TWIT- Week 15 (Awards/Conf Champ previews) TOP 25 1- GEORGIA TECH (12-0)- GT's huge win over Auburn puts them in prime position against Clemson for a title shot. 2- USF (12-0) 3- ALABAMA (11-1)- All hopes have been dashed for a title but are surely to be in a BCS bowl game 4- TENNESSEE (11-1)- SEC title game is left. Need to win and have a GT loss to have shot of repeat 5- NORTH CAROLINA (10-2)- UNC rebounds with a strong season, now hope for a big time bowl game 6- PENN STATE (10-2) 7- AUBURN (10-2)- Auburn can still win SEC title with win over Tennessee 8- CLEMSON (10-2)- Clemson can spoil GT's title hopes with win over them in ACC title game 9- MICHIGAN (10-2) 10- NEBRASKA (9-3) 11- FLORIDA (8-4)- Florida has 4 losses but all were tough and are sitting outside the top 10 12- ARIZONA (8-3) 13- GEORGIA (8-4)- Georgia now awaits their bowl game 14- WISCONSIN (9-3) 15- IOWA (9-3) 16- VIRGINIA TECH (8-4)- VaTech's loss to Bama drops them 9 spots 17- OKLAHOMA (8-4) 18- CINCINNATI (7-4) 19- NOTRE DAME (8-4) 20- LSU (8-4)- LSU jumps 5 spots in latest polls 21- FLORIDA STATE (8-4)- FSU's loss drops them 7 spots 22- UCF (9-2) 23- MIAMI (8-4)- Miami's loss to Georgia drops them 12 spots in polls 24- TULANE (9-2) 25- FLORIDA ATLANTIC (9-2) ACC TITLE GAME PREVIEW #10 CLEMSON (10-2) vs. #1 GEORGIA TECH (12-0) ---Clemson really hates GT and they can add more fuel to this fire if they can pull off the upset. These two teams met in the regular season and GT won 37-24 but managed to hold GT to their lowest scoring output this season. GT had some redzone turnovers but Clemson was well in this game with no run game what so ever. Well Clemson will gladly be happy to have one of their stud RB's back for this game as JR-RB Roderick McDowell will be likely starting at RB for the Tigers. McDowell, who was averaging 6 yards a run before getting injured, gives Clemson some of their balance back on offense as Kyle Parker and the Clemson Tigers offense became exclusively a passing team. GT gives up yards through the air with a young secondary but they've become a ballhawking bunch, intercepting opposing teams 37 times, which is 2nd in the nation. Led by FR-FS George Dunn who has 10 INT's on the year, they have become a nightmare in passing situations. GT will be relying on their dynamic offense, which will be headed by heisman candidate RB Orwin Smith and QB Jordan Luallen. Luallen, who has become a pocket passing QB this year, has 41 TD in total, all through the air. He's really shown patience in the pocket. With this new found rushing attack back for Clemson, expect the Tigers to grind out this game and hope McDowell is well rested for a 25-30 carry game. If GT can win, they'll be headed to their 2nd national title game in 4 years, with players like JR-RB Orwin Smith and QB Jordan Luallen going for their 2nd title in their long tenures at the school. SEC TITLE GAME #4 TENNESSEE (11-1) vs. #7 AUBURN (10-2) ---This is why you read before printing towards the press. Tennessee's opponent is not Alabama but Auburn. Still, this game still has a ton of implications as Tennessee still needs a GT loss to get into the title game. Nevermind the fact that USF has done their damage in the weak Big East...anywho. Tennessee is hoping to get to their 2nd title game in as many years. SR-QB Xavier Stephens is a heisman finalist who'll be heading to New York and it's coming down to the wire as to who will win the heisman. Stephens can certainly help his cause with a big time showing against the Crimson Tide. Tennessee was hoping they could return their JR-RB Bryce Brown from broken ribs but from all accounts from insiders within the team, they say it's doubtful the stud RB can suit up. Auburn is coming off a beating put on by Georgia Tech which stopped their newly installed offense. Except for the 1st and last games, it has been a success. Auburn has to get back to giving the ball more to their best playmaker in JR-RB Xavier Barnes. The speedster is a heisman finalist and has averaged 5.8 per carry with 20TD's on the ground. Giving Auburn that balance can help because despite how effective Tyrik Rollison has been the past few years, he's turnover prone as he's thrown 46 interceptions in the past two seasons combined. Auburn can spoil Tennessee's season further with a loss on the board while also taking home a SEC trophy. AWARDS HEISMAN WATCH ^ JR-RB Orwin Smith (GT)- 247car, 1217yds, 24TD's, 37rec, 449yds, 6TD's v SR-QB Xavier Stephens (TENN)- 237/342, 3997yds, 92car, 354yds, 47 total TD's - JR-RB Xavier Barnes (AUB)- 212car, 1237yds, 20TD's, 38rec, 462yds, 4TD's - SR-QB JuJu Clayton (VT)- 246/370, 4240yds, 43TD's, 15INT's - JR-WR Rodney Smith (FSU)- 59rec, 1467yds, 14TD's ---While all of these men will be invited to the heisman ceremony it's honestly just down to Smith and Stephens. The question is will the voters go with Smith and his undefeated team combined with 30 total TD's or will the voters go with Stephens, who has 47 total TDs? MAXWELL JR-RB Orwin Smith (GT)- 247car, 1217yds, 24TD's, 37rec, 449yds, 6TD's SR-QB Xavier Stephens (TENN)- 237/342, 3997yds, 92car, 354yds, 47 total TD's ---One game left to determine the likely winner of this award. These two gentlemen are up for the heisman award. Orwin Smith though could become a big time winner here if he can be a stud in the ACC title game. He's by all accounts, at the top of the list for the Maxwell, Walker, and heisman awards. While Stephens 47 total TD's should count for something, it looks like the voters really have liked the duel threat of Smith's ability to run the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. BEDNARIK