Mid Season Recap and Awards

Halfway through the season, there’s been more than enough surprises and storylines to follow as we head into the second half of the season. Lets run through a few of them quickly while handing out some mid-season awards:

Team of the First Half: Florida Gators

While Alabama still appears to be the best team in the country and while Kansas State has a great argument as well, I think Florida has impressed most with two huge wins over LSU and South Carolina that has put them in a great position going into the second half. While the non-conference schedule wasn’t tough, they’ve navigated their SEC path to this point to climb to #2 in the country behind a stout defense and opportunistic offense. Add in wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee to those mentioned already and Florida has done a little bit more than Kansas State in my opinion.

Player of the First Half: Collin Klein, QB Kansas State

The Kansas State quarterback has been phenomenal in carrying Kansas State to a #3 ranking in the BCS and may have already navigated their two toughest Big 12 games winning on the road at Oklahoma and West Virginia. Despite all they accomplished last season most didn’t think they’d repeat their success and it has taken only a couple months for that notion to be put to rest. Klein is hands down the front runner for the Heisman Trophy after embarrassing West Virginia and Geno Smith in their own house. Hard to think anyone stops them now.

Coach of the First Half: Mike Riley, Oregon State

There’s more than a few others you could make the case for. Bill Snyder, David Cutcliffe, Will Muschamp, and others have all done great jobs with their teams and deserve recognition but has anyone surprised more than Oregon State. If you were a dope like me and believed that Washington State would do well under Mike Leach right away then you probably had this team in last place in the PAC-12 North. Even if you were smart enough to avoid that, very few people had Oregon State finishing higher than 4th in the division. The Beavers have climbed all the way into the top 10 behind a stout defense and Riley has quickly taken himself off the hot seat.

Surprise Team of the First Half: Oregon State Beavers

See above. Nobody saw top ten potential or even close to it. Amazing first half for the Beavers.

Breakout Player of the First Half: DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson

HOMER ALERT!!! There’s more than a few players you could put in here but Hopkins stepped up in a big way when Sammy Watkins was out with suspension and to this point he’s continued to shine as not only the team’s best weapon, not only the best WR in the ACC, but one of the top wide receivers in the entire country. Hopkins is second in the nation in receiving yards and top five in TDs. He has to be considered among the leaders in the Biletnikoff chase.

Disappointing Team of the First Half: Auburn Tigers

While Arkansas, Michigan State and Virginia Tech all could be considered, Auburn takes the prize with a dreadful record that may not see them win an SEC game all year. Life without Cam Newton has proven challenging for Gene Chizik and this year may be the low point in his career as Auburn has been dreadful in every facet of the sport. Getting things figured out may not be a one year solution and the question to ask now is can he survive this collapse only two seasons removed from a national title.

Most Disappointing  League: Big Ten

They barely have any teams ranked to this point and their best team appears to be one that is ineligible. In fact their two best teams might be ineligible teams. Tough year for the Big Ten. Can’t imagine the Rose Bowl will be pretty.

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