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Eight Coaches Selected Finalists For Eddie Robinson Award

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Eight Coaches Selected Finalists For Eddie Robinson Award
* Winner to be announced on Dec. 15

The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has announced eight finalists for the 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, whose winner will be revealed on Mon., Dec. 15.

In alphabetical order, the finalists are: Baylor's Art Briles, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Memphis' Justin Fuente, Boise State's Bryan Harsin, Oregon's Mark Helfrich, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, TCU's Gary Patterson and Alabama's Nick Saban.

Frank Coyle is a voter in the Eddie Robinson award and cast his ballot for Oregon's Mark Helfrich.

The finalists were placed on a ballot sent out to the entire FWAA membership today. Ballots will be accepted from the membership through 5 p.m. CT on Friday. FWAA members were asked to vote for their top choices in the order they believe the coaches are deserving of the award.

The official presentation reception will be Jan. 10, 2015, in Dallas, where the winning coach will be handed the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year bust during a reception at the media hotel in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season when Ohio State's Woody Hayes was named the first recipient.

The FWAA's national coach of the year award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons. He has more Division I victories (408) than any other coach in the history of college football.

Robinson, who passed away in 2007, won 70.7 percent of his games during his illustrious career. Robinson's teams won or tied for 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships after joining the league in 1959. His Tigers claimed nine black college football championships during his career, all spent at the same school.

The 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists:
Art Briles, Baylor:
The Bears' share of the Big 12 Conference title with TCU means Baylor (11-1) has a least a piece of the league crown for a second straight season. The Bears handed TCU its only loss, 61-58, in Waco and will face Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Briles was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist last season.

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State: The Seminoles (13-0) claimed the national championship in 2013, and are on a 29-game winning streak. Florida State is one of the four teams selected for the College Football Playoff, with a chance to win back-to-back national titles. Fisher was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist last season, but no Florida State coach has won the FWAA's coach of the year honor.

Justin Fuente, Memphis: The Tigers (9-3) claimed a share of the American Athletic Conference title. Their nine victories are the most by the Tigers since 1963, and the conference championship is the first for Memphis since winning the Missouri Valley in 1971. Fuente, a former Oklahoma quarterback, is in his third season at Memphis.

Bryan Harsin, Boise State: The Broncos rose to the top of the Group of Five in Harsin's first season at Boise State, after he spent one season as the head coach at Arkansas State. Boise State (11-2), as the Mountain West Conference champion, will play in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl against Arizona.

Mark Helfrich, Oregon: In his second season as the Oregon head coach, Helfrich is attempting to get the Ducks (12-1) back in the national title game as his predecessor Chip Kelly did in 2010 when he won the Eddie Robinson Award. Oregon won the Pac-12 title game to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Florida State in the Rose Bowl Game.

Urban Meyer, Ohio State: The Buckeyes (12-1) battled past a shocking early home loss to Virginia Tech, quarterback injuries and tragedy. They won the Big Ten Conference title, thumping Wisconsin, 59-0 in the championshhip game, with their third starting quarterback of the season. Meyer, like Patterson, has won the Eddie Robinson Award before, in 2004 at Utah.

Gary Patterson, TCU: The Horned Frogs were 4-8 a year ago in only their second season in the Big 12 Conference, but Patterson revamped his offense and TCU (11-1) gained a share of the school's first Big 12 title. Patterson is also a former Eddie Robinson Award winner, in 2009 when the Horned Frogs were in the Mountain West Conference.

Nick Saban, Alabama: The Crimson Tide (12-1) will be going for their fourth national title in six years under Saban, who already added a third SEC title at Alabama this past weekend. Saban has won the Eddie Robinson Award twice before (2003 at LSU and 2008 at Alabama). The Crimson Tide meets Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 23 national champions, 86 Hall of Fame players, 46 Hall of Fame coaches and 15 Heisman Trophy winners in its 80-year history. The 81st Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic on January 1, 2015, will be an integral part of a new era in college football as it will be one of the first playoff semifinal games in the College Football Playoff which begins with the 2014 season. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics.

The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast nearly 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

Mariota & Gordon Top 2014 Heisman Trophy Candidates

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Mariota & Gordon Top Heisman Trophy Candidates

Photo - QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon

1. Marcus Mariota - QB Oregon, Junior
Season stats: 229-334, 3,470 yards, 36 TDs, 2 ints; 107 carries, 636 yards, 11 TDs
Mariota showed no signs of slowing down in Saturday’s Civil War against Oregon State. The junior completed 19 of 25 passes for 367 yards and four touchdowns while also running for 39 yards and two scores on 10 carries in No. 3 Oregon’s 47-19 rout of the Beavers.
The Ducks play Arizona in the Pac-12 championship tonight that could seal the award. Arizona has beaten the Ducks the past two regular seasons.

