Two weeks remain in the regular season, and if you know who’s going to be the ACC’s player of the year, well, you’re far ahead of me.
Given the insipid tendency of many voters in balloting all across the sporting spectrum to hand individual awards to the best player on the best team – as opposed to, you know, the best player on ANY team – he might have a shot if Tech wins the Coastal Division.
I’m not sure there’s a right answer to this question. But here’s four possibilities besides Harris for the conference’s top player all season.
* FB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech: The league’s only 1,000-yard rusher so far also carries a nifty 6.6-yard average per carry. Sure, the Yellow Jackets run a ton, but in the absence of a steadier player, Dwyer might just be the conference’s best option.
* WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina: Regardless of yesterday’s modest day, Nicks has 53 receptions for 911 yards and eight touchdowns. He kept producing when quarterback T.J. Yates went down. He kept producing when fellow wideout Brandon Tate went down. The junior, assuming he turns in a couple solid games against sub-.500 N.C. State and Duke, would also be a fine choice.
* LB Clint Sintim, Virginia: Maybe not quite as deserving as Chris Long was last year, Sintim is still the best player I’ve seen in person all year. With 55 tackles and a league-leading 11 sacks, he’s given the Cavaliers a chance to salvage something out of the season after an ugly September. I’m dubious voters would go in this direction, but Sintim would be a worthy selection.
* QB Chris Turner, Maryland: Good Turner has showed up with incredible frequency, while Bad Turner has stayed away since delivering a clunker against Middle Tennessee. The junior’s engineered four victories over ranked teams and three fourth-quarter comebacks. He’s also thrown only one interception in his last 188 pass attempts. Is he the best player in the league? Uncertain, but he probably belongs in the discussion.
And if he’s in the discussion and the Terrapins happen to win the next two weeks, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Turner collects the hardware.