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Yeah, yeah. I am an Auburn Homer. I get it. I do try to be subjective whenever I can, though. Every once in awhile I see an argument that I feel like I can contribute to without people simply brushing it off as more Auburn Propaganda. I realize that there is still one big award left to go, but I think we all know who it's going to. In the meantime, I want to discuss some of the awards that were give out last night. Here is Part 1.
So, there were 3 finalist: Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, and Brandin Cooks. Cooks, from Oregon State, took home the award. It was an interesting choice, in my opinion. Oregon State went 6-6 in spite of being highly ranked in the preseason. They lost their opener to East Washington, won 6 straight, and lost their last 5. Their best win game against Cal. Cooks had 120 receptions, 1670 yards, and 15 TDs. By comparison to the other two finalist, that's 50 more receptions, 200 yards, and 4 more TDs than the nearest finalist. So, what's my problem with this award? Cooks plays in a conference where defense is an afterthought. Additionally, he plays on a team that is the worst rushing team in college football. They have 7 different receivers with 20 or more catches.
On the other hand, Watkins and Evans both routinely draw double coverage from much better competition and are on much more balanced teams. Both players are surrounded with other playmakers. To me, this is where Evans really stands out. Evans plays in the toughest division of the toughest conference in college football. He drew double and even triple coverage from the premier defenses in the league and was virtually unstoppable. Take a look at his 2 games against Auburn and Alabama. Against Bama he has 7 receptions for 279 yards and a TD. Against Auburn he had 11 receptions for 287 and 4 TDs. In the Aggies biggest games of the season, he dominated. He did nearly as much damage as Cook with 50 less catches. That's amazing, when you think about it.
In conclusion, Evans did as much damage against exponentially better opponents with more coverage and less targets. You can't double and triple 5 wide sets like Cook had at Oregon State. Between the 3, which receiver would get his catches even if you knew it was coming? Only Evans would succeed against double and triple coverage on 3rd-and-long with the game on the line.
Here is all I am going to say: Tre Mason was not a finalist. Wut. This alone makes me say that the 2013 Awards were a farce. The list of backs that were finalist are all fantastic. Mason's stats: 283 carries for 1621 yards. a 5.7 average and 22 TDs. Those were against the PREMIER rushing defenses in ALL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL. How does it stack up to the finalist? Carey had 1716 yards for a 5.3 average and 17 TDs. Sankey has 1775 for a 5.8 average and 18 TDs. Those are two Pac-12 backs, mind you. Williams had 2102 yards for a 6.4 average and 17 TDs.
Right away, I rule out Carey and Sankey. Why? Because they both had almost identical yards and averages but far less TDs....despite playing completely inferior defenses. The only quality performance I can give is to Carey against Oregon, which was...by far...his best performance.
Williams has far better average and a ton more yards. He did play better defenses in Florida State and Clemson. The results? O TDs. ZERO. None. Nadda. In fact, in BCs four losses, he had ZERO TDs.
In comparison, Mason absolutely SHINED against the best competition on the biggest stages. Let's take a look at Mason in the Tiger's games against ranked opponents.
- In the loss to #6 LSU, he has 132 yards and 2 TDs.
- In a win against #24 Ole Miss, 77 yards and a TD (lowest output of season)
- In a win against #5 TAMU, 178 yards and 4 TDs
- In a win against #7 Georgia, 115 yards and a TD
- In a win against #1 Alabama, 164 yards and a TD
- In a win against #5 Missouri, 304 yards and 4 TDs. (all records)
Why are we debating this? Any fan of college football should be absolutely APPALLED at this joke of oversight.