2. Melvin Gordon - RB Wisconsin - Junior
Season stats: 283 carries, 2,260 yards, 26 TDs; 17 catches, 151 yards, 3 TDs
Gordon ran for 151 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries and caught a four-yard touchdown pass as No. 14 Wisconsin beat No. 22 Minnesota, 34-24, Saturday in their annual rivalry game.
He plays this Saturday in the Big Ten championship game against No. 7 Ohio State, one of the nation’s top defenses. He needs another strong performance to win the award.

3. Amari Cooper - WR Alabama - Junior
Season stats: 103 catches, 1,573 yards, 14 TDs
Cooper exploded in Alabama’s 55-44 win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The junior caught 13 passes for 224 yards and three TDs to help the Crimson Tide rally for the victory.
Alabama faces Missouri in the SEC Championship on Saturday and another chance to be a difference maker in a big game situation.

4. Dak Prescott - QB, Mississippi St - Junior
Season stats: 211-345, 2,996 yards, 24 TDs, 10 ints; 195 carries, 939 yards, 13 TDs
Prescott completed 22 of 37 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown and ran for 48 yards and a score on 24 carries, but No. 4 Mississippi State fell to No. 18 Ole Miss, 31-17, in the Egg Bowl.
The Bulldogs lost both games in November that will hurt Dak’s closing impression, though he had a great season and instrumental in the MSU rise to the top ten rankings.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20+ years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

NFL Power Poll - Broncos & Packers Rank as Conference Leaders

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Broncos & Packers Rank as Conference Leaders

NFL Power Rankings Week 14 –
Patriots Top NFL Rankings

Rookies of the Week –
Offensive Player - RB Tre Mason - Rams

Defensive Player - LB C.J. Mosley - Ravens

Photo - DT Nda Suh - Lions

Players of the Week
Offensive Player - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - Texans

Defensive Player - DT Nda Suh - Lions

Team of Week 13 – Green Bay
Matchup of Week 14 – Patriots at Chargers

Rank / Team / Record

1. Denver Broncos (9-3)
Broncos’ took care of Chiefs and have division title in view.

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
Packers beat the Patriots for a key victory with Falcons coming to town.

3. New England Patriots (9-3)
Patriots lick their wounds from Packers loss with trip to San Diego in key AFC contest.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (9-3)
Eagles won critical game in with Seahawks and Cowboys coming in next two weeks.

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
Seahawks are building momentum with the Eagles and 49ers up next.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1)
The Bengals atop the AFC North with rivals Steelers and Browns games on schedule.

7. Indianapolis Colts (8-4)
Colts can shape AFC playoff race with Browns and Texans next up on schedule.

8. Arizona Cardinals (9-3)
Cards lost second straight vs Falcons with Chiefs coming in Sunday for key matchup.

9. San Diego Chargers (8-4)
Chargers won a critical game in Baltimore with major home matchups with Patriots and Broncos next two weeks.

10. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)
Cowboys travel to Chicago for Thursday night game that is a must win situation.

11. Detroit Lions (8-4)
Lions won key Thanksgiving game and can ride momentum with Bucs and Vikings at home next two weeks.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)
The Chiefs have lost two in a row and need victory at Arizona to stay in AFC West race.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
Steelers’ lost a tough game last week and face with huge road matchup with the Bengals.

14. Baltimore Ravens (7-5)
The Ravens’ lost a key game to Chargers and now face must win situation at Miami.

15. San Francisco 49ers (7-5)
The 49ers lost key game vs Seahawks and need win on trip across the bay to face the Raiders.

16. Cleveland Browns (7-5)
The Browns face major home games with Colts and Bengals that probably determines their fate in AFC.

17. Buffalo Bills (7-5)
The Bills’ face the acid test with Bronco matchup this week and Packers following contest.

18. Miami Dolphins (7-5)
The Dolphins won ugly vs Jets with critical games against AFC opponents, the Ravens and Patriots next up.

19. St. Louis Rams (5-7)
The Rams bombed the Raiders and need to sustain the mo this week vs Washington.

20. New Orleans Saints (5-7)
Saints won a tough one vs Steelers and have get Panthers at home this week.

21. Houston Texans (6-6)
Texans are a gritty bunch and travel in the division the next two weeks.

22. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)
Falcons are actually in first place in the weak NFC South with trip to Title town Green Bay this week.

