Today we celebrate the BVP Award, named after famous CSU heel/quarterback Bradley Van Pelt. According to Banner Society, the inventor of this award, “BVPs are ‘the most college football player in standing out.’ They have obvious flaws — too short, too frantic, too big, too small, too uneven in production — but produce anyway, often winning when they have no right to, and excelling in their own slightly off-cut fashion. BVPs aren’t perfect, but they are, in their moment, perfection.”
This team of the decade celebrates those college icons who made their mark of the game in the most collegey way. Such example would be our very own Sefo Liufau, who we begin with.
Pro Style QB: Sefo Liufau, Colorado
Sefo spent his first three seasons putting up stats in a spread offense for a dreadful team that lost a lot. His fourth season was everything different: the 2016 Buffaloes were the breakout team of the year, largely on the strength of their defense and clutch QB play. Liufau became a folk hero because he was basically a full back who could throw,
Honorable mentions: Cole McDonald, Hawaii; Gardner Minshew, Washington State; Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech; Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
Dual-Threat QB: Denard Robinson
Robinson is the cover athlete of the immortal NCAA Football 14, the epitome of the September Heisman, and the coolest dual-threat QB of the decade.
Honorable mentions: Eric Dungey, Syracuse; Chuckie Keeton, Utah State; Collin Klein, Kansas State; and Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois.
RB: James Conner, Pitt
The most BVP player on this list. Conner was a local kid who went to the local college, played for Pitt (yes that’s redundant, but Pitt also gets bonus points), was a megastar who won ACC Player of the Year, fought cancer and won, then came back to be amazing again. Him being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers was just icing on the top.
RB: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Marcus Lattimore is the what could have been of the decade. He was a superstar the day he set foot on campus. His blend of power and speed was too much for even the best SEC defenses, even #1 Alabama, whom the Gamecocks upset his freshman season. Lattimore could have been an all-timer, but he blew out his knee twice over, ending his career just as it was getting started.
Honorable mentions: Benny Snell, Kentucky; Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU; Michael Dyer, Auburn/Arkansas State/Louisville; Phillip Lindsay, Colorado; and Dayton Furuta, Hawaii
All-Purpose: Keenan Reynolds, Navy
I had to move around players to get at least one service academy quarterback on the team. Reyolds is the best of a prolific bunch, as he set an FBS-record with 88 career rushing touchdowns.
Honorable mentions: Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern; Malcolm Perry, Navy; Deebo Samuel, South Carolina; Saquon Barkley, Penn State; and Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
WR: Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky
The 2019 People’s Heisman, according to Banner Society, is Lynn Bowden Jr. of Kentucky. He began the season as a WR/RB, but after a series of injuries, he moved to quarterback and carried the entire team via glorified single-wing offense. In seven starts at QB, Kentucky went 5-2 as he completed just 26 passes. In the season finale against Louisville, he ran for 284 yards and 4 scores. He takes on Virginia Tech on New Year’s Eve.
WR: Rondale Moore, Purdue
Rondale Moore was a one-man offense capable of leading Purdue to a blowout win over Ohio State. That itself is BVP material, and that’s before the famous stories of him squatting 600-lbs., the spin moves that destroy entire defenses, and just how unlikely the idea of Rondale Moore is to begin with.
Honorable mentions: Tavon Austin, West Virginia; Andy Isabella, UMass; Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech; Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; Odell Beckham, LSU
TE: Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
Fumagalli is an extremely Big Ten player, which is celebratory and derogatory. He turned down multiple scholarship offers to walk on at Wisconsin, where he worked extremely hard to earn a scholarship and playing time, and eventually was named MVP of the Cotton Bowl.
Honorable mentions: Nick O’Leary, Florida State; Jake Butt, Michigan; Jean Sifrin, UMass; and Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
OL: Watts Dantzler, Georgia; Brian O’Neill, Pitt; Chance Warmack, Alabama; Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame; Barrett Jones, Alabama
Watts Dantzler was baby faced and massive, had an extremely Georgia name, and leaned into the character college football fans created for him. Brian O’Neill gets point for being a Pitt player, as well as super points for winning the Piesman award after a few offensive touchdowns. Warmack and Nelson were grown ass men dominating college football. Barrett Jones was a 4.0 student whose leadership and versatility led Bama to three championships.
