Caleb Sturgis

CFT Preseason Top 25: three in a row, Roll Tide Roll

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I have some good news and bad news for you, Tide Nation.

The good? In the 2011 edition of CFT’s preseason Top 25, I predicted the Tide would rise again and claim its second BCS title under Nick Saban; five months later, Alabama did just that. The bad? More times than not, my preseason prognostications are historically and prodigiously horrendous… and that doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

In 2009, 2010 and 2012, Oklahoma, Florida and USC, respectively, ranked as CFT’s preseason No. 1. Five losses later for the Sooners and Gators, and six for the Trojans, none of those three finished the season ranked in either the final Associated Press or coaches’ poll. The eventual BCS champions those seasons — Alabama (2012), Auburn (2010) and Alabama again (2009) — were ranked No. 3, No. 15 and No. 19 by CFT in the preseason.

So, will 2013 be CFT’s Nostradumbass norm for the Tide, or will the 2011 exception take hold? Or, will the Tide fall somewhere in between? More than anyone else, and based on my track record, I don’t have a clue; that’s why they play the games, as the saying goes.

And that’s why, for better or worse and for posterity’s sake, the complete 2013 edition of CFT’s fifth-annual preseason Top 25 appears after the jump.  By conference, you’ll find six teams from the SEC — all in the Top 12 — five from the Big 12, four each from the Big Ten and Pac-12, three from the ACC and one apiece from the AAC, MWC and Independents.

I’d ask y’all to be some semblance of kind and/or gentle in the comments section, but there’s really no point…

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Finalists announced for 2012 college football awards

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It’s getting to be that time of the year.

The college football season is rapidly coming to an end, so it’s time to hand out some hardware to the best individual players in 2012. ESPN announced today that twenty-four players were selected as finalists for nine major NCFAA awards given out annually during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will air on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

This year’s group features two award winners from 2011: Louisiana Tech punter Ryan Allen and Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones.

Without any further delay, here are the finalists for the nine awards. Also, be sure to include any blatant omissions in the comments section below.

Chuck Bednarik Award (College Defensive Player of the Year)
Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
Jarvis Jones (Georgia)
Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)

Biletnikoff Award (Nation’s Outstanding Receiver)
Stedman Bailey (West Virginia)
Marqise Lee (USC)
Terrance Williams (Baylor)

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award (Nation’s Outstanding Placekicker)
Dustin Hopkins (FSU)
Cairo Santos (Tulane)
Caleb Sturgis (Florida)

Ray Guy Award (Nation’s Outstanding Punter)
Ryan Allen (La Tech)*
Kyle Christy (Florida)
Scott Kovanda (Ball State)

Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)
Collin Klein (Kansas State)
Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)

Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award (Nation’s Best Quarterback)
Collin Klein (Kansas State)
Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
Braxton Miller (Ohio State)

Outland Trophy (Nation’s Outstanding Interior Lineman)
Jonathan Cooper (UNC)
Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M)
Barrett Jones (Alabama)*

Jim Thorpe Award (Nation’s Outstanding Defensive Back)
Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State)
Dee Milliner (Alabama)
Phillip Thomas (Fresno State)

Doak Walker Award (Nation’s Outstanding Running Back)
Montee Ball (Wisconsin)
Kenjon Barner (Oregon)
Johnathan Franklin (UCLA)

(*Denotes 2011 winner)