Friday, December 08, 2006

College Football Awards Handed Out

Brady Quinn took this round from Troy Smith. The Notre Dame quarterback won the Maxwell Award as the player of the year Thursday night, beating out Ohio State's Smith, the Heisman Trophy favorite.

Quinn, Smith and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden are the finalists for the Heisman, which will be handed out Saturday night in New York.

Smith won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback at the College Football Awards show and earlier in the day was honored as player of the year by the Walter Camp Foundation.

The Big Ten offensive player of the year, Smith led Ohio State to a 12-0 record with 2,740 total yards. He threw a school-record 30 touchdown passes and led the Big Ten in passing efficiency.

Quinn passed for 3,278 and 35 touchdowns this season, leading the Fighting Irish (10-2) to a Sugar Bowl bid. Notre Dame will face LSU on Jan. 3 in New Orleans.

He is the fifth Notre Dame player to win the Maxwell and first since defensive lineman Ross Browner in 1977.

Rutgers tailback Ray Rice was the other finalists for the Maxwell Award.

McFadden, a sophomore who led Arkansas to the Southeastern Conference title game, won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back. He is the first SEC player to win the award since Georgia's Garrison Hearst in 1992.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was chosen as The Home Depot Coach of the Year for turning around the Scarlet Knights (10-2).

Penn State's Paul Posluszny was the only repeat winner from 2005. For the second straight year, the Nittany Lions linebacker won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player.

Other award winners were: Joe Thomas, Wisconsin, Outland Trophy (best interior linemen); Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech, Biletnikoff (best wide receiver); Aaron Ross, Texas, Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back); Patrick Willis, Mississippi, Butkus Award (best linebacker); Arthur Carmody, Louisville, Lou Groza Award (best kicker); and Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor, Ray Guy Award (best punter).

Longtime Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon will replace Coker as coach of the Hurricanes, The Miami Herald reported. The school scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to announce the decision, but declined to confirm that Shannon was the choice.

The newspaper, citing an unidentified source, said Shannon accepted the job earlier in the day and that his hiring would be officially announced by the university Friday.

The 40-year-old Shannon would become the sixth black head coach currently at one of the 119 Division I-A schools, joining Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, UCLA's Karl Dorrell, Buffalo's Turner Gill, Kansas State's Ron Prince and Washington's Tyrone Willingham.

Alabama has made an offer for West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriquez to take over the reins of the Crimson Tide program after Mike Shula was let go after a 6-6 season.

The Crimson Tide was hoping to land the successful coach and his innovative offense on Friday, making him 'Bama's fifth head man since Gene Stallings left in 1996. There is no agreement yet and the two sides are still talking.

The Birmingham News reported on its Web site late Thursday that Rodriguez was offered more than $2 million a year with incentives and would have one of the highest-paid coaching staffs in the Southeastern Conference.

Rodriguez has built West Virginia into a Big East power, winning the Sugar Bowl after the 2005 season and a share of three straight league titles. The Mountaineers are 10-2 and will play Georgia Tech on Jan. 1.

The Corner Lowdown: (final regular season)
Last week: 9-1
Overall: 172-40 (.811)

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