Here's the surest sign that the college football season is just around the corner -- the major awards are issuing their "watch lists." Personally, I've never quite understood why we need watch lists, but since they're out there, we should probably talk about them. Besides, it's great to see so many Stanford players on all these lists.
- Maxwell Award (Best Football Player): Andrew Luck, Stepfan Taylor
- Nagurski Trophy (Best Defensive Player): Delano Howell, Shayne Skov
- Bednarik Award (Top Defensive Player): D. Howell, S. Skov
- Mackey Award (Top Tight End): Coby Fleener
- Outland Trophy (Best Interior Lineman): Jonathan Martin, David DeCastro
- Thorpe Award (Best Defensive Back): D. Howell
- Lombardi Award (Top College Lineman): J. Martin, D. DeCastro, S. Skov
These lists each name anywhere between 37 and a whopping 125 (the Lombardi) names, and those numbers will be whittled down over the course of the season until finalists are announced in the closing weeks before the awards are finally passed out around Heisman time in early December. (There is no watch list for the Heisman; you don't have to build buzz about that trophy.)
I love that Shayne Skov is getting some national love -- no surprise after his Orange Bowl performance -- and it's also great to see Delano Howell's name in a few different places. Mainly, though, I see all this as just more evidence that Stanford football is here to stay on the national college football landscape.
Go Mighty Card.