"Football season gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the list-maker in the darkness. I am the watcher of the lists. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Lists' Watch, for this watch list season and all the watch list seasons to come." - sacred oath of The Lists' Watch
Each summer, the National College Football Awards association unleashes a cannonade of press releases letting us know which players might be worth watching in the coming year. But for lists such as these, college football fans from the Maine to southern California would gape at their television screens in complete befuddlement, having no idea which players to train their eyes on.
What's more, there's a direct causal relationship between appearing on a preseason watch list and being a legitimate candidate to receive the award at season's end.
This year the fun began on Monday when South Carolina running back Mike Davis was one of 74 players named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given each year to "America's College Player of the Year." Pharoh Cooper was named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to "the most versatile player in college football." Cooper contributed to the Gamecocks' 11-2 season in 2013 as a kick returner, a wide receiver, and a quarterback. The sophomore is expected to be utilized in a similar capacity in 2014.
On Tuesday, Rory "Busta" Anderson was named to the Mackey Award watch list and Cody Waldrop to the Rimington. Rimington already released a watch list on May 19, apparently by taking a screenshot of an excel file before running spell check. It should be no surprise that their analysis of the country's top centers did not change in the interim. As now, South Carolina redshirt sophomore Cody Waldrop was named to the Rimington watch list released in May. All this despite the fact that it's not clear at this point if he'll beat out Clayton Stadnik for the starting job.
Anderson's presence on the watch list for the Mackey Award, given to the country's top tight end, stands athwart the distinct possibility that he might not play all that much in 2014. Anderson tore his triceps in spring practice and the injury required surgery. Such injuries have kept other professional athletes out for as much as a year, but Steve Spurrier has been difficult to pin down on just how long Anderson will be out. The head ball coach has given a timetable for recovery ranging from August 2013 to August 2014. Should Anderson miss any amount of time, Jerell Adams and Drew Owens would stand to benefit from his forfeited playing time.
One Wednesday, Elliott Fry was placed on the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation's best placekicker. So far, the Groza is the only award that has bestirred itself to write a blurb about each player on its watch list. (I guess that's why they call it a watch list, not a write list!) Here's what they had to say about young Freisman:
The first true freshman to kick in a South Carolina season opener since 1996, Fry ended up leading the team in scoring and setting a Gamecocks season record with 54 extra points. His four field goals were huge in a 19-14 win over Florida, as was his 40 yarder in the second overtime against Missouri that proved to be the game-winner.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Groza Award's Twitter account has adopted our #FREISMAN hashtag.
OKAY I'VE BEEN MOCKING IT ALL ALONG BUT I THINK I'M OFFICIALLY IN LOVE WITH WATCH LIST SEASON NOW:
@GABAttack we're the "cool" award, remember that.— Lou Groza Award (@LouGrozaAward) July 9, 2014
Here's a watch list of the forthcoming watch lists:
Mon., July 7: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
Tue., July 8: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
Wed., July 9: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
Thurs., July 10: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
Fri., July 11: Jim Thorpe Award
Mon., July 14: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
Tue., July 15: Biletnikoff Award
Wed., July 16: Davey O'Brien Award
Thurs., July 17: Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 18: Walter Camp Award