Honorable mentions: Penai Sewell, Oregon; Hroniss Grasu, Oregon; Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss; and Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma
DE: Jarvis Jones, Georgia; Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
Jarvis Jones was a comeback story of a player who suffered a career-ending neck injury, said no to the team doctors, transferred to Georgia and became a two-time first-team All-American. Courtney Upshaw was the epitome of the grown man edge rusher Bama seems to grow in factories. He was insanely good on some devastating defenses.
Honorable mentions: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; Whitney Mercilus, Illinois; Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson; Josh Allen, Kentucky; Khalil Mack, Buffalo
DT: Devon Still, Penn State; Greg Gaines, Washington
Devon Still became an icon not because he was great (and he was), but because he’s such a special person off the field. After years of being a tremendous leader and student at Penn State, he quit his NFL career to help his daughter beat cancer. Still and his daughter later won the Jimmy V Award for their perseverance.
Greg Gaines is here because he was a great big fat man who didn’t wear gloves and ran roughshod through offensive lines. (He’s basically Kelly Gregg reborn.) I had a dream last night that I had to block Gaines, but I had super human strength and threw him 10 yards (seriously).
Honorable mentions: Christian Wilkins, Clemson; Derrick Brown, Auburn Jonathan Allen, Alabama; Aaron Donald, Pitt
LB: Scooby Wright III, Arizona; Myles Jack UCLA; Max Bullough, Michigan State
I love these three linebackers for very different reasons. Scooby Wright III is the most college football star linebacker I’ve ever seen. He was all over the field making plays, getting sacks and causing turnovers, winning major awards as undersized, under-recruited linebacker for a mediocre team, all while being named Scooby Wright III. Myles Jack was a hybrid LB/RB whose freak athleticism was simply too much for anyone in the Pac-12 to deal with. Max Bullough was some asshole linebacker on some amazing Michigan State defenses who was there to take PEDs, hit everyone in sight and get suspended — a truly blessed existence.
Honorable mentions: Shaq Thompson, Washington; Isaiah Simmons, Clemson; Ben Boulware, Clemson; Chris Borland, Wisconsin; Anthony Barr, UCLA; Owen Marecic, Stanford; and Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Flex: Shaquem Griffin, UCF
Shaquem Griffin is famous for being the first one-handed NFL player, who due to a birth defect had to amputate his left hand as a child. Before he played alongside his identical twin with the Seahawks, he was a superstar at UCF, where his elite playmaking ability helped power the Knights to becoming National Champions.
CB: Levi Wallace, Alabama; Cliff Harris, Oregon
These two cornerbacks are on very different ends of the CFB cornerback spectrum. One was an overlooked recruit who walked on, worked his ass off to get major playing time, and made clutch plays for the national runner-ups. The other was an ultra-talented athlete who made spectacular players for the national runner-ups, but did dumb shit like running backwards into the end zone on a punt return (CU’s only points in a 45-2 loss), and getting kicked off the team for legal issues.
Honorable mentions: Adoree’ Jackson, USC; Gerod Holliman, Louisville; and Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
S: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
This team wouldn’t be complete without the Honey Badgers, the diminutive playmaker whose versatility saw him become a Heisman finalist. There will never be another Tyrann Mathieu, but that didn’t stop Michigan fans and national media from overhyping their knock-off Honey Badger, Jabrill Peppers, who was also named a Heisman finalist for production that was kind of but not really there.
Honorable mentions: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama; Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota; and Phillip Thomas, Fresno State
K: Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
The best kicker in college football is named Rodrigo Blankenship and wears goggles and looks like Shea Serrano.
Honorable mentions: Ray Bullock, Texas A&M; Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State; and Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
P: Brad Wing, LSU
Brad Wing is the ultimate Australian punter. He had a massive leg, kicked a 73-yard punt that hit the camera hires, and he famously taunted the Florida Gators at the end of a 52-yard touchdown on a trick play. He was also suspended for a bowl game and left early for the draft.
Honorable mentions: Michael Dickson, Texas; Tom Hackett, Utah; and Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
PR: Joe Adams, Arkansas
Honorable mentions: Ryan Switzer, North Carolina; Dante Pettis, Washington; and Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
KR: De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
You could make a great argument for De’Anthony Thomas being the most college football player of the decade: #1 recruit who flipped from USC last minute, nicknamed the Black Mamba by Snoop Dogg, fastest player on the fastest teams of the decade, two carries for 155 yards and two TDs in the Rose Bowl, and this iconic tweet: