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2022 CBS Sports college football awards: Caleb Williams, Sonny Dykes headline honorees

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The 2022 college football season was all about bringing together the familiar with a new, must-have history with an eye on the future as we go through a transition in the sport. At the end of 2021, the wild coaching carousel reset clocks across several blue-blooded programs, conference reorganization went crazy again over the summer, and in the college football playoffs, expansion efforts stalled, resumed, and eventually ended by the time we got to the end. calendar.

And while the row between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fischer in May—plus the debacle of Brian Harsin at the Auburn in late spring—provided an interesting conversation related to global changes in the sport, many American football fans were pleased to see the focus return to real games in the fall. That’s where college football caught our attention with a reminder of the familiar and an introduction to the new.

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Georgia returned to the ranks as the reigning champions and did nothing to deprive them of their leadership status. dog dude in the sport, while Michigan proved that even two coordinator changes and a new quarterback won’t shake his newfound position. in The Power of the Big Ten. Ohio State is back in a familiar position with only one loss separating it from controlling its own destiny, though this year coincided with 2014 and 2017 when the Buckeyes’ one-loss profile was still strong enough to make the playoffs.

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But there are also new items for 2022, as it is the first college football playoff not to feature Alabama or Clemson, while TCU makes its first appearance in the CFP after being left 11-1 in 2014. The 2022 season year marks the first year. The Big Ten got two teams in a four-team playoff, although even that has some notoriety as the Buckeyes are playing for the third time in four seasons with Ryan Day as coach.

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You might be interested in new hires like TCU’s Sonny Dykes, USC’s Lincoln Riley, and Louisiana State University’s Brian Kelly, all playing conference championship games, or looking at the future of the sport as the transfer portal continues, the NIL and the playfield expands -off. knock off the field. But there were epic games with the fall of Alabama and Clemson, a wild 6-6 ride for Oklahoma, and a revival season for Tennessee. The past and future of college football have been linked in 2022 and now it’s time to give it its due by paying tribute to some of the best of the best in the sport. Don’t miss our 2022 CBS Sports/247Sports All-American Team.

2022 CBS Sports College Football Awards

Coach of the Year: Sonny Dykes, TCU


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It’s hard to follow in the footsteps of a coach who has a statue outside the stadium, but Sonny Dykes found magic in a group that came out 5-7 years ago and helped lead one of the most successful seasons in TCU history. TCU recorded 12 regular season wins for the first time since 2009-10, when Gary Patterson led the Horned Frogs to BCS bowl games and finished in the top six in the polls. Now, for the first time in the program’s history, in the college football playoffs – avenging the disappointment of being snubbed in 2014 – TCU has its best chance of challenging for a national championship, and Dykes’ leadership in that effort is deserving of an award. here at the end of the season.

Consider how calm TCU was in the last crazy moments of their 29-28 win against Baylor. The Horned Frogs had no timeouts, launched the last-second field goal team with running seconds, and executed perfectly to maintain an unbeaten regular season record. Dykes said there was no panic after the game thanks to the team’s practice, but no amount of reps can prepare a team for this moment like the confidence a coach and assistants inspire on and off the field.

TCU closed the second-half gap in five of 12 wins this season – and almost did it again in the Big 12 championship game before succumbing in overtime against Kansas State. It’s a resilient team that doesn’t falter and by many accounts it comes from the very top thanks to Dykes’ influence in the dressing room. Long considered the best offensive mind in the game, Dykes looks to have mastered the intangibles with TCU this season and deserves our recognition as Coach of the Year.

Player of the Year: Caleb Williams, QB, USC


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The arrival of Williams, along with coach Lincoln Riley and a slew of other transfers, has helped USC improve its win total by seven games from 2021 to 2022, equaling the most significant single-season turnaround in program history. Williams has 47 total touchdowns (37 passes, 10 rushes) and just four interceptions, breaking single-season school records for total touchdowns and total offensive yards. In addition, he is the highest-scoring USC quarterback in rushing yards ever.

But it’s not just that Williams has added his name to the upper echelon of college football royalty through the USC record books, where he could also join the Trojan fraternity of Heisman Trophy winners, but also his standing among his peers in 2022. Williams ranks first in the nation in passing touchdowns (37), first in points per game (21.7), third in passes (4,075), sixth in passing efficiency (167.94), and seventh in scoring. gears. yards per attempt (9.1). The USC attack remained productive despite multiple injuries in key positions. With their QB1 in the roster, the Trojans finished the regular season and entered the top five in the country both in scoring and in total attacks.

Williams also excelled in some of the biggest games of the USC campaign with 11 wins. He threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns at Utah, threw for 470 yards and three touchdowns at UCLA, threw for four touchdowns at Notre Dame the following week and threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns against Utah in the championship game. Pac-12, which might have looked very different if he hadn’t broken his hamstring in the first quarter. In other words, Williams was great all year but was also able to take his game to the next level when it mattered.

Freshman of the Year: Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss


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Lane Kiffin may have enjoyed the King of Portals crown in the offseason, but his most important rookie was a three-star running back drafted from Alabama in the class of 2022. Judkins was the star of one of the nation’s most popular rushes, leading the SEC and ranked in the top 10 nationally in both total touchdowns (17) and yards per game (123.0).

Ole Miss’s attack as part of the group ranked 3rd in the nation for average size and broke the program’s single-season record (3,139), a mark that has stood in the record books since 1957. Judkins has already set Ole Miss single season records individually. for yards (1476) and quick touchdowns (16). He had one of the best SEC freshman seasons in conference history, ranking among the likes of Herschel Walker and Nick Chubb in footage.

Judkins’ breakthrough came unexpectedly, not only because of his high school rankings, but also because of a crowded runners’ room that featured top transfers from TCU (Zach Evans) and SMU (Ulysses Bentley IV). But by the time Ole Miss got to grips with the Securities and Exchange Commission schedule, it was Judkins who had become the alpha. In the final six games of the season, he averaged 25.8 rushing and 149.2 yards. Plenty of other real freshmen played spectacularly or put on outstanding games, but no one was as important to their team’s success as Judkins in Oxford, Mississippi.


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