Player of the Year: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
He didn’t win the Heisman, but he beat the man that did to win the national championship. One of the most humble and respected players in the nation, Tebow improved as a quarterback and a leader this season. At the very least, Tebow proved why he deserves a shot at quarterback in the NFL. There isn’t much debate about who the player of the year is after the bowl games.
Offensive Player of the Year: Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa
In the pre-season, everyone was talking about Knowshon Moreno and Beanie Wells. Now, everyone istalking about this young fella out of Iowa. The Hawkeye’s rode Greene’s 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns to 9 wins and a win in the Outback bowl. Like Tebow to Florida, Greene was essential to Iowa’s success this season.
Defensive Player of the Year: Taylor Mays (S) and Rey Maualuga (LB), USC
This award goes to the two most dominating players on the most dominating defense. The USC defense was number 1 in scoring defense and held opponents to under 7 points in 8 games. Mays and Maualuga brought something more than tackles and talent to the USC defense: they brought intimidation. Look for them to scare offense’s on sunday next season.
Biggest Surprises: Utah, Iowa, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma State:
Nobody thought Utah would go undefeated again. Nobody thought Kirk Ferentz and Iowa would win 9 games and beat an undefeated Penn State. Nobody thought Ole Miss could compete in the mighty big SEC and beat Texas Tech. Nobody thought Oklahoma State could grab attention in a state ruled by Sooners.
Biggest Disappointments: Auburn and Michigan:
Two traditional powerhouses fell from grace this year. Michigan did it with a new coach and a new system. Auburn did it with an old coach and an old system. Both teams did not play in a bowl game. Look on the bright side Tigers and Wolverines: it can only get better from here. Right? …Right?
Game of the Year: Texas @ Texas Tech, 11/1/08
The game of the year also had the play of the year. With 8 seconds left in the game Tech quarterback Graham Harrell found wide receiver Michael Crabtree for a 28 yard touchdown. It was one of the few games (that didn’t involve the Packers or Mizzou) I was jumping up and down and yelling. More importantly, this game set off the “Big 12 Southgate” and the debate over who should be in the Big 12 championship game and, consequentially, the national championship game. For those of you who didn’t see it, I included a the clip in this post. Enjoy and see you next season folks!