole, but I'll go ahead and say it: Bradford had the best statistical passing season of any QB in college football history.
Defensive Player of the Year: Rolando McClain, Alabama
In a year dominated by offense, it was a nice change of pace to watch the Tide D in action. McClain was the heart and soul of a group of standouts, including DT Terrance Cody.
Freshman of the Year: Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
Rodgers made his name with a sterling performance versus USC in the early part of the year. However, the Beavers very nearly rode the tiny freshman tailback to a Pac-10 title. If you're looking for proof of Rodgers' worth, consider the pasting OSU received at the hands of Oregon when he sat out with an injury.
(Homie Distinction: Julio Jones, Alabama)
Best NFL Prospect, Offense: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
Crabtree is the most statistically impressive wide receiver in recent memory, but he's no product of the system run by the Red Raiders. He's an outstanding athlete who can run after the catch, go deep and get the jump ball in the end zone. He will make an NFL franchise looking for an Andre Johnson-type playmaker happy.
Best NFL Prospect, Defense: Taylor Mays, USC
Mays is what the USC defense has been all about in the Carroll era. A physical freak, Mays plays centerfield and delivers huge hits with equal aplomb. Very reminiscent of the late Sean Taylor.
(Like the All-Madden team, Homerism's All-Americans don't kick or punt.)
QB: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
RB: Shonn Green, Iowa
RB: LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh
WR: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
WR: Jordan Shipley, Texas
TE: Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
T: Andre Smith, Alabama
T: Michael Oher, Mississippi
G: Herman Johnson, LSU
G: Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech
C: Jon Cooper, Oklahoma
All-Purpose: Percy Harvin, Florida
DL: George Selvie, South Florida
DL: Brian Orakpo, Texas
DL: Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
DL: Cameron Maybin, Penn State
LB: Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh
LB: Rolando McClain, Alabama
LB: Brandon Spikes, Florida
DB: Eric Berry, Tennessee
DB: Syd'Quan Thompson, California
DB: Rashad Johnson, Alabama
DB: Taylor Mays, USC