Welcome, ladies and gentlemen and germs, to the fourth annual NUGie award ceremony, celebrating excellence in Boise State football and Idaho jokes. Your votes have been tallied, and the NUGie winners are revealed after the jump. Not that Kellen Moore needed more awards, but I will say that it's nice that we found a way to give him more things. I'm not sure how a NUGie compares to a Mountain West Player of the Year, but I'd like to think he'll at least tell wife Julie about it over sloppy-joe dinner tonight.
Hit the jump for the winners. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Offensive MVP - Kellen Moore
You: Kellen Moore
Nick: Kellen Moore
I thought about Doug Martin but if Kellen would have been injured for the TCU game instead of Martin, I'm not sure that game would have been close
Drew: Kellen Moore
Moore takes this one in a walk. Not only did Kellen toss the most TDs of his career in a Young and Pettis-less offense...he became the winningest QB in football history. Now we just need Webster's dictionary to recognize the word "winningest" and we're all set.
Kevan: Kellen Moore
Moore has won this award every year we have had the NUGies, and who am I to stand in the way of tradition? I drink egg nog out of a cookie tin every Christmas, and I can't for the life of me remember why.
Defensive MVP - Shea McClellin
You: Shea McClellin
Nick: Billy Winn
Could have been Gavins if he never got hurt, but I believe a great defense starts with the defensive tackles.
Drew: Shea McClellin
McClellin had the most tackles of his career (50) and came close to last year's production in sacks while adding INTs to his repertoire with 2. McClellin has been quietly dominant for years, but I think this was the year he made the NFL scouts take notice.
Kevan: Tyrone Crawford
Whenever I think back on the past season of Bronco football, Crawford's name is the first one to come to mind. McClellin may be the true MVP, but for my money, Crawford left the most indelible mark.
Newcomer of the Year - Matt Miler
You: Matt Miller
Nick: Matt Miller
Never thought he could come in and play at such a high level right away
Drew: Matt Miller
Miller's inspired play coming off an Achilles' injury was just what the doctor ordered. He made big catches, tough catches, and miracle catches throughout the season. Miller Time is going to be good times for the next 3 years.
Kevan: Charles Leno
I have a soft spot for offensive linemen. That, and Leno held down the right tackle spot all season on an offensive line known for playing as many people as possible. I think Dustin Lapray may have sneaked into the lineup once. Look for his tell-all, Bellow: Memoirs of a Blocker, in book stores this fall.
Game of the Year - Boise State vs. Georgia
Only game that felt like an accomplishment to win and not just a relief
Gotta say Georgia. Boise State dominated that game in the trenches and made Aaron Murray look average at best. The fact that Georgia finished as the SEC East champ shows that Boise State didn't just beat a "down" SEC opponent and got the SEC loss-monkey off their collective backs.
Kevan: Air Force
I am dumb for not picking the Georgia game, but I can't help myself. The sheer awesomeness of that Air Force game is making me dumb. I loved everything about it - the competitiveness, the uniforms, the triple option offense, the military flyover, the refreshing lack of The Wave. The Georgia game is the safe - and right - choice. The Air Force game is for weirdos and dreamers and guys like me.
Play of the Year - Matt Miller Hail Mary TD grab
You: Matt Miller TD
Although Jamar Taylor's 106-yard INT return in the Vegas Bowl got a lot of love.
Nick: Doug Martin TD
I'm thinking of the 80+ yard TD run that was called back on a bogus clipping call.
Drew: Matt Miller La-Z-Boy Hail Mary grab
I actually was in the bathroom when this one happened...it was that improbable.
Kevan: Matt Miller's TD
Only because I have never seen another Hail Mary touchdown catch like it.
Most Underrated Player - Chase Baker
You: Chase Baker
Kyle Efaw was the first alternate, so if anything happens to Baker's ability to maintain the title, Efaw gets it, Miss-America-style.
Nick: Chase Baker
This due to him getting the least amount of attention on a stellar defensive line.
Drew: Chase Baker
Winn got all the love on the interior D-line...but Baker was, and has been, a great accomplice.
Kevan: Cory Yriarte
Does my offensive line bias know no bounds? No, it does not.
Special Teams MVP - Brad Elkin
You: Brad Elkin
Hunter White nearly pulled the upset here.
Nick: Brad Elkin
Did we ever see if Elkin could kick field goals?
Drew: Trevor Harman
What...no Dan Goodale? I'd give this one to Harman. It was nice to see so many touchbacks this year and I have to believe the extra hang-time he put on the ball helped the cover teams get downfield to snuff return attempts. Boise State won the field position battle all year and I have to believe that Harman was a driving force.
Kevan: Brad Elkin
Elkin broke my scale of exceeded expectations (with some help from Mitch Burroughs). I never thought I would look forward to the times when Elkin took the field to punt.
Sub of the Season - George Iloka playing cornerback
You: George Iloka
Nick: George Iloka
If only someone had thought of this sometime during the TCU game
Drew: D.J. Harper vs. TCU.
Harper's injuries made people forget what a great back he is...he went off on a stingy TCU defense and might have been able to seal a Bronco victory if he hadn't got dinged in the 4th quarter. Ahhh hypotheticals.
Kevan: George Iloka
It's not easy going from safety to corner in the middle of the season, so kudos to Iloka for making it look like a piece of cake.
