Under-the-radar FCS award possibilities

(STATS) - Major awards tend to go to big stars in prominent positions, and in that regard, the top honors in the FCS are like most others.

Steve McNair, Brian Westbrook and Tony Romo are among the offensive standouts who have hoisted the Walter Payton Award since its inception in 1987, and Dexter Coakley and Jared Allen are among the big-play defenders who have carried off the Buck Buchanan Award since it came on the scene in 1995.

The Payton used to feature running backs and now it's dominated by quarterbacks - 13 of the past 14 winners were signal callers - while the past 15 Buchanan winners have been defensive ends or linebackers. An offensive lineman has never won the Payton and there's been only two at wide receiver, while the Buchanan has only had one winner at both defensive back (a cornerback) and defensive tackle.

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Walter Payton Award
(STATS) - Jeremiah Briscoe's humility shined on a weekly basis this season. At every opportunity, the Sam Houston State quarterback credited his team's wide receivers and offensive linemen for his success.
Buck Buchanan Award
(STATS) - People are quick to describe Jacksonville State's Darius Jackson as easygoing by nature.
Doris Robinson Award
(STATS) - Wide receiver Jake Wieneke has been met in the end zone by smiles throughout his career at South Dakota State - an incredible 59 times after scoring touchdowns.
Jerry Rice Award
(STATS) - Bryson Armstrong wasn't heavily recruited out of high school, so he jumped at a scholarship offer from Kennesaw State, just 10 minutes down the road from where he grew up.
FCS Bracketology
STATS FCS Poll
Rankings as of 1/8/2018
Rank School Votes Prev
1 North Dakota State (14-1) 3950 (158) 4
2 James Madison (14-1) 3788 1
3 South Dakota State (11-3) 3512 6
4 Sam Houston State (12-2) 3508 5
5 Weber State (11-3) 3045 11
6 Wofford (10-3) 2964 8
7 North Carolina A&T (12-0) 2830 7
8 Kennesaw State (12-2) 2748 18
9 Jacksonville State (10-2) 2700 2
10 Central Arkansas (10-2) 2560 3
11 Stony Brook (10-3) 2155 10
12 New Hampshire (9-5) 2141 21
13 Western Illinois (8-4) 1857 9
14 Southern Utah (9-3) 1831 12
15 South Dakota (8-5) 1765 16
16 Grambling State (11-2) 1451 13
17 UNI (8-5) 1365 20
18 Samford (8-4) 1302 14
19 Furman (8-5) 1297 22
20 Elon (8-4) 1117 15
21 Eastern Washington (7-4) 693 17
22 McNeese (9-2) 675 19
23 San Diego (10-3) 552 NR
24 Yale (9-1) 299 24
25 Nicholls (8-4) 293 NR
FCS Coaches Poll
Rankings as of 1/8/2018
Rank School Prev
1 North Dakota State (14-1) 4
2 James Madison (14-1) 1
3 Sam Houston State (12-2) 5
4 South Dakota State (11-3) 6
5 Weber State (11-3) 8
6 North Carolina A&T (12-0) 7
7 Wofford (10-3) 9
8 Central Arkansas (10-2) 3
9 Kennesaw State (12-2) 16
10 Jacksonville State (10-2) 2
11 Stony Brook (10-3) 11
12 Western Illinois (8-4) 10
13 Southern Utah (9-3) 13
14 Grambling State (11-2) 12
15 New Hampshire (9-5) 20
16 South Dakota (8-5) 18
17 Samford (8-4) 14
18 McNeese (9-2) 15
19 UNI (8-5) 21
20 Furman (8-5) 25
21 Elon (8-4) 17
22 Eastern Washington (7-4) 19
23 Nicholls (8-4) 22
24 Yale (9-1) 24
25 San Diego (10-3) NR
FCS Spring Outlooks
  • Southland: Wednesday, Feb. 28
  • Pioneer: Thursday, Mar. 1
  • Southern: Friday, Mar. 2
  • Big South: Monday, Mar. 5
  • Patriot: Tuesday, Mar. 6
  • Ohio Valley: Wednesday, Mar. 7
  • Mid-Eastern Athletic: Thursday, Mar. 8
  • CAA: Friday, Mar. 9
  • Northeast: Monday, Mar. 12
  • Big Sky: Tuesday, Mar. 13
  • Southwestern Athletic: Wednesday, Mar. 14
  • Ivy: Thursday, Mar. 15
  • Missouri Valley: Friday, Mar. 16

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