Look, we all know that some of the players who won awards last night probably shouldn’t have won them over the other candidates. Let’s talk about these players for a couple of the awards.
College Football has become a major money making industry. The profits that schools rake in is a discussion for another day, but it’s the first item to the topic that must be pointed out. Because of the amount of money that college football generates, the background work to the sport has become a very political game, and it’s common knowledge to anyone who follows it. Is the Heisman Trophy awarded to the best player in college football, or is it a numbers game? Half of the people who vote on the award admit that they didn’t watch a lot of games.
Either way, any award in college football now has become a political game. They can’t award too many people from the same conference because then other conferences are upset and the fan-bases rage. This was so apparent on ESPN last night, and even through the emotional moments of camera shots showing players thanking their coaches and families, as proud parents watched on while tearing up.
Twitter is a blunt world. People take to it to express almost any feeling. Last night, during the award show, it happened for a couple of different awards.
The Outland Trophy
The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football, either side of the ball. Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell won the award on Thursday night over Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Immediately, twitter had something to say about it.
Derrick Brown did not win the Outland Trophy. An Oregon offensive lineman, Penei Sewell, (who was actually ridiculously good this year) won it.— Pablo Escobarner [blue check] (@PabloEscobarner) December 13, 2019
Unrelated, here’s a few clips of Derrick Brown against Oregon (regarded as the best offensive line in college football). #WarEagle pic.twitter.com/6mkNGEJHB8
Derrick Brown didn’t win the Outland Trophy???????? Who I gotta fight? pic.twitter.com/BFEFXfs1Mw— shooty hoops szn 🏀 (@katethegreat27) December 13, 2019
.@TheFWAA should be embarrassed at their lack of cfb acumen after robbing Auburn DT Derrick Brown of the @outlandtrophy in favor of Oregon OT Penei Sewell. Brown faced (5) current Top 25 teams while Sewell went up against (1) in the regular season — Auburn — who bounced the Ducks pic.twitter.com/WesAf3sFOj— Skye Underwood (@SkyeUnderwood) December 13, 2019
Derrick Brown gets passed over for the Outland Trophy for the O lineman he dominated in game 1 of the year🤔.— Curtis Pixler (@curtispixler) December 13, 2019
Derrick Brown should have been the Outland Trophy winner.— ☃️John (The First) Noel 🎄 (@johndavogel) December 13, 2019
Penei Sewell became the first Oregon Duck to ever win the award, as well as the first Polynesian player to win the award. These are fantastic accomplishments, and Sewell was very good all season long, but Derrick Brown dominated this offensive line in week one, including Sewell.
Brown finished the season with 49 tackles, 11 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. If official quarterback pressure stats were kept on sports-reference.com, I’m certain that number would be huge. However, because his numbers aren’t as good as some defensive tackles we have seen in college football, the board weighed his production over his tape, and handed Sewell the award.
Jim Thorpe Award
The Jim Thorpe Award is handed out annually to the best defensive back in college football. This year, the award was given to LSU safety Grant Delpit over Ohio State’s cornerback Jeff Okudah and LSU’s cornerback Kristain Fulton. Immediately, twitter had something to say about it.
He may not have won the Jim Thorpe Award, but Jeff Okudah is the best cornerback in the country and April’s draft will prove that.— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) December 13, 2019
The Jim Thorpe award is a joke— Donavon Meyer (@Dr_Sesus) December 13, 2019
There is no way Delpit should have won the Jim Thorpe award as the nations best DB. That award is a popularity contest.— Josh Pospy (@jrpospy) December 13, 2019
Fam how did Jeff Okudah not win the Jim Thorpe Award, he’s been the best DB all year— Peter Abredu (@AbreduPeter) December 13, 2019
Grant Delpit entered this season as the NFL Draft’s best safety prospect, but injuries and some shaky play (particularly his lack of effort tackling) have settled concerns over NFL teams in what exactly he can bring. On the other hand, Jeff Okudah has clearly been the best defensive back, rising from being a top ten cornerback prospect to one of the top two on most everyone’s boards. Okudah has been miles better than Delpit, both on tape and in his production.
As you can see, college football is more than a game. It’s a business and an industry. It’s a lot more than speaking truth and and giving awards where they deserve.
As Andrew Lind said in his tweet above, April’s draft will prove that.