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The First Annual Burton DeWitt College Football Awards (with corporate sponsors!)

Instead of wasting print space writing a super introduction, I’m going to go straight into the first annual Geico Burton DeWitt College Football Awards presented by State Farm underwritten by Prudential. And trust me, these awards mean a lot.Poulan Weedeater Award for Best Offensive or Defensive LinemanLT Jake Long (Michigan)

It requires some tenacity to pull out weeds, and nobody does it more famously than Poulan, which sponsored the Independence Bowl back when the Independence Bowl was otherwise the worst bowl (okay, the Copper/Las Vegas Bowl was pretty dismal too). Linemen need to weed out the other teams play calls while also defending their own. The winner gets a lifetime supply of Weedeater…. once he graduates because otherwise he would lose amateur status.

The winner is pretty simple. Michigan stunk this year, except for two players on offense: Mike Hart and Jake Long. Long was the only person on the line who could block for either the run or the pass. Michigan ended up having a fairly decent year. I’m apt to attribute that all to Long.

P.S. Mike Hart is the toughest S.O.B. in the nation.

Reebok Award for Best PunterP Sam Swank (Wake Forest)

I myself am a New Balance guy, but I can’t argue against the fact that Reebok and Nike have the most money and therefore were able to bid the most for this award.

I have no idea what type of shoe Sam Swank wears, but if he were to transfer to Oregon, I could bet a kidney it would be Nike. He was a semifinalist for the “real” awards for best punter and best kicker, but somehow not a finalist. Since he is the best kicker/punter in the nation, I decided he had to win something. And since he blew an easy kick against Virginia, I decided on punter. Then again, from what I’ve seen, he really is the best punter in the nation. Out of 70 punts, 17 have been downed inside the 20 and only six have been touchbacks. That’s a darn good ratio.

Nike Award for Best KickerPK Austin Starr (Indiana)

I still am a New Balance guy, but I still can’t argue against the fact that Reebok and Nike have the most money and therefore were able to bid the most for this award.

This was a close one. Very, very close. For once, I actually agree with the Groza Award finalists, limiting it to either Austin Starr of Indiana or Thomas Weber of Arizona State. Although I’m not a fan of either team, I really just don’t like Arizona State. Therefore, I picked Starr. Weber probably is a good guy, but I just don’t care for his school. Simple as that. I promise, from here on out, this becomes more interesting.

MIT School of Engineering Award for Best Head CoachMark Mangino (Kansas)

MIT has a pretty good school of engineering and it was willing to give an honorary degree in Football Program Engineering to the winner.

Mark Mangino truly engineered a football team this year because by all accounts, there wasn’t much there. There really just wasn’t anything there and somehow he made it work. No really, there just wasn’t anything there but he somehow worked out the differential equations and made it work.

Rice University School of Architecture Award for Best Head CoachRon Zook (Illinois)

Rice has a pretty good architecture school and it was willing to give an honorary degree in Football Program Architecture to the winner.

Ron Zook truly architectured this program over the past three years, bringing in top notch recruits and taking advantage of the top notch facilities that, save for one glorious fall, Ron Turner had failed to take advantage of. This award is for three years of planning.

National Right to Life Award for Best Head CoachHoward Schnellenberger (Florida Atlantic)

This is not a political statement by me. No, this is I selling out for the highest advertising price. This goes to a coach who birthed a program that probably should have been aborted.

Howard Schnellenberger, just shy of his 113th birthday, has led FAU to it’s first ever bowl game after wining the Sun Belt Conference. And thanks to Louisiana-Monroe’s win over Alabama, the Sun Belt is only the second-worst conference in Division 1-A (I will never call it FBS), ahead of Conference-USA.

Tommy West Academy of Clock Management Award for Worst Head CoachRich Brooks (Kentucky)

Alright, this academy doesn’t exist, but if it did, nobody would attend. If you have ever watched the final few minutes of a close game involving Memphis and you had money on Memphis, you’d be running at your television wanting to strangle Tommy West. By the way, this is only the second time since 2000, the last year he was unemployed, that he did not win the award. Congrats! Oh, the winner receives an honorary degree from the academy.

Rich Brooks has three points of failure: (1) Not going for two after scoring the go-ahead touchdown against Louisville, making his team lead by only six. Had he gone for two and was successful, a touchdown and extra point would only force overtime.; (2) Not calling time out with 27 seconds left against LSU, which allowed LSU to run down the clock and attempt a 57-yard field goal. Had he called time out, LSU would have punted and not even attempted the field goal. His decision gave LSU a chance to win the game; (3) Running the ball on first and goal against Tennessee, forcing his team to burn its final time out and limiting them to one more try for the touchdown.

O.J. Simpson Award for StupidityO.J. Simpson (USC)

Sorry, that’s a cheap shot. I’m just sick of doing the legitimate awards. From now on, here are the awards that no other organization gives.

Coors Light Award for Best Backup QuarterbackQB Tavita Pritchard (Stanford)

Although it’s not the real stuff, Coors Light is still a satisfying alternative. This award goes for the most satisfying alternative at the quarterback position.

Tavita Pritchard came off the bench to pull the biggest upset ever, breaking the record held by Oregon State in 1985 and its backup quarterback, Rich Gonzales. Stanford defeated the 40-point favored Trojans of Southern Cal, completing a miracle fourth down pass for a touchdown not long after his team had converted a longer fourth down to stay alive. Actually, on second thought, he doesn’t win this award because his performance was more satisfying that Coors Light. That said….

