If you follow college football blogs much, you’re aware that the blogging community is heading towards its annual Sally Field moment with the 2007 College Football Blogger Awards. EDSBS is handling the Billy Crystal/Johnny Carson/Bob Hope role this year and you can find all the ground rules there.
In posting my nominations, I thought I’d take a slightly different tack. I really want to highlight a few bloggers who shine, but aren’t likely to get as much attention as the big boys in this nomination process. That’s not to say the latter aren’t deserving – one thing you can say about football blogging is that success is definitely merit based – but I’m not really worried that sites like EDSBS, MGoBlog, Sunday Morning Quarterback and others of their ilk aren’t going to get their just rewards. I just want to spread the love around a little.
Anyway, in that spirit, here are my nominees.
- Best new blog. Every once in a while, somebody comes up with a concept that makes me smack my head and think “Damn – why didn’t I come up with that?”. Such is the case with Best of the SEC Blogs. He’s basically a feed for SEC blogging, with commentary. Great idea and great execution.
- Best writing. It’s not a pure college football site, true, but I got hooked on Michael Elkon’s writing when he was a contributor at College Football News and I’ve followed him over to his fine blog, Braves & Birds. As a bonus to his well written, insightful blogging, he whomps on HeismanPundit’s “Gang of Six” crap and Stewart Mandel’s cluelessness better than anyone on the planet.
- Best post. Tommy Perkins inspired me to start a category at my blog on other bloggers’ good writing with this post about how some of Georgia’s rivals were doing going into last year’s signing day. One year later, this is still the best extended metaphor I’ve read in the college football blogging universe: Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful. Great stuff. My only gripe with Tommy is that he doesn’t post nearly enough.
- Best analysis. I suspect that Sunday Morning Quarterback will be the runaway winner in this category this year. He’s certainly deserving. In my mind, there are two ways to distinguish oneself from someone who simply throws a bunch of numbers against the wall hoping some of them will stick (Ed. note: gosh, guilty…). You can do it with substance, as SMQ does. Or you can obsess. And there’s nobody in college football blogging who can do obsession like it’s done over at USC Trojan Football Analysis. I mean, when you’re getting down to parsing Matt Leinart’s batted passes, you’re analyzing college football at the subatomic level. There is a ton of great stuff at his blog, even if you aren’t a Southern Cal fan. I have to admit that I have this disconcerting (and no doubt unfair) image of a pasty complexioned guy holed up in his parents’ basement with a computer and a DVD player, getting yelled at by him mom to come up and take the garbage out – but that’s part of the charm of the site.
- Best MSM blog. If you follow Georgia football blogging at all, you know about the righteous work that David Ching does at his site, the mundanely named Georgia Bulldog Blog. Ching gets my nod here not because he’s tireless – which he is – or that he manages to dispense his information without a trace of condescension (hear that, New York Times?) or without engaging in trivial potstirring (I’m talking about you, Chip Towers). And it’s not because he’s dishing out info on the team I follow (admittedly, that doesn’t hurt). The reason he deserves this award is that I think his blog represents a paradigm of how to dispense that part of the wealth of information that a good beat writer like Ching accumulates through the course of a season that doesn’t make it into his newspaper. Ching in his blog also manages to give us a feel for what he’s like and what his job is like. All in all, he’s close to invaluable for anyone who closely follows the program. Kudos to his employer, as well, for letting him dispense his work product in this way.
- The Job Award. This year, I don’t see how this can be given to anyone other than a Notre Dame blogger, and I agree with DawgSports’ MaconDawg that this year’s winner should be Rakes of Mallow. This post was just one sublime example of how to deal with your program going through the worst year in its history.
- Best Big Ten blog. I want to give the guys at Eleven Warriors a shoutout here. They’re entertaining and passionate. Plus, there’s that common bond we share of knowing what it’s like for Florida to screw up a good year. Sigh.
- Best Pac-10 blog. Shame on me for almost forgetting to mention Jonathan Tu’s 82 Sluggo Win. His road tour exploits have been a trip to follow. Plus, he’s the only football blogger I know of that got arrested for following his muse. That’s gotta count for something.
- Best SEC blog. Just as the conference has been the best due to its talent and depth, so has its blogging community. I’m amazed at how many quality SEC bloggers there are out there now (hell, I’m amazed how many quality Georgia football bloggers are out there now). It’s a tough call, but I give the nod to the guys over at Saurian Sagacity. (Yeah, I know they’re Gators. Sue me.) They care about their team, but were gracious in defeat this year, which is more than I can say about certain bloggers. They do some great stuff with statistical analysis on a variety of football topics, much of which made me think. And I thought their “Blog Swap” with other SEC bloggers was inspired. (But they still owe us that piece promised on the Georgia-Florida rivalry.)
That’s all I’ve got for now. Make sure you pitch in with your picks. After all, at the end of the day, when all the glitz and glamour from the work fade away, even a blogger likes a little love.