23. Chicago Bears (5-7)
The Bears got busted by Lions on Turkey day and host Cowboys this week.

24. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
Vikings host the Jets this week as they chase the .500 mark.

25. Carolina Panthers (3-8-1)
The Panthers continue to struggle and travel to the Saints this Sunday.

26. New York Giants (3-9)
The GMen blew another lead and this time to the pathetic Jaguars.

27. Washington Redskins (3-9)
Washington were bashed by the Colts and face the tough Rams this week.

28. Tennessee Titans (2-10)
The Titans were wacked by the Texans and host the Gmen Sunday.

29. New York Jets (2-10)
The Jets find a way to loss every week and will have wholesale changes this offseason.

30. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-10)
Bucs are this bad and are probably schedule.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
The Jaguars beat the Gmen with a surprisingly strong second half rally.

32. Oakland Raiders (1-11)
The Raiders were smashed by the Rams 52-0, one week after their initial victory vs the Chiefs.

College 2014 Award Finalist Lists

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Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper & Melvin Gordon Top Award Lists

Finalists for 10 major college football awards have been announced, with favorites like Marcus Mariota (Davey O'Brien), Amari Cooper (Biletnikoff), Melvin Gordon (Doak Walker), Brandon Scherff, (Outland)
and Roberto Aguayo (Groza) all among those nominated.

Photo: RB Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin

Finalists for the Major Awards
* winners of which will be announced Dec. 11

Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)
Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Jr.)
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (Jr.)

Chuck Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year)
Joey Bosa, Ohio State (Soph.)
Vic Beasley, Clemson (Sr.)
Scooby Wright III, Arizona (Soph.)

Doak Walker Award (Running back)
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (Sr.)
Tevin Coleman, Indiana (Jr.)

Mackey Award (Tight end)
Nick O'Leary, Florida State (Sr.)
Maxx Williams, Minnesota (So.)
Clive Walford, Miami (Sr.)

Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver)
Amari Cooper, Alabama (Jr.)
Kevin White, West Virginia (Sr.)
Rashard Higgins, Colorado State (Soph.)

Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Jr.)
Trevone Boykin, TCU (Jr.)
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (Jr.)

Outland Trophy (Interior lineman)
Reese Dismukes, Auburn (Sr.)
Brandon Scherff, Iowa (Sr.)
Malcom Brown, Texas (Jr.)

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalists
DT Malcom Brown - Texas
S Landon Collins - Alabama
CB Senquez Golson - Ole Miss
S Gerod Holliman - Louisville
LB Scooby Wright - Arizona

Lombardi Award Finalists
DE Vic Beasley - Clemson
DE Joey Bosa - Ohio St
DE/LB Hau’oli Kikaha - Washington
LB Scooby Wright III - Arizona.

Paul Hornung Award Finalists
Nebraska - RB and return specialist Ameer Abdullah
TCU - RB and kick return specialist B.J. Catalon
Stanford - WR and return specialist Ty Montgomery
Missouri - RB and punt/kickoff return specialist Marcus Murphy
Washington - LB / running back Shaq Thompson

Butkus Award Finalists
Eric Kendricks - California
Hau'oli Kikaha - Washington
Denzel Perryman - Miami (Fla.)
Jake Ryan - Michigan
Jaylon Smith - Notre Dame

Thorpe Award (Defensive back)
S Landon Collins - Alabama (Jr.)
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Oregon (Sr.)
S Gerod Holliman - Louisville (So.)

Lou Groza Award (Placekicker)
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State (Soph.)
Brad Craddock, Maryland (Jr.)
Josh Lambert, West Virginia (Soph.)

Ray Guy Award (Punter)
Tom Hackett, Utah (Jr.)
Austin Rekhow, Idaho (Soph.)
J.K. Scott, Alabama (Fr.)

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He has been a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game among other postseason events. He is a players agent consultant related to pro prospect training programs for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Oregon Heads Draft Insiders' Top 25 Poll - Alabama Ranks #1 in AP & Coaches

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Alabama and Florida St. Rank #1 & #2 After Comeback Wins

Team of the Week: Alabama

Players Of Week
Offense: QB Brandon Doughty - W. Kentucky
Defense: DE Shane Ray - Missouri

Photo: QB Brandon Doughty – W. Kentucky

Upcoming Game of the Week: #3 Oregon (11-1) vs #8 Arizona (10-2) - Pac 12 Championship

