Frank Solich said during MAC Media Day that Preseason Watch Lists for college football awards are nice for small conference teams who get to have their hard-working players recognized for their talent. But let's be real, how often does a Mid-American Conference star win a big-time post-season award? Here at Hustle Belt, we decided it's time to recognize the talent with our own individual awards.
Therefore, starting Monday we will be reeling off watch lists for imaginary but nonetheless super awesome awards for MAC football players. The list looks something like this:
Ben Roethlisberger Golden Arm Award (Announced Monday, Aug. 12)
Awarded to the conference's best field general, the award is named after former Miami RedHawk gunslinger Ben Roethlisberger who is the MAC's all-time leading passer in a season with 4,486 yards. Recently known more from actions in Milledgeville than Oxford.
Wasean Tait Trophy (Announced Tuesday, Aug. 13)
Wasean Tait toted the rock for the Toledo Rockets in the mid-90s where in 1995 he compiled the most rushing yards in a single season in MAC history with 2,090 yards. This award will go to our conference's most stellar running back. Oh, by the way, seven of them are on the Doak Walker Watch List.
Moss-Jennings Trophy (Announced Wednesday, Aug. 14)
Randy Moss is dope. Greg Jennings is dope. Let's use a hyphen. And yes (for dopeness reasons) Moss can be counted even though Marshall is no longer in the MAC. If I'm a Mid-American Conference wide receiver (or tight end,) I would want an actual trophy that had both of these legends on it.
Eric Fisher Award (Announced Thursday, Aug. 15)
It doesn't matter if he just graduated, Eric Fisher deserves the recognition. This award will go to the conference's best offensive lineman and will honor last year's first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Bob Rowe Award (Announced Friday, Aug. 16)
Bob Rowe won the first two Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 1965 and 1966. He is now honored by us with the name of our DPOY Award. And since he is a Western Michigan alum, the winner of this year's award must be able to Rowe the Boat.
The Bronze Babin (Announced Monday, Aug. 19)
There have been some pretty good defensive linemen, but how can you pass up on a name like the Bronze Babin? Jason Babin had 38 sacks and 299 tackles over his career at Western Michigan and was named DPOY twice. This award will go to the conference's best defensive lineman.
Lambert Linebacking Award (Announced Tuesday, Aug. 20)
Jack Lambert can definitely be considered on of the GOATs as far as Mid-American Conference alums go. The Pittsburgh Steelers great and Kent State legend now has more fake awards named after him than teeth during his football career.
Martin Bayless Trophy (Announced Wednesday, Aug. 21)
Martin Bayless had 27 interceptions over his career at Bowling Green with 10 in 1983. He then went on to play in the NFL for 14 seasons. This trophy is for the MACs best defensive back.
The Zinc Zastudil Award (Announced Thursday, Aug. 22)
With a name like Dave Zastudil, how can you go wrong? The veteran NFL punter and Ohio alum gets an award named after him because Zastudil is a more fun name than Antonio Brown (both won Special Team Player of the Year twice.)
THE Hustle Belt (Announced Friday, Aug. 23)
You can keep your Heisman Trophy (or like Reggie Bush and maybe some day Johnny Manziel, unwillingly give it back.) This is what it's all about, ladies and gents. The MVP of this wonderful conference gets an award that shares its namesake with our wonderful website.
The watch lists start rolling on Monday, so there is some time to persuade who will be preseason Top 5 for each award. Let the comments roll in. Also, there will be plenty of griping. Direct that on Twitter towards @Seth_Austin. I'm looking forward to it.