|Auburn's Philip Lutzenkirchen is among the favorites for the 2012 Mackey Award.|
Another day, two more watch lists to review. On the heels of the release of watch lists for two high-profile awards, the Maxwell Award (top college football player) and Bednarik Award (best defensive player), the preseason watch lists for two under the radar wards were unveiled on Tuesday. The watch lists for the Rimington Trophy (awarded to the best center in college football) and the Mackey Award (awarded to the best tight end) were posted with plenty of names to look over on each.
A total of 33 players were named to the Mackey Award watch list and 51 players appear on the Rimington Trophy watch list. So, who has the inside track to these individual honors at the end of the season? Let;s have some fun with this by doing some non-logical guess-timating.
Kids, don't try this at home.
2012 Mackey Award
Leading candidates: Phillip Lutzenkirchen (Auburn), Jordan Reed (Florida), Jacob Pedersen (Wisconsin), Jake Stoneburner (Ohio State), Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame), Chris Gragg (Arkansas)
Since first awarded in 2000 to Purdue's Tim Stratton the Mackey Award has been awarded to a player from a different school each season. Should this trend continue we can eliminate five players off of the list right now, including Stoneburner, Gragg and Reed. Also, no school from one of the non-AQ conferences has had a winner yet. Let's say that trend continues as well. This would eliminate another nine players from the list for serious consideration.
Now, the last four Mackey Awards have been won by schools currently located in the SEC or ACC (including Missouri). Let's play the odds and say one of those two conferences has this year's winner. Now we are down to eight names with Chase Clement (LSU), Matt Furstenburg (Maryland), Malcolm Johnson (Mississippi State), Philip Lutzenkirchen (Auburn), Jordan Najvar (Baylor), Mike Ragone (Kansas), Mychal Rivera (Tennessee) and Michael Williams (Alabama). Now, who has the edge?
The immediate reaction may be to say Lutzenkirchen, and that may be true at this stage. But keep in mind that Tennessee's Rivera accounted for the most receiving yards among our remaining candidates but just one touchdown. This is where Lutzenkirchen pulls away from the field. We will lean toward the guy more likely to be a target inside the red zone for now, and give the early preseason nod to Auburn's Lutzenkirchen for the 2012 Mackey Award.
2012 Rimington Trophy
Leading candidates: Barrett Jones (Alabama), Dalton Freeman (Clemson), Khaled Holmes (USC), and basically anyone playing in the Big Ten
To determine who will win the Rimington Trophy in 2012 we have a far less scientific process. Of the 12 awards handed out in the past 11 years (there was a tie in 2004), current Big Ten members have accounted for half (including one to Nebraska). Lets' place the 12 Big Ten players on this year's watch list and pick one out of a hat.
Congratulations James Ferentz, son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz! You are this year's center to beat.