Pac 12, Big Ten and SEC Championship Weekend Up Next

Draft Insiders’ - Top 25 Teams - Dec. 2
1. Oregon - 11-1
2. Alabama - 11-1
3. Florida State - 12-0
4. Ohio State - 11-1
5. Baylor - 10-1
6. TCU - 10-1
7. Michigan State - 10-2
8. Arizona - 10-2
9. Mississippi State - 10-2
10. Missouri - 10-2
11. Wisconsin - 10-2
12. Kansas State - 9-2
13. Georgia Tech -10-2
14. Ole Miss - 9-3
15. Georgia - 9-3
16. UCLA - 9-3
17. Oklahoma - 8-3
18. Auburn - 8-4
19. Arizona State - 9-3
20. Clemson - 9-3
21. Louisville - 9-3
22. Boise State - 10-2
23. LSU - 8-4, 145
24. Utah - 8-4
25. Nebraska - 9-3

AP Poll
Rank School (record) Points

1. Alabama (25), 11-1, 1426
2. Florida State (29), 12-0, 1423
3. Oregon (5), 11-1, 1391
4. TCU, 10-1, 1274
5. Baylor, 10-1, 1243
6. Ohio State, 11-1, 1192
7. Michigan State, 10-2, 1048
8. Arizona, 10-2, 1027
9. Kansas State, 9-2, 995
10. Mississippi State, 10-2, 944
11. Wisconsin, 10-2, 910
12. Georgia Tech, 10-2, 823
13. Ole Miss, 9-3, 753
14. Missouri, 10-2, 740
15. Georgia, 9-3, 606
16. UCLA, 9-3, 512
17. Arizona State, 9-3, 495
18. Oklahoma, 8-3, 485
19. Clemson, 9-3, 418
20. Auburn, 8-4, 358
21. Louisville, 9-3, 346
22. Boise State, 10-2, 265
23. LSU, 8-4, 145
24. Utah, 8-4, 79
25. Nebraska, 9-3, 64

Coaches Poll
Rank. Team (First-Place Votes), Record, Points

1. Alabama (28), 11-1, 1507
2. Florida State (28), 12-0, 1489
3. Oregon (6), 11-1, 1458
4. TCU, 10-1, 1339
5. Baylor, 10-1, 1300
6. Ohio State, 11-1, 1269
7. Michigan State, 10-2, 1136
8. Arizona, 10-2, 1050
9. Kansas State, 9-2, 1037
10. Mississippi State, 10-2, 979
11. Wisconsin, 10-2, 955
12. Georgia Tech, 10-2, 867
13. Missouri, 10-2, 820
14. Ole Miss, 9-3, 709
15. Georgia, 9-3, 590
16. Oklahoma, 8-3, 582
17. UCLA, 9-3, 517
18. Arizona State, 9-3, 486
19. Clemson, 9-3, 439
20. Louisville, 9-3, 395
21. Auburn, 8-4, 361
22. Boise State, 10-2, 253
23. Nebraska, 9-3, 166
24. LSU, 8-4, 87
25. Minnesota, 8-4, 86

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

Butkus Award 2014 Finalists Announced

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BUTKUS AWARD 30th SEASON COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Finalists for the 30th annual Butkus Award honoring the nation’s best linebackers at the collegiate and high school levels were announced by the Butkus Foundation.

The five collegiate finalists include 2013 collegiate semifinalist Denzel Perryman of Miami and 2012 high school Butkus winner Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame.

Butkus Award 2014 Collegiate Finalists
Eric Kendricks University of California Los Angeles
Hau'oli Kikaha University of Washington
Denzel Perryman University of Miami (Fla.)
Jake Ryan University of Michigan
Jaylon Smith University of Notre Dame

Dick Butkus - Hall of Fame Chicago Bear linebacker and founder of Butkus Football Network "Frank Coyle does an excellent job year round rating the top college players as they prepare for the NFL. Draft Insiders' Digest is a must for anyone that follows the NFL Draft and pro prospects. His evaluation is the best scouting insight I have ever seen."

Butkus Award 2014 High School Finalists
Jerome Baker Benedictine High School Cleveland, OH
Justin Hilliard St. Xavier High School Cincinnati, OH
John Houston Junipero Serra High School Gardena, CA
Malik Jefferson Ralph H. Poteet High School Mesquite, TX
Leo Lewis Brookhaven High School Brookhaven, MS

Winners will be named by December 9 by the independent panel of 51 recruiters, scouts, coaches and journalists. A professional Butkus Award honoree will be named in early 2015. Selectors and selection criteria are posted at www.thebutkusaward.com

2013 Butkus Award winners:
• Professional: NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers
• Collegiate: C.J. Mosley, Alabama (now Baltimore Ravens)
• High School: Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County, Ga. (now Ohio State)

Created in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while spreading the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of using performance-enhancing drugs. The I Play Clean initiative is supported in part by the NFL and NFL Players Association Research and Education Foundation. More information is available at www.iplayclean.org and on facebook at i.play.clean.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

2014 Maxwell and Bednarik Award Finalists Announced

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2014 Maxwell and Bednarik Award Finalists Announced

Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced the 2014 finalists for the 78th Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.

