MAC players rarely win these things but at least they have the common decency to include at least one player on such festivities.
Chandler Harnish is the obvious choice for MAC Player of the Year, so the Northern Illinois quarterback was put on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given to college football's top player. This is not to be confused with the Heisman Trophy, which is given out by a different group. There are warring factions in the world of college football postseason awards.
We're all salivating at what Harnish will do as a senior and see how much further he can push NIU. He already led them to the Top 25 and a bowl victory over Fresno State. All that's left on his plate is to win a MAC Championship, which they came so close to doing but were shocked by Miami. the Huskies won't have Chad Spann but Harnish is always a rushing threat of his own.
Roosevelt Nix, meanwhile, is the reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year, so it makes sense to put him right on the Bednarik Award Watch List, since it's all about awarding the top man on defense. But this does give the Kent State defensive lineman the distinction of being one of only three sophomores on the list of 65.
Nix wasn't high on the radar of freshman poised to compete for MAC DPOY, but the barely-six-foot lineman led the MAC in tackles for loss (20) and sacks (10). He also forced four fumbles and was a first-team Freshman All-American by several bodies.
I think it's glib to think either of these players will even become a finalist for the award, but like we always say: it's nice that they noticed us.