The list of awards releasing its finalists for year-end honors continues to grow, with the folks at Liberty Mutual jumping into the hardware fray.
The insurance company announced today the 25 finalists for its 2013 Coach of the Year awards spread across four divisions of college football, including 10 from the FBS level. All 10 of the coaches for the FBS version of the award come from automatic-qualifying conferences, although, curiously, one of the two coaches in the BCS title game is not among the group of finalists:
Art Briles, Baylor
David Cutcliffe, Duke
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Todd Graham, Arizona State
Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Jim Mora, UCLA
Bill O’Brien, Penn State
Nick Saban, Alabama
Dabo Swinney, Clemson
No, that’s not a misprint; Jimbo Fisher of top-ranked Florida State is not a finalist for this particular award.
Craig Bohl, who left North Dakota State this past weekend to take over at Wyoming, is one of five finalists for the FCS award.
In its release, Liberty Mutual wrote that “[t]o help determine the winners, fans can vote from now until December 22 at CoachoftheYear.com and Facebook.com/LMCoachoftheYear for the finalists they feel represent the highest values in college sports, whether it is achieving the players’ potential on the field, promoting academic excellence in the classroom, or making an impact in their communities through charitable work and volunteerism.” That fan vote counts for 20 percent of the votes.
The winner in each of the four NCAA divisions will receive $50,000 to support his favorite charities and a $20,000 donation from Liberty Mutual to his school’s alumni association for scholarship
The 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year was Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.