Offensive Player of the Year
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Yep, him again.
College football's been naming All-Americans for more than 100 years, since before bowl games were even a thing.
Now that we have not one, not two, but dozens of bowl games and a College Football Playoff, it's probably time we started incorporating the season's biggest games into our postseason awards.
So here's the only 2015 All-America team that was voted on after the season actually ended.
Deshaun Watson's regular season was a few breaks away from the Heisman Trophy. His postseason came even closer to a national championship. Watson's Vince Young-like performance against Alabama pushed him into the 4,000 passing yards/1,000 rushing yards club. He's the only FBS member.
Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry have drastically different styles. McCaffrey flashed his way to breaking Barry Sanders' all-purpose yardage record in fewer touches, then poured 277 yards on Iowa in the Rose Bowl. Henry simply outlasted all the regular humans in his path, bowling over the SEC's single-season rushing record and scoring three Playoff touchdowns.
Despite being just one of Baylor's many weapons to miss time, Corey Coleman still put up at least as many receiving touchdowns as more than half the country's entire teams did, juking folks into orbit along the way.
Josh Doctson led all Power 5 receivers in yards per game, finishing No. 11 in total yardage despite only really playing in nine games and the Frogs also suffering QB damage.
Michigan improved from 5-7 to 10-3 under Jim Harbaugh despite a roster that wasn't all that different from Brady Hoke's. Nobody embodied that improvement more than Jake Butt, who went from a 21-catch, 211-yard 2014 to 51 for 654. And he's the player with a last name so great, even his head coach just loves saying it.
Spencer Drango anchored a Baylor offense that only ceded 15 sacks all season and ran for six yards per carry, ranking No. 1 in Offensive S&P+, No. 10 in Adjusted Sack Rate and No. 4 in Rushing Success Rate. Pro Football Focus called Drango a "a well-rounded Draft prospect" after he helped break the all-time team bowl rushing record against North Carolina.
Jack Conklin spent his third season as Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook's bodyguard in a Big Ten East that featured two of the top four sack-getters in the country, plus potential No. 1 Draft pick Joey Bosa. Conklin was perhaps the only bright spot in MSU's Playoff loss, earning the second-highest PFF score by any player in the Cotton Bowl.
Joshua Garnett was part of a Stanford line that hammered (and we do mean hammered) open holes for Christian McCaffrey, while Landon Turner generated push for a surprisingly excellent North Carolina offense. The Tar Heels finished No. 3 in the country in yards per carry and No. 19 in sacks allowed, paving the way for the Heels to post 40.7 points per game and challenge Clemson in the ACC. Stanford, meanwhile, left greasy streaks of Iowa Hawkeye all throughout Pasadena.
Derrick Henry called Ryan Kelly the "heart and soul" of the national champions' offense. He capped his Rimington Trophy season by leading 440-plus-yard days against Oklahoma and Clemson.
Shaq Lawson might have been the best defensive player in the country, the most important player on a front that ranked No. 2 in Stuff Rate and No. 9 in Adjusted Sack Rate. He led the country in tackles for loss with 25.5 and posted three sacks in the Playoff, despite being injured for almost the entirety of both games.
Joey Bosa's sacks numbers declined from 13.5 to 5, and he was suspended for the Buckeyes' first game of the year and ejected for targeting in the Fiesta Bowl. But numbers only tell part of the story. Just look at him taking on triple teams and weightrooming offensive linemen for the rest of it. (And he finished No. 2 in the Big Ten in tackles for loss per game, so it's not like his numbers were anything to be ashamed of.)
Alabama had the country's best rushing defense (and passing defense, and ... ), and that all started up front. When A'Shawn Robinson wasn't busy eating blockers, he was box-jumping his 312-pound frame high enough to block field goals and playing extremely full fullback in the National Championship. Much of that goes for Robert Nkemdiche as well, who was in the middle of the country's No. 5 defense in Power Success Rate.
Reggie Ragland was the ringleader of the country's No. 1 defense and its leader in tackles, and his might be the first of many Bama names called on NFL Draft weekend. Easy.
Jaylon Smith had 115 tackles and nine for a loss for the Irish, and only an injury in the Fiesta Bowl kept him from producing more against Ohio State.
