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College Football Analysis: 2011 Maxwell Award Finalists

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The two most prestigious college football awards in the nation are the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award, both given to the best college football player in America. The Heisman Trophy is presented by the Down Town Athletic Club, and is voted on by past winners and selected media members chosen by its presenter. The Maxwell Award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club and is voted on by sportscasters, sportswriters, NCAA head coaches, athletic administrators and also the membership of the Maxwell Football Club.

You can vote for the Maxwell Award, the Bednarik Award, the new NFL Fantasy Player of the Year Award, and other prominent awards presented by the oldest football club in America by obtaining a RotoExperts Maxwell Football Club membership.

On November 21st, Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced the 2011 finalists for the 75th Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year. The finalists are Senior QB Andrew Luck from Stanford, Senior QB Kellen Moore from Boise State, and Junior RB Trent Richardson from Alabama. Here’s how I see them finishing.

1. Trent Richardson – RB, Alabama

  • 236 attempts, 1380 yards, 20 TDs
  • 26 receptions, 322 yards, 2 TDs

Trent Richardson is the Tide’s workhorse who had six straight games with at least 100 yards rushing and only three below triple digits. Richardson has topped 200 all purpose yards three times (against Arkansas, Florida, and Mississippi), and has seven multi-scoring games. A lot of the buzz surrounding Richardson is due to playing for one of the best teams in the country in the best conference in the country. Richardson is fourth in the country in total yards, fifth in touchdowns, seventh in rushing ypg (125.45) and tenth in all-purpose yards (160.7 ypg).

2. Andrew Luck – QB, Stanford

  • 167.36 rating, 241-of-343 passing (70.3%), 2937 yards, 31 TD, 8 INTs
  • 39 attempts, 133 yards, 2 TD
  • 1 reception, 13 yards

Andrew Luck has been the Heisman favorite since deciding to forego the NFL Draft and stay at Stanford for the 2011 season. The decision has not disappointed Cardinal and college football fans alike. Luck’s BCS Title chances were more than likely erased in the 53-30 loss to Oregon, as he arguably his worst performance of the year. Last week, Stanford narrowly escaped with a 31-28 win over Cal, where Luck completed 20-of-30 passes (66.7%) for 257 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He is fifth in the FBS in QB rating, sixth in passing TDs, seventh in completion percentage, and 19th in total passing yards. He has incredible command of the huddle and his field vision is unparallel. Luck is the proto-typical NFL QB, which has led many to believe he will be the overall number one in the 2012 draft.

3. Kellen Moore – QB, Boise State

  • 176.96 rating, 248-of-337 passing (73.6%), 2915 yards, 35 TDs, 6 INTs

Kellen Moore may not be as mobile as some of the other QBs on the list, but he in incredibly smart and is a tremendous leader. Boise State’s last second loss to TCU may hurt Moore, but he threw 28-of-38 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the first home loss of his career. After the win over San Diego State, Moore holds the NCAA record for most wins by a college quarterback at 47, moved into a tie on the NCAA career touchdown pass list with Graham Harrell of Texas Tech (2005-08) with 134, and is now sixth on the NCAA career passing yards list with 13,782. Moore is also on track to break the NCAA career record for the lowest percentage of passes intercepted; he has thrown just 25 interceptions out of 1,555 career passing attempts for 1.60%, the record is 1.69% by Harrell. Moore is tied for first in the country in completion percentage, second in passing touchdowns, fourth in rating, and 22nd in total passing yards.

Dory LeBlanc, covers Gator sports for Gators First and BourbonMeyer.com. Not just a college sports enthusiast, Dory is also a fan of NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. Born outside Philly, she moved to Tampa, and now resides in Illinois, giving her a broad perspective on the sporting world. You can follow Dory on twitter @DoryLeBlanc