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Big 10 at 10: Watch Lists are Ridiculous

Why yes, this guy is relevant to this post.
Why yes, this guy is relevant to this post.

The Big 10 at 10 is Off Tackle Empire's daily dose of B1G news delivered to you at approximately 10:00AM CT. But it's not just a linkdump. Each author will also provide a brief editorial on a "hot topic" for the day. Want to see more news from a blog or website that isn't listed? Hit the comments.

It's that time of the year: ZOMG PRESEASON WATCH LISTS TIME. In college football there's an award for nearly everything. Positions, coaches, academics, humanitarian efforts, walk-ons, "inspirational players" and so on. And why shouldn't there be? If you're a student-athlete who does tremendous work in the community you should be recognized for it. If you're the best strength and conditioning coach in college football you should be recognized for it. If you're the best return specialist in college football you should be recognized for it. There are a hundred awards and I think each one serves a purpose.

What purpose do the preseason watch lists serve? Last year Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette wrote an article summarizing my feelings: preseason watch lists are ridiculous. Why? More after the jump.

To my knowledge, seven preseason watch lists have been announced as of July 11th: the Maxwell Award, the Mackey Award, the Bednarik Award, the Rimington Trophy, the Ray Guy Award, the Lou Groza Award and the College Football Performance Awards. The Maxwell Award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club to the best college football player in the nation. This year's preseason list names a whopping 64 players from 9 different conferences. Is that a problem? Yes. It's a problem when you're listing an egregious amount of players when you're only seriously considering 10 of them. It's nice that Casey Pachall of TCU (TOLD YOU THE PICTURE WAS RELEVANT) got some love but why even mention his name when you know damn well you're going to give the award to Matt Barkley?

Same goes for the Rimington Trophy and the Bednarik Award. The Remington Trophy is presented to the best center in college football and lists 51 players. The Bednarik Award (also via the Maxwell Football Club) is presented to the best college defensive player in the nation. It's cool that you listed 60ish players as candidates for the award but are you really going to consider Jamie Collins of Southern Mississippi or Joe Vellano of Maryland?

As an Iowa fan, what in the world is the Palm Beach County Sports Commission thinking? The PBCSC (I don't even know if that's an acronym) is responsible for handing out the Lou Groza Award to the nation's best kicker. Their watch list is shorter and actually gives explanations as to why these players are being nominated. However, Iowa's kicker, Mike Meyer is listed and I'm not sure why. He is the second most inaccurate kicker listed, making only 70% of field goals attempted and was anything but clutch last season (AHHHHH MINNESOTA AHHHHH). It's clear that the only reason he's being listed was because he was a semi-finalist last season. And why was he a semi-finalist last season?

The College Football Performance Awards are arguably the greatest offender as they list everybody. Seriously, check their list of watch lists. I'm shocked they don't have a preseason watch list for fullback. Here's the PDF listing their offensive nominees. That's what, 100 or so players? That doesn't even count the defensive or special teams nominees. They aren't joking when they say they're the "Largest Awards Organization in D-I College Football."

These preseason watch lists create so many questions. Why do they nominate players who have no business being nominated? Is this some kind of prediction contest? Do the organizations cast such a broad net because they want to be right at the end of the season? Do they just want to be able to say "See, we told you that guy was good"? Are they created because these organizations actually consider every one of these players as a viable candidate for the award? Or are they created to make "good" players feel good despite already having the true contenders (aka the "great" players) narrowed down? I feel like it's the latter. To me, it's the equivalent of saying to the "good" players:

Good job, good effort guys...but we already know Matt Barkley is winning everything. On to the links.

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