FOX Sports College Football Analyst
With the college football regular season coming to an end, it’s time to hand out our awards.
That’s exactly what I did this week with a special edition of “The Number One College Football Show,” taking time to recognize some of the best players and best games of the 2022 season.
From Players of the Year to “Money In The Bag,” we wrap up the regular season by presenting my first annual college football awards.
College Football Awards Show!
RJ Young debuts his college football awards, including Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Underrated Coach of the Year.
Offensive Player of the Year: Minnesota RB Mohammed Ibrahim
- 304 rushes for 1,594 yards
- 10 of 11 games this season with 100+ rushing yards
- 163 rushing yards in his only game in 2021, against Ohio State
What I want you to understand is that Mo Ibrahim is him! We’re talking about a guy who managed to rush for nearly 1,600 yards this season and no one knew it. I’m really excited to see what his NFL experience will be like, and frankly, he’s a guy that we’re going to miss, especially in the Big Ten where we had an exceptional amount of great running backs.
Defensive Player of the Year: Georgia DT Jalen Carter
- 6-foot-3, 310 pounds
- Hands mightier than Sho’Nuff in a derelict factory dungeon
- Feet faster than Magic Mike.
With 2:27 left in the first half of the SEC championship, Carter swam one LSU O-lineman, slid another, put hammocks we call hands on quarterback Jayden Daniels and lifted him off the floor like a father would make his son to act in the grocery store. He even had time to wave one index finger in the air while holding a helpless Daniels in the other.
Coach of the Year: TCU’s Sonny Dykes
To take TCU to its first CFP? obviously To hire Broyles Award winner Garrett Riley and let him cook? Of couse. To hire Joe Gillespie, who turned cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson into a Thorpe Award winner? Absolutely.
[Related: Joe Gillespie carrying TCU’s defensive legacy forward]
But most of all, he’s my coach of the year for keeping Max Duggan committed and focused on the team after picking up Chandler Morris to start the season; to allow Duggan to unleash his fury and passion on every team the Horned Frogs have played since.
Underrated Coach of the Year: The state of Kansas Chris Klieman
Klieman committed to K-State in 2018 after winning four national titles at FCS juggernaut North Dakota State.
Since arriving in Manhattan, it has produced the best all-around player in the country in Deuce Vaughn, who just became a two-time AP First Team All-American.
Four years into the job, he has led Oklahoma’s offense to the program’s first Big 12 title in a decade, when current offensive coordinator Collin Klein was the quarterback at K-State, and won 10 games He capped off the season with a 12-1 CFP win against the TCU Horned Frogs.
Underrated Unit of the Year: of Iowa defense
This is a national championship caliber defense. The Hawkeyes ranked 14th in scoring defense, produced their first Butkus Award winner in school history in Jack Campbell and held opponents to 13 points or fewer nine times in 12 games.
Without the Hawkeyes’ defense, Iowa won’t go to a bowl game, let alone win seven games. And the defense has been this good for two straight seasons. The Hawkeyes set a school record in 2021 and led the nation with 25 interceptions while creating 30 turnovers.
Hawkeye defensive coordinator Phil Parker will be a head coach soon, if he wants to. He has been in Iowa for over a decade. That kind of defensive prowess will invite the athletic director to his front door.
Iowa pulls off a nail-biting win
Iowa’s Jack Campbell intercepted an Athan Kaliamanis pass, leading to a key drive in the win over Minnesota.
I Love College Award
This award is for college football players who make us feel like they’ve been playing for an entire decade. Previous candidates for this award would have included Utah’s Britain Covey, who played for the Utes from 2015 to 2021.
The 2022 nominees include UTSA quarterback Frank Harris, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett and UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Bennett could have won this season: Bennett and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson were born in 1997. Thompson-Robinson became the first quarterback in FBS history to start five straight seasons.
But this year’s winner is Harris, who announced he would return for a record seventh season at UTSA. He passed for more than 3,800 yards with 31 TDs, led the Road Runners to their second straight C-USA title and holds 34 school records.
Rough diamond: UAB RB DeWayne McBride
McBride finished the regular season as the FBS rushing champion, gaining a school-record 1,713 yards, a mark once held by Jordan Howard. He is also the nation’s active leader in rushing yards at 7.3.
Put the money in the bag!
RJ Young talks about underappreciated units, the “I Love College Award,” “Money in the Bag” and more.
The best money in the wallet
1. Marshall at Our Lady
The Herd were a 20.5-point underdog but beat ND 26-21 in South Bend — they took home $1.25 million.
2. Appalachian State at Texas A&M
The Mountaineers were 17.5-point underdogs but beat the Aggies 17-14 in College Station — taking home $1.5 million.
3. middle tennessee at Miami
The Blue Raiders were outscored by 26.5 points, but beat the Canes 45-31 at the Hard Rock – taking home $1.5 million.
Rick Stockstill went on local Nashville radio, 104.5 The Zone, and gave us this quote: “They ran for 194 yards against Texas A&M, the number that’s the team in the country right now. They ran for 68 against us. They averaged 1.6 yards. per carry. They gave up $1.5 million. We gave them 1.6 yards per carry.”
Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Miami, they’ve had you. They took you You’ve been tricked, you’ve been tricked, you’ve been screwed, you’ve been crazy. That’s what it does.
The Herd, Aggies and Blue Raiders put the shimmy on the cormora. Fighting Irish, Aggies and Canes, put the money in the bag.
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RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The number one college football show.“Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young i subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.
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