FR-FS George Dunn (GT)- 102 tackles, 7FL, 10 INT's, 3FF ---With Dunn stepping onto campus, he knew he had big shoes to fill with Cooper Taylor setting all types of defensive records at Georgia Tech. While Dunn's speed isn't close to what Taylor can do, he's surely made up for it with a knack for where the ball is going. Dunn has amazing instincts and it has led to 10 interceptions on the year, breaking the record set by his predecessor in Taylor. What makes Dunn special is he hits hard and that's evident by the 3 forced fumbles he has to his freshman resume. O'BRIEN SR-QB Xavier Stephens (TENN)- 237/342, 3997yds, 92car, 354yds, 47 total TD's ---Stephens wanted to put his stamp on this team as the leader and wanted to win a title with him being the man. He came back despite all the talk he would be a top 10 pick in the draft. Well, now he's surely the #1 QB to be taken and likely #1 pick. He is the best QB in the nation but statistically, he had to barely keep off VaTech's JuJu Clayton, the much maligned QB who was starter, then backup then starter and so on and so forth. WALKER JR-RB Orwin Smith (GT)- 247car, 1217yds, 24TD's, 37rec, 449yds, 6TD's ---No one really thought Smith could transform into a star RB when he stepped onto the GT campus. Many felt he was too small to become a full-time RB. With the changing of the offense to a more pro-style system, he's done what the other RB's before him under Coach Moreecemos couldn't do either due to the offense style, depth, or to their body frame. Smith has taken a full load and survived. Moreso, he's a stud coming out of the backfield and not to mention, his 30 total TD's are amazing for a RB. BEST WR SR-WR Derrick Hopkins (USF)- 95rec, 1415yds, 14TD's ---Hopkins has been B.J Daniels #1 target this year, with Hopkins leading the nation with 95 receptions on the year. It's amazing how his 5'9", 165lb frame could take such pressure but he's lived up to it and is now sitting at home, with his best WR tropht awaiting the team that comes out of this group: GT, Bama, Tennessee. Good luck to either team that gets there because Hopkins simply is a tough cover at such a small size. MACKEY JR-TE Logan Thomas (VT)- 84rec, 1274yds, 21TD's ---Thomas has won this award two times already. In the time he's been on the field, he has been a dominant force for the many QB's that have thrown to him. While the QB position for VT has been a revolving door, Thomas has remain consistent and steady. He's a star, despite his hands not being a huge strength. His 6'6", 237 body with 89 speed is an asset and he's likely bolting for the pros unless Coach JMS can convince Thomas to stick it out 1 more year with a new signal caller behind center. BEST OL SR-LT Taylor Lewan (MICH)- 38 pancakes, 3 sacks allowed ---Michigan's offensive line is one of the better units in the nation and it's led by Taylor Lewan. His teammate, SR-C Rocko Khoury was also in the running for the best offensive lineman but Lewan's protection of SR-QB Denard Robinson's blind side has been nothing short of amazing and has led to him being only sacked by Lewan's man 3 times on the year. RIMINGTON SR-C Rocko Khoury (MICH)- 37 pancakes, 6 sacks allowed ---Khoury's big 6'5", 300lb frame and his overall skill to excel in both pass and run blocking game has given Khoury this award. Along with fellow lineman Taylor Lewan, Michigan had one of the top offensive lines in the nation this year. LOMBARDI JR-LE Rae Sykes (TENN)- 63 tackles, 31 for loss, 19 sacks, INT ---Despite the competition from LSU's SR-LE Chancey Aghayere being fierce (73 tackles, 35 for loss, 22 sacks), it looks like Sykes is the Lombardi winner. Sykes is on a team that's 11-1 so that may have played a factor into things here. Either way, Sykes has been dominant with 19 sacks and has also managed to pick off a pass. He's one of the most feared pass rushers in the nation and with his ability to play the run and pass equally, he's slated to go in the 1st round in the next NFL Draft. BEST LB JR-ROLB Ronnell Lewis (OKLA)- 99 tackles, 24 for loss, 9 sacks, 5INT's, 2FF ---Lewis stuffed the stat sheets it seemed every week. His season totals look amazing as he had 99 tackles, 9 sacks and 5 interceptions. He's an insanely talent individual who's likely to head to the pros after this amazing season. THORPE FR-FS George Dunn (GT)- 102 tackles, 7 for loss, 10INT's, 3 FF's ---The voters may very well just name this the GT-FS award. From Cooper Taylor to George Dunn, coach Moreecemos sure knows how to put these guys in their right positions. Dunn isn't athletically gifted as Taylor but again he knows how to play the game right and it's what made him a starter from the gate. GROZA JR-K Shaun Smith (GT)- 20/20 FG's, long of 53, 88/88 XP ---Perfection is rarely accomplished but GT's kicker managed to do so, nailing every kick he's hit this season. Perfect on field goals and perfect on extra points. He's one of the best kickers in the nation and will be back to add another Groza trophy to his case hopefully. BEST PUNTER JR-P Zach Grossnickle (COL)- 106 punts, 34.9 net, long of 74, 34 inside 20 ---Grossnickle has a power leg which could kick through any wind. He's easily a weapon for the Buffaloes when they need to change field position on a punt. His long this year was an astounding 74 yards. BEST RETURNER SR-WR Anthony Boyles (WASH)- 928 KR yards, TD, 801 PR yards ---Boyles was all over the field, whether catching 12 TD passes this year from returning kicks and punts. He averaged 28.1 on kicks this year and returned 1 for TD while on punts he averaged over 11 per punt.