Temple's Tyler Matakevich is also in here, but we've got more on him below.
Desmond King is an All-America candidate in both the secondary and the return game. He intercepted eight passes and defended 13 more, leading what became one of the most entertaining secondaries in the country. "His blend of agility, toughness and IQ is rare even by Iowa's lofty standards for cornerbacks," wrote Black Heart Gold Pants.
Vernon Hargreaves III worked against elite receivers all season long and finished with four interceptions. And there was that time he danced his way into an INT while the Gators were shocking Ole Miss.
Vonn Bell was the biggest name in the secondary for the country's No. 3 pass defense, remaining an over-the-middle deterrent while breaking up nine passes.
Duke hybrid "strike safety" Jeremy Cash had 18 tackles for loss, the most by any defensive back in at least a decade.
Kai'imi Fairbairn was 20-of-24 on field goals and a perfect 47-of-47 on extra points. He won the Lou Groza Award and became the Pac-12's all-time leading scorer. But where he really shined was in field position, booming 64.55 yards per kickoff and the highest touchback percentage of any kicker without an out-of-bounds kick, with the best mark in both stats by anybody since 2012.
Tom Hackett is back on this team for a second year in a row, producing a nation-leading 48.29-yard average against teams with winning records. He was also the most colorful punter since Brad Wing himself, breaking a 33-yard run against Oregon, calling BYU "bastards" before the Holy War, declaring he hates running one week prior to running a fake in the Las Vegas Bowl, and livetweeting the theft and return of his car.
Christian McCaffrey was No. 2 in kick return yardage against Power 5 opponents among players who faced 10 or more such opponents, which is good, but we'll just repeat that he broke Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yardage record in fewer touches.
The home stretch. And as this is SB Nation, we've got your GIF of the year.
Yep, him again.
Temple went from No. 115 in Defensive S&P+ in 2013 to No. 18 in 2015, which is not only a ludicrous turnaround but also far beyond where the recently struggling mid-major should be expected to rank. The single biggest reason is this former two-star. Along the way to Temple's best season since the 1970s, he ranked No. 3 in the country in tackles against FBS opponents, led the Owls in tackles for loss and led all linebackers in interceptions, with five.
If you don't like Dabo, it might be for all the same reasons people dislike John Cena. Swinney will remind his players of the importance of heart and guts. He will not flinch or waver once. He is a wrestler playing a face character, with a capital F. If that is not your thing, then Dabo Swinney is definitely not your thing, especially if you are not into personalities that are effortlessly meme-able. There is another Cena thing here: Dabo wins. That includes two conference titles, four straight bowl wins, and a top-10 finish in the AP Poll in 2013. Clemson under Swinney is consistently excellent for the first time since the Danny Ford era in the '80s.
Voters: Alex Alvarado, Alex Nicolas, Alex Stark, Andy Mitts, Anthony Broome, Avinash Kunnath, Ben Swain, Benjamin Tankersley, Billy Gomila, Bob Lynch, Brandon Fitzsimons, Brian Anderson, Brian Towle, Bud Elliott, Cam Underwood, Cari Greene, cb969, Curt Hogg, David Speck, David Visser, Erik Evans, Gerald Tracy, Graham Filler, Griffin Whitmer, Henry Bushnell, Ian Boyd, Jack Follman, Jake Lantz, Jamie Plunkett, Jared Slanina, Jeremy Adcock, Jeremy Attaway, Jeremy Mauss, Jim Vainisi, Joe Piechowski, John W. Schneider, III, Jon Johnston, Jon Morse, Jon Woods, Josh Williams, Julian Lopez, Justin Sutton, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Kyle Robbins, Luke Zimmermann, Mark Primiano, Marshall Weber, Matt Brown, Matt Hofeld, Matt Kirchner, Nicolas Lewis, Oscar Gambler, Paul Kushner, Paul Wiley, Pete Volk, Poseur, Rich DeCray, Roy Hatfield, Rush Roberts, Ryan Connors, Sean Levy, Sydney Hunte, Tim Fontenault, Travis Miller, Walt Austin, Will Shelton
Producers: Graham MacAree, Luke Zimmermann • Editor: Jason Kirk