The best college football podcast out there is without a doubt The Solid Verbal. As a long time listener I consider myself a Verballer. For those who have not enjoyed the show, I highly encourage you to do so if you enjoy college football. Odds are if you are reading this then you are a fan of the sport, and thus must check out The Solid Verbal at your earliest convenience.
One of the annual traditions for the Solid Verbal is the end-of-the-year awards the hosts Ty Hildenbrandt and Dan Rubenstein put together. In typical Solid Verbal fashion, this is not your regular old college football awards segment. Instead, the Solid Verbal looks at the lighter side of the sport with a collection of bizarre moments, best names, worst disasters (referred to as tire fires) and many more, often referring to inside jokes from the show for regular listeners.
This year’s ballot for The Verbies is up. I decided to share my official ballot for this year’s awards. You can see my picks below.
Clemson of the Year
My pick: Clemson
Other Candidates: Oregon, Northwestern, Stanford, Georgia
How could the Clemson of the Year award not go to Clemson? think about it. Clemson started off the season with what was then viewed as a huge win over Georgia and the Tigers quickly entered the BCS title conversation. things were going well. Tajh Boyd was putting up big numbers and the Tigers looked to have things lining up in their favor. That is, of course, until Florida State rolled in to town and laid the smack down in brutal fashion. It owuld have been one thing to lose a close and competitive game to the Seminoles. Instead, Clemson never showed up for the biggest game of the year and suffered their lone loss on the year. It was enough to keep Clemson out of the ACC championship game as well.
You can make a very strong case for Stanford with a loss to Utah or Oregon for a loss to Arizona. I’ll pass on Georgia considering the injuries and I was never very high on Northwestern to begin with.
Name of the Year
My Pick: Ha’Sean ‘Ha Ha’ Clinton-Dix (Alabama DB)
I typically roll my eyes at certain crude jokes but even I have to admit that hearing Verne Lundquist roll out the name “Ha Ha Clinton-Dix” makes me chuckle. The only thing that would have been better is if the Crimson Tide defensive back were from Arkansas. If Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt had missed a couple more field goals or extra point attempts this season I may have been swayed to cast my vote for him, but he just has not lived up to his name this season.
Tire Fire of the Year
My Pick: Florida
Other Candidates: Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue
If the Gators do not run away with this one it would not be a surprise. Florida could not run away from anyone this season. Three Big Ten teams up for the award speaks volumes about the level of respect the Big Ten has in the Verballer Nation.
Losing Effort of the Year
My Pick: Derek Carr (Fresno State QB vs. San Jose State)
With a spot in the BCS still on the line, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr passed for 519 yards and six touchdowns against San Jose State, and his team lost 62-52. Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans would get my second place vote if there was an option.
Twitter Feed of the Year
My Pick: @evilbillobrien
Other Candidates: @celebrityhottub @DanBeebe @FauxPelini
In fairness, any of these candidates would be worthy of a vote although I am pretty much over the Fake Dan Beebe gimmick. I’ll go with Evil Bill O’Brien out of fear I may not get to vote for him ever again.
Host Meme of the Year
My Pick: The Patriot League Lightning Round
Other Candidates: The Altar of Dan, Repeated use of the Bruce Feldman “Body Blow Theory,” Dan creepily whispering “Bortles,” Jameis Winston the “Wonderful Monster,” Interviewing Lex Steele, numerous Secret Verbals
you sort of have to listen to the show to understand all of these, so I will not waste time explaining it here. I’ll stick with The Patriot League Lightning Round given my proximity to some of the Patriot League schools up in the Allentown area. Moving on…
Not Coach of the Year
My Pick: Bret Bielema (Arkansas)
Other Candidates: Lane Kiffin (USC), Will Muschamp (Florida), Brady Hoke/Al Borges (Michigan), Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Mack Brown (Texas)
I do not anticipate Bielema will win this dubious award but do feel he is a worthy candidate (worthless candidate?) because he actually managed to win fewer games than the spur-of-the-moment interim coach John L. Smith did a year ago in what was supposed to be a much bigger mess of a situation.
Random Fact That May Only Interest Tom Hammond
My Pick: Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray were roommates
Other Candidates: Lane Kiffin turned down Tajh Boyd and Bryce Petty, Jameis Winston wanted to go to Texas, Mack Brown recruited Johnny Manziel as a defensive back
This one was easy. Look at the above facts and tell me which one has absolutely no bearing on anything related to a person’s job or the football program. Kiffin whiffed on a pair of talented quarterbacks. Mack Brown missed on Manziel and Winston. Both could have saved his job. The only thing that means absolutely nothing to anybody is the roommate situation between Mettenberger and Murray. Easy pick here.
Alternate Uniform of the Year
My Pick: Hawaii’s rainbow uniforms
Other Candidates: Baylor’s black and chrome uniforms, Hawaii’s rainbow uniforms, Tennessee’s smoky gray uniforms, Oregon’s pink helmets, Oregon’s all-yellow uniforms
Wow. Not sure how some of these uniforms even made it on to the ballot (I’m looking at you Tennessee). Because they stayed true to their roots and heritage, I go with Hawaii in this one. Ha the Baylor uniforms nominated been dark green then they would have received my vote because I do love myself some chrome helmets. As for Oregon, it takes a lot to impress me given how they have raised te bar. The pink helmets were for a good cause of course, but I don’t even consider anything Oregon wears to be an alternative since they wear something different on a regular basis.
Crime of the Year
My Pick: Antonio Morrison (Florida) arrested for barking at a police dog
Some worth candidates here. I was very close to casting a vote for Oregon’s Pharaoh Brown until I was reminded of Florida’s Antonio Morrison being arrested for barking at a police dog. Not sure we will see that story all too often. Bad officiating happens every week, and we are not guaranteed Wisconsin wins that game with proper officiating, so I left that one alone.
Worst Year Back
My Pick: Devin Gardner (Michigan)
Much has been made about Clowney this season, but he is still going to be a top ten or top five NFL Draft pick, so how bad was his year really? The expectations were low for Thomas and Rees actually surpassed my expectations. Michigan’s Devin Gardner though is a different story. I fooled myself in to believing Michigan’s move to a more typical Michigan offense would be a good move for the Wolverines and Gardner. Of course, Ohio State game aside, that did not turn out to be the case.
Awkward Broadcasting Moment of the Year
My Pick: Eminem interview on Saturday Night Football
Other Candidates: Kirk Herbstreit draw blood from Lee Corso in sword fight, Bill Murray tackles Lee Corso on College Gameday, David Pollack’s comments on Condoleeza Rice
Our college football season got off to a great start when ESPN’s powers that be decided it would be a good idea to place Eminem in the same booth as Brent Musburger. If wins are determined by social media reaction, than ESPN claimed victory right out of the gates this season.