With the season over and bowl season not quite ready to begin, that means it's award season. We already named our All-MAC teams earlier today, and the SB Nation All-Americans came out as well, with several MAC players getting the nod. Oh, and Jordan Lynch finished No. 3 in the Heisman Trophy race.
But, now it's time to name the most anticipated awards of the season: The 2013 Hustle Belt Football Awards. Earlier this season we introduced you to our awards and threw out some potential names. Now it's time to vote on them. Below are some of the top candidates for the awards we're offering up (in alphabetical order by award):
Roethlisberger Golden Arm Award
- Matt Johnson (Bowling Green) - In his first year as a starter, Matty J led the Falcons to a MAC title throwing for 3,195 yards and 23 touchdowns.
- Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois) - Lynch might have been more known for his running ability, but he still finished third in the MAC in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns.
- Keith Wenning (Ball State) - Wenning was the model of consistency for quarterbacks in the MAC this season throwing for 3,933 yards and 34 touchdowns this season.
Wasean Tait Trophy
- David Fluellen (Toledo) - Battling an injury late in the season, Fluellen still managed to finish with 1,121 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013
- Travis Greene (Bowling Green) - Greene finished second behind Jordan Lynch in rushing this season with 1,555 and 11 touchdowns
- Branden Oliver (Buffalo) - It took a couple weeks for Bo to get going, but once he did he climbed the MAC ranks with 1,421 yards and 15 scores for the Bulls.
- Titus Davis (Central Michigan) - Davis had 61 receptions on the season averaging 18.1 yards per catch.
- Alex Neutz (Buffalo) - Neutz's 11 touchdowns were good for second-best in the conference in 2013.
- Willie Snead (Ball State) - Snead led the MAC with receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
Eric Fisher Award
- Zac Kerin (Toledo) - Kerin anchored an offensive line that boasts two Top 10 MAC rushers.
- Matthew Page (Ball State) - Page kept Keith Wenning off the ground as well as opening holes for Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks.
- Jared Volk (Northern Illinois) - Jordan Lynch was okay, I guess. Volk helped him out a bit with that.
The 2013 Hustle Belt All-MAC Football Team
We named our All-MAC team, honoring the best of the best from the 2013 season
- Jayrone Elliott (Toledo) - Elliott led MAC D-linemen with 14 tackles for loss. He also boasted nine sacks.
- Jonathan Newsome (Ball State) - Newsome led all conference defensive linemen with 10 sacks.
- Roosevelt Nix (Kent State) - Nix battled in the trenches all season finishing with 13 tackles for loss.
Jack Lambert Award
- Justin Cherocci (Central Michigan) - Cherocci finished with a conference-best 120 tackles.
- Khalil Mack (Buffalo) - Khalil Mack had 19 tackles for loss and a sack per game this season with two interception returns for scores.
- Junior Sylvestre (Toledo) - Toledo's linebacker finished second in tackles with 118.
Martin Bayless Trophy
- Travis Carrie (Ohio) - Carrie had four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns on Senior Day.
- Malachi Freeman (Akron) - Freeman had three interceptions and finished tied for the MAC lead with 18 passes defended.
- Jimmie Ward (Northern Illinois) - Ward led the MAC with six interceptions and also had 89 tackles.
The Zinc Zastudil
- Tyler Allen (Eastern Michigan) - EMU's Allen is the only return man with over 1,000 yards off of kick returns. He also had a 90-yard return for a touchdown against Ohio.
- Jeremiah Detmer (Toledo) - Detmer made 19-of-20 field goals in 2013 for the Rockets.
- Zac Murphy (Miami) - Murphy out-punted the entire MAC with 3,682 punting yards.
The Lunchables Newcomer of the Year Award
It's important to note that these are just what we feel the top 3 candidates for some of the awards are. There's three more awards that we didn't bother listing our top candidates for because the top winner will likely come from one of the finalists for the other awards.
These are the Bob Rowe Award, our defensive player of the year award, and THE Hustle Belt our offensive player of the year award. Oh, and The Future ACC/B1G Coach of the Year award, our award for the top MAC football coach.
Now comes the fun part. From now until midnight EST on Thursday night we're taking votes for the Hustle Belt awards. The way it works is you fill out this ballot (it's also embedded at the bottom of this post) by writing in the name of the player/coach (including what school they go to) in the blank next to each award for the person you think deserves the award. Ultimately the awards will be handed out using a five person panel, with the fan vote counting as one person. Matt Daley, Bryan M. Vance and myself will also be casting votes, and a voting member form UB Bull Run will have a vote as well. Friday morning we will tally the votes and name the award winners.