What's up, BN. Your fantastic webmasters wanted me to post this here as well, so here we go:
The general attitude of the blogosphere is that the mainstream media, for the most part, cannot be trusted to handle matters of great importance to college football. There are exceptions, where an ESPN pundit or SI writer will drop some knowledge that is both relevant, well-said and accurate, but most of the time it's just a bunch of yada yada. Last season, Brian invented the idea of the BlogPoll, and after a successful run in 2005, it appears to have started just as strongly with the first preseason offering.
Next to the national championship, the other aspect of the NCAA football season where the most ink and speech is spent on is the player of the year. Generally, it is the Heisman that garners all of the attention, with preseason campaigns starting in February, fancy websites and rankings and predictions popping up every weekend. There are certain sites in cyberspace that monitor the race, but they spend more time predicting and less time trying to figure out who is actually deserving of the award.
Enter the Jan to the Heisman's Marcia, the Maxwell Award. The Maxwell is a Player of the Year trophy with some pizzazz, going against the Heisman and awarding it to deserving players such as Vince Young, Eli Manning, Ken Dorsey and Larry Johnson. Despite the fact there's little reason beyond no sweet pose, the Maxwell, along with the Walter Camp, don't get nearly enough credit.
We're trying to change that.
When I floated the idea of a BlogHeisman, it was the always-brilliant SundayMorningQuarterback that suggested we channel the unheralded yet still beautiful Maxwell. What was originally going to be a Heisman straw poll, after much discussion and debate, has morphed into something even better: A player of the year award, voted on by bloggers, that will highlight players who might not play quarter or tailback for a BCS school in the national title hunt. Stalwart offensive linemen. Doppelganger-like defensive backs. Sure-handed wide receivers. All of those positions shunned by the Heisman will be embraced by the Maxwell Pundit, the first player of the year award voted on by those in the college football blogosphere.
Each week, and I realize there will be votes all over the place for the first month or two, a group of college football blogs whose rooting interests are scattered throughout the country will submit their top five Maxwell Award winner selections, providing commentary and arguments for their picks. Most importantly, the varied perspectives will allow all of us who don't get to see every game every week gain the knowledge of great individual performances from a eclectic group of watchful eyes. At the end of the season - the bowl season, so the most important games are included in who wins the award - we'll give out this beautiful trophy to a deserving individual, regardless of position or alma mater.
I wish everyone could be included in this, but considering I lack the programming skills of Brian, we're going to do this the old-fashioned way: pen, paper and formatted Excel spreadsheets. The following sites are onboard to start submitting their ballots after Miami and Florida State tussle on September 4th and continue monitoring the best players in the nation until we settle things ultimately in Glendale on the 8th of January.
Burnt Orange Nation (Major thanks to Pete for helping me conceptualize this and giving me some of the sites that should have been involved. Incase none of you already make BON a daily stop, you really should.)
Everyday Should Be Saturday
Sunday Morning Quarterback (A lot of credit to Matt for helping us out with the name. Pure genius.)
And of course, this site will also be contributing a top five, unless there is complaints of an Irish voting bloc helping to secure a top five finish of Quinn-Samardjiza-Walker-Zbikowski-Abiamiri. (Which is our goal, by the way.) We're pretty exciting about this, obviously, and hope that everyone can put in their input on players that need to be watched and those whose numbers are just a hollow and false idol of deservingness. Plan on having your MaxwellPundit Top Five up every Wednesday in time for your lunch break, barring any sort of ND server meltdowns or voting tardiness.
I hope you all are as excited as we are about this, and if its half as successful as the BlogPoll, we'll have a very good thing on our hands.