Tavita Pritchard Award for Best Light BeerNONE

Screw light beer. Seriously.

Old Spice Award for Best Con ActPhil Fulmer (Tennessee)

It takes a great deodorant to cover up something that smells funky, and this award goes to the person wearing the most deodorant.

Phil Fulmer has always rode his unicycle dangerously close to the line, even agreeing to turn in Alabama to save his own program from infractions. Maybe it’s my personal animosity towards his school and him in particular, or maybe there really is some cheating going on, but I firmly believe that it’s only a matter a time before his deodorant stick runs out and he doesn’t have time to drive to CVS to buy some more. Dennis Franchione got caught this year, but I can bet you three liras that he won the award last year.

Kodak Award for Best Picture-Perfect MomentAppalachian State-Michigan Field Goal (September 1)

Everyone has heard of Kodak and you use its cameras to take pictures.

The guy (I’m too lazy to look up his name) blocking that field goal while I wore an Appalachian State shirt (I have six since I went to wrestling camp there for six years) has stuck in my mind.

Avis Award for Best Football StadiumMiami Orange Bowl (Florida International, Miami)

Avis rents cars, just like some schools rent football stadiums. The winner receives free transportation for one year to their stadium.

The only two schools in the state of Florida with losing records both called the soon-to-be-deceased Miami Orange Bowl home this season. The Hurricanes are moving to the Stadium Formerly Known as Joe Robbie next season, making them a prime candidate to win the “Dollar Rent-a-Car Award for Worst Football Stadium.” FIU is moving back on campus, so I don’t know how they can use their free Avis rentals.

Only two more awards to go!

The John Kerry and John McCain Award for Best Flip-FlopKirk Herbstreit (ESPN)

The two Johns are the experts at flip-flopping, so they decided to come together to support this new award. The winner gets to decide three campaign positions for McCain and shake Kerry’s hand. I’m not sure which is more dangerous to the future of the country (that, my friends, is a political statement).

Kirk Herbstreit reported that Michigan was going to hire LSU head coach Les Miles as its head coach and Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta as its defensive coordinator. A couple of hours later, he reported that Miles was staying at LSU. Whether or not he was originally correct doesn’t matter: by coming out with the information right before LSU’s game against Tennessee, he forced Miles to act then, and he chose to stay (or at least say enough to imply he was staying without actually saying that he was staying). If Michigan really had worked out an agreement and because of Herbstreit it fell through, the school should file a lawsuit against ESPN.

Herbstreit spoke with WDFN-AM in Detroit about the situation, claiming that ESPN told him to go public with the report. If this is true, he should sue ESPN because in doing so, his reputation was tarnished. If this is not true, he should immediately be fired for lying to the media about what his boss told him to do. Either way, ESPN has lost major credibility, and that makes me so happy. One award to go….

Burton DeWitt Award for Best Quote

Instead of just telling you who won, I’m going to give you the nominees. The winner receives a lifetime of praise for being the wittiest, most intelligent man alive and becomes the title sponsor the following year.

“He was giving him the business”ACC Referee Ron Cherry

Cherry was giving a nod to Ben Dreith, who issued a similar penalty in 1986 when Marty Lyons started punching and humping Jim Kelly in an NFL game. Of course, ACC officials suck, so yeah.

“I’d rather play USC than UCLA because it’s easier to spell.”ESPN commentator Lou Holtz

Holtz was doing his weekly (losing) pep talk and was trying to convince Nebraska to go out and beat USC. Of course, at the time, nobody knew that Nebraska was not really Nebraska and Holtz was senile.

“I’m a Man! I’m 40!”Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy

Gundy was criticizing a reporter for writing bad things about one of his players, so we all learned that he had male reproductive organs and was older than Michael Schumacher. Not that I was questioning either beforehand.

“He lost his bowl game! He gained weight! and HE ONCE COACHED AT TCU! His preseason schedule turned out to be a nightmare, and now he’s going through the Big XII.”Some deranged Red Raider fan

Deranged Red Raider fan made fun of Chris Crocker’s “Leave Brittany Spears Alone” video by translating it over to embattled Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione. He speaks about how A&M had made “mid-tier bowls” but that Aggie fans were being too harsh on him. “Leave Coach Fran Alone” he eventually emotes, “he’s a fooootball coach!.” We also learn that he has never showered with his sister. Interesting….

And the winner is….

….

….

Burton DeWitt

Well duh, he is the smartest person in the world and everything he said is the quote of the year. Runner up goes to Some deranged Red Raider fan. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out, although make sure to see what it is spoofing first.

I hope you enjoyed the Nokia Playstation3 AxA Liberty Bowl NAACP Brut Council of Cardinals Burton DeWitt College Football Awards presented by McDonalds. I will ignore all emails regarding why so and so won, but will accept any emails from companies who want to pay me to be part of next year’s article.

Or who want to pay me for putting their name in this year….

By bsd987

I have written for SportsColumn.com since 2004 and was named a featured writer in 2006. I have been Co-Editor of the site since January 1, 2009. I also write for BleacherReport.com where I am a founding member of the Tennis Roundtable and one of the chief contributors to both the Tennis and Horse Racing sections.

I am "Stat Boy" for Sportscolumn.com's weekly podcast, Poor Man's PTI.

I am currently a Junior at Rice University majoring in History and Medieval Studies. My senior thesis will focus on the desegregation of football in Texas and its affect of racial relations.

Please direct all inquiries to [email protected]

Thanks,
Burton DeWitt
Co-Editor of Sportscolumn.com

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