Least Convincing Breakout Season - Geraldo Boldewijn
You: Geraldo Boldewijn
One of the closest categories of the NUGies, Boldewijn edged out Jeremy Ioane and Jake Van Ginkel, proving there was plenty of failed expectation to go around.
Nick: Jeremy Ioane
I've had high hopes for the islander, but after being yanked in the Georgia game and Stanaway's solid play, never saw much of Ioane
Drew: Geraldo Boldewijn
Boldewijn's year got off to a crappy start with the suspension, but I fully expected him to become a much bigger part of the offense as the year went on and he seemed to fade after the solid debut against Fresno State. Boldewijn mainly got my vote on this one because of his catching prowess however. If I need someone to make a difficult 3rd down grab...I'm going to Miller. Geraldo needs some work with the JUGS machine is all I'm saying.
Kevan: Jake Van Ginkel
I expected a lot of things from a lot of people this year, and I figured I would be let down once or twice. I never figured that Van Ginkel would get beat in practice by two kickers who looked as bad as they did in games. I'm not mad, just disappointed. /mom'd
Most Anticipated Newcomer - Nick Patti
You: Nick Patti
Nick: Malcolm Johnson
Yep, he's still my most anticipated player to actually see perform
Drew: Nick Patti
If you asked me 3 months ago, I would have said Ajayi, but the sweatpants debacle made him lose a bit of the luster (besides, I think Fields might see the field before him). Patti is the prototypical Boise State underdog QB, and he also happens to have an impressive skillset and credentials (Elite 11 finalist). Him graduating early to enroll this month shows he's committed to try to become a starter from day one. In short (not a short joke, mind you), I like his moxie.
Kevan: (tie) Nick Patti, Jimmy Laughrea
Let the QB competition begin!
Marty Tadman Honorary NUGie for Excellence in the Field of Marty Tadman - Doug Martin
You: Doug Martin
Kellen Moore was a close second, Mitch Burroughs was a distant last.
Nick: Doug Martin
The dance competition video really cemented his awesomeness and him being so good at being awesome
Drew: Doug Martin
Ian was productive, Avery was flashy. Doug was awesome. Pretty much sums that one up.
Kevan: Lee Hightower
Some day, three years from now, I will look back on Hightower's prolific Boise State career at safety and wish to myself that we could have had just one more year of Hightower in our lives. I wish the same thing for Tadman every day.
Kellen Moore Story of the Year - Breaking all-time CFB wins record
You: Moore breaks all-time CFB wins record
Drew: Heisman snub
Never before was it more evident than this year that the fix was in for Andrew Luck. Kellen outperformed him in every way this season and didn't even get an invite to NYC while Luck finished runner-up. Kellen was a finalist last year and basically eclipsed last year's numbers. In typical Kellen fashion, however, he took it all in stride and did what we all would have done: built a gingerbread house with his wife.
Kevan: Moore's NFL future
It also wins Subtext of the Year. Every Kellen Moore conversation seemed to be hinting at this topic.
Most Hated Thing of the Year - Sugar Bowl decision-making
You: Sugar Bowl decision-making
Way to hold a grudge!
Nick: Cornerback injury
Can't help but wonder "what if" if we weren't down 3 cornerbacks in the TCU game
Drew: CB injury bug
I hate to play the "what if" game, but here goes: No way does Boise State lose to TCU with Taylor and Gavins in the secondary. No. Way.
Kevan: Craig James poll voting
I still don't understand what he was thinking ... unless ... maybe that was his point! Mind. Blown.
Most Pleasant Surprise of the Year - Replacing Pettis and Young ain't that hard
You: Replacing Pettis and Young
In a landslide.
Nick: MWC TV coverage
Boise State rarely got stuck on the Mtn this year and the production quality was far superior to KTVB's.
Drew: Mitch Burroughs can play wide receiver
Mitch stepped up this year in all facets of the game and it was really great to see. It looks like he bequeathed the failed bubble screen play to his little brother. Don't think I've forgotten about that dropped wide open pass against Nevada, though.
Kevan: Mitch Burroughs can play wide receiver
I hope that Burroughs accepts my apology for making fun of him for the past two seasons. I have moved on to field goal kickers, if that's any consolation.
Non-football Story of the Year - Boise State to the Big East
You: Boise State to the Big East
Drew: Boise State accepts invitation to the Big East
Yeah, it sounded stupid when it first came up, but after another stellar year was rewarded with a 2nd tier bowl game...it seems that the Broncos need to get into an AQ conference at any cost. Really the more you think about it, it's a great move. Much more money for staff, facilities and the school...more exposure...and a more realistic chance of a BCS bowl and even national title every year.
Kevan: Gene Bleymaier out, Mark Coyle in
I am thrilled for the Coyle Era at Boise State, and I'm also still a little sad to see Gene B. go. I like to imagine him and Paul J. Schneider eating breakfast together in that Boise State diner in the sky (Note: Neither person is dead, that I know of).
Fan of the Year - Muscle Hamster
You: Muscle Hamster
Nick: Stephen Kinsey
Keep up the hard work, buddy.
Drew: Stephen Kinsey
Coach Kinsey made a return trip to the Blue and continues to inspire Bronco Nation with his fighting spirit. Fight on, Coach!
Kevan: Muscle Hamster
Well, don't you and I look petty.
This concludes the 2011 NUGie awards. Drive safetly, and feel free to share your thoughts on how you voted and who you voted for in the comments.