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College Football Awards Finalists 2011: Butkus Award Features Two From Alabama

The Alabama Crimson Tide have the nation's best defense. Before the season, the collection of talent looked to be so dominant that NCAA 12's Bama defense was actually just as good as the All-SEC defense. That's neither here nor there, and is kind of a ramble. Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower have both been nominated for the 2011 Butkus Award, which goes to the nation's best linebacker, is what I'm saying.

Also joining the Tide two: Jarvis Jones of the Georgia Bulldogs, Lavonte David, Manti Te'o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Luke Kuechly of the Boston College Eagles.

Kuechly leads the nation in tackles, and is closing in on the ACC career record. David is 12th with 114, and Te'o ranks No. 26 with 103. Jones has made his mark via disruption, posting 18.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. The other two guys' credentials? They start for Alabama. That'll do.