Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Predicting the Big East Offensive Awards

Offensive Player of the Year: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
If Mountaineers are going back to the BCS this season, they will need Smith to have a epic year. Considering we are picking WVU to win the league, it only makes sense he wins this award.
Others Considered: Zach Collaros, Ray Graham

Quarterback of the Year: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
See Above
Others Considered: Zach Collaros

Running Back of the Year: Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
Last year's breakout star is looking for an even bigger 2011. It should happen now that he is the lone star in the Panther backfield. Look for Graham to be active in the passing game as well.
Others Considered: Isaiah Pead, Victor Anderson

Wide Receiver of the Year: Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Many are expecting Justin Blackmon-like numbers for Austin in the Dana Holgorsen system. Though smaller in size, Austin can go get it anywhere, and will plenty this season.
Others Considered: Mohammed Sanu, Mark Harrison, Mike Shanahan, D.J. Woods

Tight End of the Year: Josh Chichester, Louisville
This is a bit of a reach, but Chichester easily has the most potential at this position. The former wideout should be used more often in 2011, and his size makes him nearly impossible to defend.
Others Considered: Nick Provo, Ryan Griffin

Lineman of the Year: Moe Petrus, Connecticut
Hard to go against a guy that has started every game of his career. Look for him to be a multiple award-winner at the end of this season.
Others Considered: Justin Pugh, Mike Ryan

Place Kicker of the Year: Dave Teggart, Connecticut
This man has ice in his veins. The most clutch kicker in the league is poised for another big year, especially with an offense that won't find the end zone too often.
Others Considered: Ross Krautman, Chris Philpott

WVU 19th in ESPN Preseason Power Rankings

West Virginia did make one preseason poll...of course it doesn't count for anything. The Mountaineers are ranked 19th on ESPN's Preseason power Rankings list, sandwiched by Georgia at 20, and number 18 Ohio State.

The Mountaineers are the Big East favorite this season, with some believing they could be a dark horse for the National Championship. Bottom-line is the pressure will be on heavy for first-year coach Dana Holgorsen.

The 19-ranking is interesting, considering the Mountaineers couldn't crack the Coaches' Poll. It seems that WVU and the Big East get a little bit more respect from the ESPN pundits. Or maybe the pundits are just looking at how weak the Big East is, and how WVU should easily get to 10+ wins. Whatever the case is, it seems that the 19-ranking is more legit than being out of the top-25 to start the season. You would think a team picked to win a super-six conference should get a little bit more recognition than they have been getting. But, that's just life in the Big East.