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Saban, Meyer, Harbaugh, Swinney and more among 19 Dodd Trophy watch list candidates

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When you really think about it, a watch list for a college football award is nothing more than a way to keep public relations staffers in college football programs busy this summer. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it is nice to have a number of key players for the upcoming season highlighted whenever possible (unless you are a Big Ten team going to Big Ten media days). But a watch list is generally pretty pointles sin the long run for most awards. This is especially true for a watch list of college football coaches.

The Dodd Trophy watch list was released today with a list of 19 coaches from many of the top programs around the country. Yep, a watch list for head coaches. Silly, right? It really is the easiest watch list to put together.

The award watch list, compiled by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, includes four coaches from the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, two coaches from the Big 12 and one from the American Athletic Conference. You know all of the names, like national championship coaches Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Dabo Swinney; household names like Jim Harbaugh, Mark Richt, Bill Snyder, and Chris Petersen; and conference championship coaches like David Shaw, James Franklin.

Some notable names not on the list? How about Jimbo Fisher of Florida State? Fisher has a playoff contender in Tallahassee and is the ACC favorite. He also has a national championship ring. Not having Fisher on a preseason watch list for top coaches seems like a bad oversight. Not having new Big 12 coaches Tom Herman (Texas) and Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma) also feels like a swing and a miss if pulling together a list of potential coach of the year candidates. If we are not going to just list all 130 head coaches in FBS, it seems silly to have such a weird collection of watch list candidates when Butch Jones is on the list.

Five coaches on the watch list are former winners of the Dodd Trophy; Snyder, Petersen, Swinney, Saban, and Paul Johnson. Paul Chryst, Ken Niumatalolo, and Petersen were finalists for the award last season as well.

2017 Dodd Trophy Watch List

  • Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
  • James Franklin, Penn State
  • Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech
  • Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
  • Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
  • Clay Helton, USC
  • Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
  • Butch Jones, Tennessee
  • Gus Malzahn, Auburn
  • Jim McElwain, Florida
  • Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  • Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
  • Chris Petersen, Washington
  • Mark Richt, Miami
  • Nick Saban, Alabama
  • David Shaw, Stanford
  • Bill Snyder, Kansas State
  • Dabo Swinney, Clemson
  • Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Pair of 2016 finalists headline Outland Trophy watch list

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In yet another sign that the offseason is quickly coming to an end and another season is rapidly approaching, the Outland Trophy has become the latest college football award to release its preseason watch list.

Given annually to the nation’s top interior linemen on either side of the ball, the Outland’s watch list this year consists of 81 players from all 10 FBS conferences.  Headlining that group are Washington State senior guard Cody O’Connell (pictured, No. 76) and Texas junior offensive tackle Connor Williams, two of the three finalists for the 2016 award won by Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

From the release, courtesy of the Football Writers Association of America:

The ACC (17) led all conferences with members on the Watch List, followed by the Big Ten and SEC (11 each), Pac-12 (10), American Athletic (9), Big 12 and Mid-American (6 each), Independents and Mountain West (4 each), Conference USA (2) and Sun Belt (1).

The list includes 24 offensive tackles, 21 defensive tackles, 20 centers and 16 offensive guards.


ACC tops as Bronko Nagurski watch list hits triple digits

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It may not be the biggest award in college football, but it’s certainly the most voluminous.

Watch List Season continued unabated Thursday morning, with the Bronko Nagurski Trophy revealing a group which consists of a whopping 103 FBA players.  Within that triple-digit preseason club, there are 30 defensive backs, 29 linebackers, 25 defensive ends and 19 defensive tackles.

Two 2016 first-team Football Writers Association of America All-Americans appear on the list — Clemson’s Christian Wilkins (pictured) and Florida State’s Tarvarus McFadden.

Conference-wise, the ACC leads with 20 players selected for the initial watch list.  The Big Ten is next with 16, followed by the SEC’s 14, the Pac-12’s 13 and the Big 12’s 11.  The AAC paced Group of Five leagues with 10, with the Sun Belt (6), Mountain West (5), Mid-American (3) and Conference USA (2) rounding out the conferences, while football independents chipped in the remaining three.

The Nagurski Trophy has been handed out annually since 1993 to college football’s best defensive player.  Last year’s winner was Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen.


Reigning Big Ten offensive player of the year, two-time QB of the year among those NOT going to B1G media days

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The Big Ten released the names of the 42 players who will be attending the conference’s annual media days on July 24th and 25 and — surprise! — many of the league’s biggest names will be staying home for the event.

That includes three trendy Heisman Trophy favorites in Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley, as well as star Ohio State signal-caller J.T. Barrett. The Nittany Lions tailback was the Big Ten’s offensive player of the year in 2016 while Barrett narrowly beat out McSorley to earn his second conference QB of the year award last season. Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight and Iowa’s Akrum Wadley are also some notable no-shows on the list.

Coaches and administrators all have different strategies when it comes to picking players to represent their school at media day but it certainly is disappointing to not see some of the conference’s bigger names after what was a banner year for the Big Ten last season. That’s not to say there won’t be a ton of good players at the event in Chicago though, as the full list below will show.

INDIANA: CB Rashard Fant, QB Richard Lagow, LB Tegray Scales

MARYLAND: LB Jermaine Carter, RB Ty Johnson, WR D.J. Moore

MICHIGAN: OL Mason Cole, DT Maurice Hurst, LB Mike McCray

MICHIGAN STATE: OL Brian Allen, LB Chris Frey, RB Gerald Holmes

OHIO STATE: DE Tyquan Lewis, OC Billy Price, LB Chris Worley

PENN STATE: S Marcus Allen, LB Jason Cabinda, TE Mike Gesicki

RUTGERS: CB Blessuan Austin, DL Sebastian Joseph, OL Dorian Miller

ILLINOIS: OL Christian DiLauro, DB Jaylen Dunlap, WR Malik Turner

IOWA: LB Josey Jewell, WR Matt VandeBerg, OL Sean Welsh

MINNESOTA: LB Jonathan Celestin, DT Steven Richardson, RB Rodney Smith

NEBRASKA: CB Chris Jones, QB Tanner Lee, LB Chris Weber

NORTHWESTERN: S Godwin Igwebuike, RB Justin Jackson, QB Clayton Thorson

PURDUE: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, QB David Blough, LB Danny Ezechukwu

WISCONSIN: LB Jack Cichy, LB T.J. Edwards, TE Troy Fumagalli

Pitt RB Rachid Ibrahim re-joining Paul Chryst in Wisconsin

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Rachid Ibrahim signed with Paul Chryst at Pittsburgh out of Rockville, Md., in 2013.

His career as a Panther got off to a good start, playing in 26 of 26 possible games while averaging 6.7 yards per carry on 60 rushes and 8.1 yards per grab on 20 receptions. However, Ibrahim suffered a torn Achilles in training camp before the 2015 season and did not see the field in the two following campaigns.

Ibrahim left the roster before spring practice and on Monday evening announced he will re-join Chryst at Wisconsin.

Officially a Badger🙏🏾 #OnWisconsin

A post shared by Rachid Ibrahim (@rachiddream_) on

Ibrahim will join the Badgers’ roster as a graduate transfer, making him immediately eligible to appear for Wisconsin for one season. He joins a running back roster that saw its two leading rushers a year ago, Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, leave due to graduation.