Hendon Hooker is not among the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Josh Heupel is not among the eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year. Somehow, though, they and Tennessee football are cleaning up on other awards, making for a wildly inconsistent finish.
Three Vols made first team AP All-SEC in Hooker at quarterback, Darnell Wright on the offensive line and Jalin Hyatt at wide receiver. Byron Young made second team. Hooker was named AP SEC Player of the Year, and Heupel was named AP Coach of the Year.
Meanwhile, the Coaches also had high praise for Tennessee football. Hooker, Hyatt, Wright and Byron Young all made first team Coaches All-SEC. Hooker was named Coaches SEC Offensive Player of the Year as well. Simply put, he cleaned up.
On both All-SEC teams, Hooker was above Stetson Bennett of the Georgia Bulldogs at quarterback. He also one player of the year and offensive player of the year over Bennett. Somehow, though, Bennett received an invite to the Heisman ceremony, not Hooker.
The same can be said of Heupel. Now, Georgia’s Kirby Smart was named SEC Coach of the Year by the coaches. However, Heupel earned it from the AP. Somehow, though, only Smart is on the list of finalists for National Coach of the Year. How could Heupel beat him for SEC Coach of the Year but not join him as a finalist?
It’s even crazier when it comes to national awards. At the College Football Awards show Thursday night, Hooker is one of three finalists for the Maxwell Award and one of five for the Walter Camp Award. Both recognize the best player in the sport, and neither have Bennett.
Somehow, though, Hooker wasn’t able to make the list of finalists for the Davey O’Brien Award, which just recognizes the best quarterback. Seriously, how could Hooker be up for the Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards but not the Heisman and Davey O’Brien Award?
In other news, Tennessee football offensive coordinator Alex Golesh, who is now head coach of the South Florida Bulls, was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant. However, he didn’t win. That already went to TCU Offensive Coordinator Garrett Riley.
Hyatt, for his part, is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best receiver. He’s joined by Marvin Harrison Jr. of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Xavier Hutchinson of the Iowa State Cyclones.
Despite the fact that Hyatt has more yards and touchdowns than both of them, what has happened recently suggests he still won’t win the award. That’ll further the conspiracy theory, that seems well grounded now, of hatred towards Tennessee football.