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Hot Reads: 2013 Chinstrap Awards nominees

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It's doubtful Mark Richt cares much about that No. 5 ranking, but you can bet some fans with long memories do. (Source: Steven Colquitt/Georgia Athletics) It's doubtful Mark Richt cares much about that No. 5 ranking, but you can bet some fans with long memories do. (Source: Steven Colquitt/Georgia Athletics)
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney takes down Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel during their game last season. (Source: South Carolina Athletics) South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney takes down Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel during their game last season. (Source: South Carolina Athletics)
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This is the first of a two-part series previewing notable players and coaches nominated for Hot Reads' exclusive (because, of course, I made them up) Chinstrap Awards, also known as the "Chinnys." Part two will appear Thursday.

 

(RNN) - What does Jadeveon Clowney have in common with Johnny Manziel, aside from the fact both their first names may end up "Heisman Trophy winner?"

They could also become major disappointments in what is already shaping up as a wild season.

Don't take this as hate, but as always, Hot Reads is committed to bringing you a heavy dose of reality to balance your pigskin-induced euphoria.

I'll begin that tradition anew this season by unveiling my early favorites for the Chinstrap Awards.

Fortunately for me, there are no "like" or "dislike" options on this page.

But fortunately for you, this column was written completely free from the influence of mind-altering substances like pork rinds and malted hops.

Best Drama

Frontrunner: Texas A&M – Because the sideshow off the field is way better than anything they do within a 120-yard by 53-yard space. If you have to ask why the Fightin' Manziels are a favorite to win this award, I really wouldn't mind if you stopped reading now.

Other nominees:

Kristi Malzahn - Can coaching contracts include clauses for spousal gag orders?

South Carolina - A Heisman campaign and a two-headed quarterback. Fun.

Ole Miss - Just be glad people care enough about your program to accuse you of cheating.

Best Comedic Performance

Frontrunner: James Franklin, Vandy – He's always a good bet to do something hilarious, like say, pretending to kiss one of his players during a bowl game. He's already promised to call a fan's boss and explain his absence from work to catch the Commodores' season opener.

Only Joe Maddon can get away with more ridiculous things while at the helm of a team.

Other nominees:

Mark Richt - His clock management in the final seconds of the SEC Championship was laughable, so technically that counts, right?

Steve Spurrier - Is it the Southern drawl or that he actually believes a lot of the stuff he says?

Jadeveon Clowney vs. 1-on-1 blocking - Or even double teams. It's all fun and games until a quarterback gets killed.

Jockstrap Award

Frontrunner: Jojo Kemp, RB, Kentucky – The reserve who will likely do the most to support his team is playing on a squad that needs all the extra hands it can get.

Aside from a serious need for more talent, we can unanimously agree this program needed some more toughness. If the reaction of coach Mark Stoops is any indication, Kemp brings both. Yeah, he's a freshman, but tell that to the next nominee for this award.

Other Nominees:

Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia - We might as well call him RB #4 because only in a video game can a freshman backup run for 759 yards and eight TDs … (EA Sports calling on line 2) On second thought, forget I made that video game comment.

Brandon Williams, RB, Texas A&M - Could push Ben Malena and Trey Williams for carries, which is saying a lot.

Barry Brunetti, QB, Ole Miss - Not highly regarded, but if Bo Wallace gives Hugh Freeze many more gray hairs, start looking for a No. 11 jersey on the field.

Bottom-of-the-Pile Award

Frontrunner: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – If over-incentivized tacklers or NCAA violations don't bury him, his school's nonexistent public relations department just might. How does a Heisman Trophy winner not named O.J. Simpson fall so fast? Come to think of it, problems for both of them resulted from a fight over memorabilia.

Other nominees:

Tyler Russell, QB, Miss. State - Last season he followed a 7-0 start with a 1-5 finish, and his top four receivers are gone. It's not like that's an impossible situation or anything … right?

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia - His biggest enemy is that No. 5 preseason ranking. Murray will do his job, but he'll get blamed because the defense will fail him.

Jadeveon Clowney - Just hear me out. With all the hype, anything short of 30 sacks and unearthing Jimmy Hoffa would be somewhat disappointing. Heisman voters are fickle, and so are a lot of fans.

No "I" in Team Award

Frontrunner: Alabama – Even if you don't like them, it's hard to argue for someone else as the most well-rounded team in the conference. You have to search hard for statistical leaders in any category aside from the only one that counts - wins.

Other nominees:

LSU - Every bit as much talent as the Tide, but with a slightly more bitter aftertaste.

Vanderbilt - I'm not saying matching or improving last season's success is a given, but not many people can feel good about playing a team that throws the kitchen sink at them.

Florida - Yes, they deserve consideration as long as Jeff Driskel develops as a passer and gets the ball into the hands of an athlete, like oh say, Trey Burton. Remember him?

Unknown-to-Unstoppable Award

Frontrunner: Austyn Carta-Samuels, QB, Vandy - Most quarterbacks pray for the situation he's in - four linemen returning, three talented running backs and one of the best receiver duos in the country (if Chris Boyd's rape accessory charges don't stick). But Carta-Samuels is also a talented player with a strong arm.

He's a fifth-year senior on a rising team who had a lot of success as a two-year starter at Wyoming. If Confidence was a cologne, you'd smell this kid from across the room.

Other nominees:

Raymond Sanders, RB, Kentucky - My goodness, that speed.

Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas - His right arm might be the only cannon that can fire without making a sound.

James Franklin, QB, Mizzou - He was one of the best dual-threat QBs in the nation before battling injuries last season. A healthy body and a year of SEC wisdom could spell trouble.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Web Poll

  • What player will make the biggest impact in the SEC this season?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
    36%
    5 votes
    A.J. McCarron (Alabama)
    29%
    4 votes
    Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
    14%
    2 votes
    Aaron Murray (Georgia)
    0%
    0 votes
    Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
    7%
    1 vote
    Other
    14%
    2 votes
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