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The nation's best: Fourth annual Herbies

8/28/2004

Here they are: the fourth annual Herbie Awards.

What's a Herbie? It's given to the best college football players, coaches, teams and fans from across the nation.

Remember, these are my picks. Not everyone will agree. So let the debates begin ...

Game Breakers

The top running backs in the nation all bring some combination of speed, toughness and power to the table and all can break a game open at any time.


Difference Makers

Offensive players who can single-handedly impact the outcome of a game, including the hogs on the All-Herbie offensive line.


*If ruled eligible by the NCAA

Quarterbacks

It's almost impossible to simply pick the five best quarterbacks in the nation, so here's my top five in three different categories: the guys I'd want calling signals for my team; the versatile, run-pass threats who give defensive coordinators nightmares; and the passers who are poised for big seasons.

Masterminds

The best coaches in the game on both sides of the ball, and the Sergeant Carter list of master motivators.


HC: head coach; OC: offensive coordinator; DC: defensive coordinator

Gangstas

The most ferocious inside linebackers in the college game, these guys make plays everywhere.




The Front Seven
The defensive linemen and outside linebackers who team with the men in the middle to hold down the fort up front. These ends strike fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks, the tackles stuff the run and have a quick first step and the outside 'backers are the guys living on the edge.

The Back End
The men who make things happen in the secondary, whether it be in pass coverage or run support. My strong safeties can bring the wood, the free safeties roam the open space in the backfield, and the cornerbacks can toss a blanket over the opponents best receiver.

New Kids on the Block

A few of the freshman and juco transfers who will have an impact this season.


Conference Predictions

Moving on Up
These five teams are ready to reach the 10-win plateau and make some real noise this season.


Campus Awards
My favorite places and students from around the country.

All-Uni Team
The offensive and defensive players who look the best when decked out in their school colors.