The opening month of the season is now officially behind us so it’s time to hand out some hardware.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
LSU RB Leonard Fournette – 73 carries, 631 yards, 8 Touchdowns
There were high hopes for the New Orleans, Louisiana, native when he arrived on campus at LSU and we all thought we’d see something special. We got glimpses of it last season but so far in 2015, Fournette has been a man among children in leading the Tigers to a perfect 3-0 record in the month of September. He has rushed for over 200 yards twice in three games so far this season and we jokingly say that handing him the ball is sort of like a ‘cheat code’ in a video game but the more he carries the ball, the more I believe that as truth rather than fiction.
Runner Up – California QB Jared Goff – I’ve watched three California Bears games this season and Goff has impressed me each time with his moxy in the pocket, command of the offense and shear leadership of his football team. The junior signal caller is in the top ten in the nation in passing yards with 1,240 and has thrown for over 300 yards in every game but one. The Bears are 4-0 because of Goff, period.
COACH OF THE MONTH
Kyle Whittingham – Utah Utes
The Utes have been a popular dark horse pick to win the Pac-12 South Division the last two seasons but in 2015, Utah might be the best team in the division. Led by a stifling defense and a power running attack the Utes are in position to make a serious push for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game in December and Coach Whittingham deserves a lot of the credit. Last week’s public shaming of the Oregon Ducks in Eugene is evidence that the Utes can survive a pretty tumultuous October schedule full of the three difficult home games and trip to Los Angeles against the Trojans.
Runner Up – Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M Aggies – When the season started, we really didn’t know what to expect from the Aggies but if we’d paid attention to Kevin Sumlin’s track record we would have known. Texas A&M is for real. The Aggies are 4-0 and have looked efficient and exciting on the offensive side of the ball in every game this season. Many people feel that Sumlin is on the hot seat if he can’t the Aggies to a New Years Six bowl game but I think if his quarterbacks keep playing like they have been, he won’t have to worry about anything but a possible trip to Atlanta in December.
TEAM OF THE MONTH
That season opening win against the Michigan Wolverines looks better and better with every passing week and last week’s destruction of Oregon in Eugene will look fantastic to every Utes fan for a long time as well. Utah has shown in just one month that they are a team capable of not only winning their division in the conference but win the whole thing once December finally rolls around. The Utes get California, Arizona State & UCLA all at home before the season ends and the way they play defense, I think they have a legitimate shot in making the Pac-12 Championship Game and just as good of a chance to be in consideration for the College Football Playoff.
Runner Up – Northwestern Wildcats – This was a make or break season for Northwestern Wildcat head coach Pat Fitzgerald after back-to-back 5-7 seasons and so far in 2015, the boys in purple have answered the bell. A season opening win over the Stanford Cardinal who have looked great ever since that day in Evanston really propelled the Wildcats into the national consciousness and a road win a Duke showed that they just might be good enough to win the Big Ten Western Division.
UNIFORM OF THE MONTH
Army Black Knights
It’s hard to beat the Army’s black & gold uniform, especially now that they have their name on the front right of their jersey just like they do on their fatigues & formal attire. Keep it up Army & ‘Beat Navy!’
Runner Up – Hawaii Warriors – Nothing beats a good throw back and Hawaii had one of the greatest throwback uniforms of all time in the week 2 loss to Ohio State. Just look at those beautiful uniforms!