- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 25, 2001

Now that the college season has reached its midpoint, it's time for us to hand out our awards for the best and worst first-half performances:
Bronze Boy Only three players still have a legitimate chance of winning the Heisman Trophy: Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey, UCLA tailback DeShaun Foster and Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch. Dorsey has had a solid season for the top-ranked 'Canes, but he's surrounded by a supporting cast that would make Cecil B. DeMille blanch. We all know Miami could be 5-0 with Sebastian the ibis under center.
As for Foster, the UCLA senior leads the nation in rushing (155.0 yards per game) and is making a strong push to become the first Pac-10 Heisman winner since Marcus Allen (1981). But our midseason Heisman nod goes to Crouch, who has accounted for 21 touchdowns thus far, carrying the 'Huskers to an 8-0 start. Expect the versatile senior to make a huge game against No. 2 Oklahoma (7-0) this weekend the cornerstone of his campaign.
Pyrite Brick We toss the brick of ignominy for the season's biggest Heisman flop at Texas steer Chris Simms, who sealed his fate with a four-interception, no-touchdown dud in a 14-3 loss to Oklahoma. Oregon State's Ken Simonton, who was once accused of being a tailback, finishes a close second with his ghastly 3.88 average.
Velvet Bib This season's award for the player who gets drooled on by the most NFL scouts goes to North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers. The Tar Heels' one-man blitz has 17 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and three interceptions this season. Foster, Oklahoma safety Roy Williams and Fresno State quarterback David Carr also have seen their share of saliva.
Silent Cell Phone Nobody will be calling once-touted UNLV quarterback Jason Thomas on draft day. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder was supposed to be the total package, combining size, arm strength and 4.5 speed. Unfortunately, that package doesn't include quarterbacking skills see five touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 43.36 completion percentage, second worst among Division I-A starters.
Tweed Fedora In honor of Bear Bryant, our top coaching kudos go to Maryland's Ralph Friedgen, who has the Terps impersonating a football team in just his first year at the helm. We just wanted to blow the Fridge one more kiss before Florida State turns his bandwagon into a pumpkin this weekend. Also considered were Fresno State's Pat Hill, Georgia's Mark Richt, UCLA's Bob Toledo and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops.
Faust Cup Given annually to the coach who murders as much blue-chip talent as Gerry Faust did at Notre Dame, this year's cup goes to Oregon State's Dennis Erickson. The Beavers (2-4) were supposed to contend for the national title, but Erickson and Co. couldn't manage a renegade redux.
At least Erickson will be invited to stay on the sideline in Corvallis. Pink slips are likely forthcoming for Notre Dame's Bob Davie, California's Tom Holmoe, Duke's Carl Franks, Navy's Charlie Weatherbie, Idaho's Tom Cable, Indiana's Cam Cameron and Houston's Dana Dimel.
Silver Spurrier This season's silver visor as college football's most quotable coach goes to UCLA's Bob Toledo. The Bruins' skipper has authored a memorable line seemingly every week. After the Bruins ran their record to 6-0 last week against Cal, Toledo was asked if he was happy his team was bowl eligible. Toledo said, "Yeah, I told the guys that we're in the toilet bowl right now, and we'll spend the rest of the season moving up."
Great Pumpkin Given in honor of Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer, who is almost as dull in an interview as he is sartorially striking. This season's least quotable coach is Nebraska's Frank Solich. The head 'Husker can wear you down almost as quickly as his offensive line, making a five-minute interview seem like several lifetimes.
BCS Bully Our nod for the nation's top team goes to Miami. Forget the BCS standings, which have Miami ranked No. 4. The 'Canes have the best offensive line, the best secondary, the best stable of running backs and one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. This season's Hurricanes are sturdier than Jimmy Johnson's hair.
Golden Twinkie Virginia Tech (6-0) is by far the most overrated team in college football. Much has been made of Miami's soft schedule, but it's tough to fault the Hurricanes for scheduling what they thought would be brutal non-conference road games against Penn State and Florida State.
In contrast, the Hokies' non-conference slate consisted of home games against patsies Connecticut, Western Michigan and Central Florida. Virginia Tech will play just one Top 25 team this season (Miami on Dec. 1), and that game will be at home and likely in Hokie-friendly frigid conditions. If Tech runs the table and sneaks into the Rose Bowl with such a pathetic resume, every one-loss team in the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-10 should boycott the BCS.


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