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College Football Midseason Awards

Daniel Carr- Crawford |
October 17, 2011 | 4:12 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Clemson is 7-0 after starting the season unranked. (Jim Ferguson/Wikimedia Commons)
Clemson is 7-0 after starting the season unranked. (Jim Ferguson/Wikimedia Commons)

It's hard to believe that the college football season is half over already. The first BCS standings are out and the race to get into position for the national championship is officially under way. We take a look at some of the biggest impact players and teams at this midpoint of the season. 

Biggest Surprise Team: Clemson

Who would’ve thought that Clemson would be 7-0 and in the driver’s seat for the ACC title at this point of the season? Known for rarely living up to expectations, the Tigers have upped their play on both sides of the ball. Sophomore QB Tajh Boyd has played phenomenally for Clemson as a first-year starter, and his favorite target, freshman WR Sammy Watkins, is a bona fide star.

The defense is opportunistic and aggressive even with the loss of stud end Da’Quan Bowers. Clemson has a realistic chance of going undefeated through the rest of its schedule. Could this potentially push them into the BCS National Championship Game?

Most Disappointing Team: Florida State

What can be said about Florida State that has not been said on the field? Saddled with a top five ranking, a top-ranked recruiting class, and legitimate national title aspirations for the first time in years, the Seminoles have done nothing but disappoint thus far.

An early loss to top-ranked Oklahoma was understandable, but to lose the next two games to opponents who on paper were inferior simply made no sense. The FSU offense hasn’t been clicking due to an injury to QB EJ Manuel and a lackluster running game, and the star-studded secondary has given up far too many big plays. Maybe Florida State should not be given the benefit of the doubt in the preseason anymore. 

Russell Wilson is winning both personal and team accolades. (Wikimedia Commons)
Russell Wilson is winning both personal and team accolades. (Wikimedia Commons)

Biggest Surprise Player: Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson

Most of the college football world knew of Russell Wilson's play at NC State, where he was consistently one of the ACC's top quarterbacks. No one, however, could have predicted that his level of play would increase as much as it has after a transfer into an entirely new offensive system.

The senior quarterback, who stands at only 5 feet, 11 inches, has transformed Wisconsin from a Big 10 contender into a national title contender with a powerful running game and hyper-efficient passing. Wilson even caught a touchdown pass in Saturday's blowout win over Indiana. Is there anything that this guy can't do? 

Most Disappointing Player: The Florida Front Four

This isn't going to single out a player, as the entire unit has not played terribly well this season. While three of the four starters are sophomores, this shouldn’t be used as an excuse for their substandard play, as they were all blue-chip recruits. In their current three-game losing streak, Florida has given up 619 rushing yards for an average of 4.6 yards per carry. While that may not seem terrible, ask a Florida defender how he feels when the ball is consistently being pushed against them for four or five yards and it will be clear just how much fatigue this exerts on a player.

Alabama RB Trent Richardson (Creative Commons)
Alabama RB Trent Richardson (Creative Commons)
Midseason Heisman Winner: Alabama RB Trent Richardson

This might seem like a knee-jerk reaction to his huge performance against Ole Miss on Saturday. It’s not. Richardson has consistently been a beast running the ball. He has gone for over 100 yards in every game but one this season, and has scored multiple touchdowns in every game but two. He’s averaging nearly seven yards per carry. He’s bigger (5’11”, 225 lbs) and faster (reportedly ran a sub 4.4 40 yard dash) than former Alabama Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, and it shows in his play. If there were any doubts about his status as the best player in college football at this point in the season, go back and watch his 76-yard touchdown run against Ole Miss. That was his Heisman moment.


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