Here are our choices for the best, the worst and the goofiest of the 1992 season. Some of the awards are serious and some aren't. See if you can tell which are which.
Best Game of the Year: Texas A&I 44, Portland State 43, on Sept. 19. Portland State led 21-0 in the first quarter and 43-30 in the fourth, but Texas A&I got the winning touchdown on Joe Menchaca's six-yard pass to split end Daryl Owens with 54 seconds left. The game ended with Javelina cornerback Bryant Brinkley intercepting Portland State quarterback John Charles's pass in the end zone. The teams meet again in a Division II playoff game on Nov. 28.
Offensive Player of the Year: Alcorn State sophomore quarterback Steve McNair, who led Division I-AA in total yards, with 4,057, including 3,541 passing. He threw for 29 TDs, including five last Saturday in the Braves' 42-35 victory over Jackson State.
Defensive Player of the Year: Florida State junior linebacker Marvin (Shade Tree) Jones. Even Miami coach Dennis Erickson, who has three of the nation's best linebackers in Jessie Armstead, Micheal Barrow and Darrin Smith, agrees. " Marvin Jones is the best linebacker I've ever seen playing college football," says Erickson.
Freshman of the Year: South Carolina quarterback Steve Taneyhill. When the wild-haired, earring-wearing Taneyhill became the starter on Oct. 17, the Gamecocks were 0-5, and he boasted that they wouldn't lose another game. He was wrong: They went 5-1.
Coach of the Year: Fred Goldsmith of Rice, the smallest school in Division I-A. The 6-4 Owls had their first winning season since 1963. Runner-up: South Carolina's Sparky Woods.
Silliest Rumor: That Barry Switzer will become the coach at Arkansas. Can anybody envision Switzer coexisting with Razorback athletic director Frank Broyles, who's as famous for his meddling as he is for his righteousness?
George Steinbrenner Award: To Broyles, for giving the hook to coach Jack Crowe after Arkansas was upset by The Citadel in its opener.
Best Running Back Who Has Not Been Considered for the Heisman Trophy: Notre Dame senior Reggie Brooks, who has 1,116 yards rushing heading into Saturday's game against Southern Cal. He was buried under the Irish's Heisman hype for his two teammates, quarterback Rick Mirer and fullback Jerome Bettis.
The Cheer-Cheer-for-Old-Dotre-Name Award: To Missouri wideout Victor Bailey. When asked about the Tigers' lack of motivation in their 51-17 loss to Oklahoma, he said, "There's only so many Rock Knutne speeches the coaches can give."