Preseason football is meaningless football, but that won’t stop us from handing out imaginary trophies to the luminaries of spring. Be sure to also check out Andy Staples’ post-spring Top 25 and Stewart Mandel’s 10 spring lessons.
• The Paul Erdős Plaque for Most Relentlessly Complex Spring Game Scoring System: Auburn, which awarded players extra points for “explosive plays” and consecutive first downs, confounding all onlookers.
• The Mark Mangino Medal of Mean Expectation Lowering: Quoth Dana Holgorsen, tempering fan panic as he tinkers with his offense: ”The guys in there? If we’re playing with them in the fall, we’re not going to win.”
• Most Likely To Announce His Own Retirement At Halftime Of The First Game Due To Incurable Sadness: We had Frank Spaziani slotted in here until about three minutes before hitting the “publish” button, when we realized we’re not sure if he’s capable of processing human sadness. Would Kirk Ferentz make an able runner-up candidate? He keeps right on losing running backs, had to replace two coordinators and has a Week 1 date with Northern Illinois. The Huskies are themselves replacing Chandler Harnish, but if Jordan Lynch can even prove a halfway passable facsimile … oh, man.
• The King Henry I Eel Surfeit Memorial Keychain: Louisiana Tech, you exhaust us just reading over your spring game stats. Sonny Dykes’ third-year hatchling Air Raid class recorded 54 points and 830 yards in 111 plays during the Bulldogs’ final scrimmage.
• The YellaWood Gaptoothed Picket Fence Award for No Linemen Whatsoever: Boise State, which (despite some comforting math) is replacing five defensive linemen in the Broncos’ already-steep 2012 reloading campaign.
• The Rick Neuheisel Memorial Key for Divine Wrath-Tempting, Sponsored By Malibu: UCLA, which continues to pretend it will have viable options at quarterback for the foreseeable future, despite the Bruins’ unproud history of inexplicable bad luck keeping their QBs healthy:
The last time UCLA’s No. 1 QB made it thru a season was 2005 (Drew Olson). Kevin Craft was No. 3 before Ben Olson and Pat Cowan got hurt.
— chris foster (@cfosterlatimes) March 27, 2012
• The Myron Pryor Pounds of Glory Award for Most Promising Fat Guy Touchdown Generator: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee. While this is typically a defensive award, the thought of a 6-foot-6, 329-pound guy who goes by “Tiny” scooping up a fumble and lumbering for a touchdown shines light into every corner of the charred black pits where our hearts should be.
• The Stacy Ann Ferguson Sad Clown Trophy for Most Miserably Apt Staging: Indiana, for moving its spring game indoors while fleeing an oncoming metaphor front.
• The Ben Siegert Blue Ribbon for the Saddest Arrest of Spring: BC lineman Jaryd Rudolph, who made an audio-only sex tape without the consent of its participants. At the time, we dubbed this the “losing to one-win Maryland of erotica.”
• Best Use of ‘Position Battle’ To Describe A Roster Situation Where All Options Are Unpalatable: Penn State. Your quarterbacks. Woof.
• The Captain Steven Hiller “Welcome To Earth” Medallion for Strangers In A Strange Land: We should probably go ahead and just rename this after Mike Leach, whose players are maybe just now realizing what they’re in for:
Leach wants Lintz to have violent hands, a common theme throughout the spring. He elaborated with the following: [...] ”He needs to be like those grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park that start tipping over dumpsters and throwing garbage out of them at the lodges. Next practice, we’re going to stick a dumpster in front of him, full of goodies.” [...] Asked about what they’d put in the dumpster, Leach wasn’t so sure yet.
Lintz, when asked about it, added: ”I don’t know … grizzly bear? If he gives me some food. I’d rather he cook the meat. I don’t really like raw meat. I hope he cooks the meat before he gives it to me.”
The Switzies will return in August for fall camp accolades.