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Countdown to Kickoff (45): It’s “Watch List” season, the most pointless time of the year

Congrats to you, the fan, on landing on the Biletnikoff Watch List.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

When I fired up the ole Twitter machine this morning to get my daily serving of people being mad online, I was reminded that today starts the most unimportant portion of the college football off-season.

I am referring to “Watch List” season. This is a special time of year in which unknown committees of people collect a list of pretty much every college football player to be considered for one of their end-of-year awards. Some media folks and fans see this as a legitimate recognition, where their players are getting the praise they deserve. But if you look closely at these lists, they mean absolutely nothing.

Just like the pre-season top 25 rankings, these watch lists are straight-up guesses. Did you quarterback throw for more than five touchdowns last year? Congrats, you’re on the Davey O’Brien Watch List. Did your receiver catch a touchdown pass that got him featured on SportsCenter? Well guess what, he’s on the Biletnikoff Watch List. Do you have a player over 300 lbs on your roster? You better believe he’s on the Outland Watch List. Then there’s the Maxwell Watch List does a great job of covering all their bases with a list of 80 players (all of which are listed below). Some of these guys didn’t even play last year!

These lists can be catnip for BYU fans because there is a common sentiment that the players and coaches in Provo get overlooked by the national media. So when a college football award committee comes out with a fancy list that includes Zach Wilson or Matt Bushman there is a false sense of validation.

But make no mistake — The only real validation will come on football field, you know, when games are actually being played. It might feel nice knowing that someone besides the local media knows the names of the players on BYU’s roster but these lists mean little else.

So let’s hold off on getting excited about shot in the dark predictions and instead save that energy for when we win a game or two.


2019 Maxwell Award Watch List

Cam Akers RB Junior Florida State

LeVante Bellamy RB Senior Western Michigan

Eno Benjamin RB Junior Arizona State

Jake Bentley QB Senior South Carolina

Ian Book QB Senior Notre Dame

Alan Bowman QB Sophomore Texas Tech

Charlie Brewer QB Junior Baylor

Spencer Brown RB Junior UAB

Kelly Bryant QB Senior Missouri

Joe Burrow QB Senior LSU

Reggie Corbin RB Senior Illinois

K.J. Costello QB Senior Stanford

JT Daniels QB Sophomore USC

AJ Dillon RB Junior Boston College

J.K. Dobbins RB Junior Ohio State

Jacob Eason QB Junior Washington

Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB Junior LSU

Sam Ehlinger QB Junior Texas

Travis Etienne RB Junior Clemson

Darrynton Evans RB Junior Appalachian State

Maurice Ffrench WR Senior Pitt

Justin Fields QB Sophomore Ohio State

Mason Fine QB Senior North Texas

Feleipe Franks QB Junior Florida

Jake Fromm QB Junior Georgia

James Gilbert RB Senior Kansas State

Jarrett Guarantano QB Junior Tennessee

KJ Hamler WR Sophomore Penn State

Najee Harris RB Junior Alabama

Justin Herbert QB Senior Oregon

Kylin Hill RB Junior Mississippi State

Kelvin Hopkins QB Senior Army

Chuba Hubbard RB Sophomore Oklahoma State

Jalen Hurts QB Senior Oklahoma

Jerry Jeudy WR Junior Alabama

Tyler Johnson WR Senior Minnesota

Joshua Kelley RB Senior UCLA

Adrian Killins RB Senior UCF

D’Eriq King QB Senior Houston

CeeDee Lamb WR Junior Oklahoma

Trevor Lawrence QB Sophomore Clemson

Jordan Love QB Junior Utah State

Adrian Martinez QB Sophomore Nebraska

Cole McDonald QB Junior Hawaii

Anthony McFarland RB Sophomore Maryland

Kirk Merritt WR Senior Arkansas State

Kellen Mond QB Junior Texas A&M

Steven Montez QB Senior Colorado

Rondale Moore WR Sophomore Purdue

Zack Moss RB Senior Utah

Jaret Patterson RB Sophomore Buffalo

Shea Patterson QB Senior Michigan

Lamical Perine RB Senior Florida

Bryce Perkins QB Senior Virginia

Malcolm Perry QB Senior Navy

Scottie Phillips RB Senior Ole Miss

James Proche WR Senior SMU

Brock Purdy QB Sophomore Iowa State

Jalen Reagor WR Junior TCU

Justyn Ross WR Sophomore Clemson

Nathan Rourke QB Senior Ohio

Anthony Russo QB Junior Temple

Stevie Scott RB Sophomore Indiana

Laviska Shenault WR Junior Colorado

B.J. Smith RB Senior Troy

Nate Stanley QB Senior Iowa

D’Andre Swift RB Junior Georgia

Tua Tagovailoa QB Junior Alabama

Khalil Tate QB Senior Arizona

Toa Taua RB Sophomore Nevada

J.J. Taylor RB Junior Arizona

Patrick Taylor RB Senior Memphis

Jonathan Taylor RB Junior Wisconsin

Zac Thomas QB Junior Appalachian State

Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB Senior Vanderbilt

Tylan Wallace WR Junior Oklahoma State

Michael Warren RB Junior Cincinnati

Juwan Washington RB Senior San Diego State

Ryan Willis QB Senior Virginia Tech

Zach Wilson QB Sophomore BYU