Senior quarterback Taylor Martinez and junior I-back Ameer Abdullah were named today to the Maxwell Award watch list for the best player in college football. Big news, right? Not really. These watch lists are typically the high point of July in the college football word because it's the only news (other than arrests), not because it actually means anything.
Why aren't these lists meaningful? They are comprehensive lists of anybody who might remotely be worth mentioning for the award. There's very little discretion used in selecting players; if you are the best player on a team that's probably going to a bowl game, you are on the list. So Johnny Manziel is on the list. So is Ohio running back Beau Blankenship. So were 72 other players.
So it's no surprise Martinez and Abdullah are on the list for Nebraska. It's not really news. And we'll repeat this process every day for the next two weeks. A watch list of everybody and anybody will be released, and schools will fire up the hype machine to hype up their players. Take this one from last year:
Yeah, that's right. Iowa's James Vandenberg was on the watch list for "Best Quarterback" last season, and we mocked it. It was proof that you didn't even have to be a decent player to make one of these lists. That didn't stop a few Iowa fans from stopping by to take issue with that.
If I were starting a team I would pick Vandenburg over (Taylor) Martinez any day. Vandenburg can make the throws Martinez can only dream of.
--- Pete's Sake
And that's what we get with these watch lists in July.
Otherwise known as a "slow news month".