What does a guy have to do to win an award? Connect on 15 out of 16 field goals, missing only on a blocked attempt from over 50 yards out? Have a big name coming into the season, since awards are based on name as much as merit? No, apparently that won’t win you an award as Alex Henery is on the outside looking in after Groza finalists have been announced.
Henery has been solid all four years he’s been at Nebraska. His 57-yard go-ahead field goal against Colorado in 2008 made him a local folk hero and gave him a national name. Being known around the college football world, it is an absolute wonder that Henery wasn’t named a finalist.
And if you’re someone that thinks names don’t play a part in getting invited to awards ceremony, ask yourself (based on performance alone), “Has Prince Amukumara performed like a top three corner all season, and has Lavonte David not performed like a top linebacker this season?”
I present that question because Amukumara, being a Thorpe finalist and David not being a Butkus finalist demonstrates that in college football, awards are based off of preseason name first and on-field performance second.
So with a well known preseason name and outstanding on-field performance one would think Henery would get invited to the College Football awards ceremony. Well, one would be wrong.
What makes it more troubling is that out of the finalists, Dan Bailey has four missed field goals, and Danny Hrapmann has three missed goals, and Henery (non-finalist) has one missed field goal—which was blocked, by the way.
The only bright spot in all of this is that David Ruffer got in the ceremony based on his on-field performance alone as he did not have a big preseason name. Ruffer, also has had a season that has been as impressive (or even more impressive perhaps) than Henery’s.
Hopefully Ruffer wins the award. He’s the only finalist that arguably has had a better season than Henery. If he doesn’t, then a non-finalist will be watching an inferior kicker accept the Groza.