The season is half way over, so it’s time to recognize those who have excelled (or stunk it up) to date:
Best Team — Alabama
The Tide have the best defense in college football and one of the best players in Trent Richardson. The transition to the A.J. McCarron era has been seamless and whatever young talent has needed to step up has done just that. Bama is the odds-on favorite to make it six BCS titles in a row for the SEC.
Honorable Mention: Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Stanford
Worst Team: (tie) Kansas and Kentucky. Two perennial basketball powers are stinking it up on the gridiron. The 2-4 Jayhawks are giving up an NCAA-worst 49 points per game, while the 2-4 Wildcats are scoring a BCS-conference worst 13 points per game.
Honorable Mention: Memphis, Boston College, Minnesota
Best Coaching Job — Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Who would’ve thought he still had it in him? Back for his second go-around in Manhattan, the 72-year-old Snyder has the Wildcats at 6-0 and in contention for the Big 12 title.
Honorable Mention: Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Brady Hoke
Worst Coaching Job: Jimbo Fisher. All that talent in place and the 3-3 Noles have one win over a BCS conference team–Duke.
Honorable Mention: Turner Gill, Will Muschamp
Best Player — Robert Griffin III
Readers of HP should be very familiar with RG3′s exploits by now. Not only is he a physical specimen, with great speed and running ability, he’s a phenomenal passer with superlative accuracy, arm strength and timing. When you watch him for an extended period of time, you are struck by how few mistakes he makes. Consequently, his numbers in the first half of the season have been off the charts. He looks like a sure-fire first-round NFL draft pick to me.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, Russell Wilson
Best Freshman — Sammy Watkins
Another HP fave. He’s got everything you look for in a receiver: speed, hands, size, strength and ‘magic’. He is one of the main reasons why Clemson is a dark-horse title contender and has one of the best offenses in the country. It’s scary to think of him getting better in the coming years.
Honorable Mention: De’Anthony Thomas, Vinny Sunseri, Chuckie Keeton
Play of the First Half of the Year: Kendall Wright passes to Robert Griffin III over the middle between two defenders for a first down on third and long on Baylor’s game-winning drive to beat TCU.
Best Game of the First Half of the Year: Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31. As exciting a game and as crazy a finish as you will ever see.
Honorable Mention: Baylor 50, TCU 49
Most Disappointing Team: Mississippi State. Most people will list Florida State, but I never bought into the ‘Noles in the first place. I thought that Dan Mullen had gotten the Bulldogs (3-4) over the hump, but an early, close loss to Auburn seems to have taken a lot of the air out of their season.
Honorable Mention: Florida State
Most Disappointing Player: Taylor Martinez. For whatever reason, he has never been able to recapture the magic he showed in the first half of last season.
Honorable Mention: Dominique Davis, ECU
Most Surprising Team: Clemson. I have to admit that I did not see this coming. Not only are the Tigers undefeated, they are one of the most exciting teams to watch in college football.
Honorable Mention: Georgia Tech, Washington
Most Surprising Player: (tie) Keith Price and Tajh Boyd. Price has thrown 21 TD passes for Washington and is fifth nationally in passing efficiency. Jake Locker who? Meanwhile, Clemson’s Boyd is throwing for 287 yards per game, with 19 TD passes and his team is undefeated and the ACC favorite.
Honorable Mention: Keenan Allen, Nordly Capi
My Mid-Season All-Americans
QB – Robert Griffin III, Baylor
RB – Trent Richardson, Alabama
FB – Alexander Teich, Navy
WR – Robert Woods, USC
WR – Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
TE – Coby Fleener, Stanford
OL Unit – Wisconsin
DE – Vinny Curry, Marshall
DT – Devon Still, Penn State
DT – Kendall Reyes, Connecticutt
DE – Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
OLB – Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
OLB – Sean Spence, Miami
MLB – Luke Kuechly, Boston College
CB – Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
CB – Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
SS – Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
FS – Mark Barron, Alabama