Photo - RB Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin

The respective lists include a field of three candidates for each of these awards as determined by the semifinalist voting process which ended Nov. 23.

All finalists are listed in alphabetical order with the player's school, position and class designated.

2014 Maxwell Award Finalists
Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Running Back Junior
Marcus Mariota Oregon Quarterback Junior
Dak Prescott Mississippi State Quarterback Junior

2014 Chuck Bednarik Award Finalists
Vic Beasley Clemson Defensive End Senior
Joey Bosa Ohio State Defensive End Sophomore
Scooby Wright III Arizona Linebacker Sophomore

Melvin Gordon -Wisconsin
Already well past the 2,000-yard rushing barrier, Gordon can realistically set his sights on Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 2,628 yards in a season. Gordon's season totals are impressive: 254 carries, 2,109 yards, 25 TDs; 15 receptions, 147 yards, and two TDs for the 9-2 Badgers. Gordon's signature game came against Nebraska, when he broke the NCAA single-game rushing record with 408 yards on 25 carries, 16.3 yards per carry, and four touchdowns.

Marcus Mariota -Oregon
Mariota went 24-of-32 for 323 passing yards with three touchdowns, and added 73 yards and another score on the ground in a 44-10 rout of Colorado last weekend. With his four total scores, Mariota set a Pac-12 single-season record with 42 total touchdowns. He has four or more scores in eight games this fall, the most of any player in the FBS. Moreover, Mariota leads the nation in passing efficiency (185.2) and is tied at No. 1, with Colorado State's Garrett Grayson, with an average of 10.0 yards per attempt. Mariota's two interceptions are the fewest among the country's top-10 quarterbacks in completion percentage. For the season, he is 210-of-309 passing, 3,103 yards, 32 touchdowns, two interceptions; 97 carries, 597 yards, nine touchdowns for the 10-1 Ducks.

Dak Prescott - Mississippi State
Prescott has led Mississippi State to its first 10-win regular season and its highest ranking (No. 1, currently No. 4) in the 115-year history of the program. He has led MSU to a 5-1 record in the SEC inside the only division in college football history to have every team be bowl eligible, and is the only FBS player to rank in the top 20 in both passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. Saturday night, Prescott accounted for four total touchdowns in a 51-0 shutout of Vanderbilt, which was MSU's biggest conference win since 1936. This Saturday, he travels to No. 19 Ole Miss for the annual Egg Bowl rivalry game.

Beasley has been a fixture on the Clemson defense for the last four years. A graduate student who would have likely been a high-round NFL pick last spring decided to return to Clemson for one last year. Beasley, a defensive end, leads the Tigers with eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for losses. Not only is Beasley now the all-time leader in sacks at Clemson, he is first among current FBS-level players in career sacks and tackles for a loss.

The 6-5, 278-pound Bosa is currently the Big Ten Conference leader in sacks (11.5), tackles-for-loss (17.0) and forced fumbles (three). He is among the national leaders in all three categories as well, currently sitting at No. 5 nationally in quarterback sacks, No. 7 nationally in TFLs and No. 19 in forced fumbles. Bosa's three forced fumbles have directly or indirectly led to 23 Ohio State points this season.

Wright is the only FBS player to rank in the top-25 individually for each of these four categories (based on per game): tackles (117), tackles for loss (21.0), sacks (12.0) and forced fumbles (5). Wright has at least one tackle for loss in all 10 games this season and has had a sack in eight of the 10 contests. In Arizona's 27-26 win over Washington on Saturday, Wright recorded 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss of five yards. Through 10 games, he totals 117 tackles, 21.0 tackles for 78 yards lost, 12.0 sacks for 61 yards lost, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Last season, the Maxwell Award went to Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and the Chuck Bednarik Award was presented to Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald. McCarron currently plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, and Donald is a standout lineman for the St. Louis Rams.

The winners of the 78th Maxwell Award and the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 11, 2014. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Gala which will be held at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ on Friday March 13, 2015.

The presentation of the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN's Rece Davis, joined by Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Tom Rinaldi and Samantha Ponder - will originate from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney's Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

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