Chris Judd shocked the football world in 2010 when he brought home his second Brownlow Medal in his career. Almost everyone's money was on Dane Swan or Gary Ablett, so it was no surprise to hear the uproar from Collingwood and Geelong faithful the next morning.
Will Judd bring take home his third 'Charlie' when the 2011 season is done?
Will Dane Swan finally add the Brownlow to his AFL MVP and Premiership Medallion?
Or will it simply be another superstar of the game, coming from nowhere, that takes home the prize. We investigate who the top five Brownlow Medal chances are for 2011.
The Magpies' vice captain had yet another outstanding season in 2010. He was sixth in the AFL for disposals, averaging 26.6 a game, he led the Pies in handballs and hard-ball gets, was second at the club (10th in the AFL) for tackles, and third for goal assists and loose-ball gets.
Taken at fifth overall in the 2005 draft, Pendlebury is still developing, and is coming into his prime as he enters the 2011 season.
Look for Pendlebury to make some noise on that Monday night in September next year. The only issue will be how he and Dane Swan draw votes—which could be counter-productive for both players chances.
The Blues' captain shocked everyone when he won the award late last year. At the same time, he also proved that he can win umpires votes, despite not arguably meeting the 'best' portion of 'best and fairest'.
He had an off year in 2010, and his young Blues side is still developing, so look for him to improve even further in the coming season.
Provided he stays clear of any on field incidents (i.e. pressure point incident) Judd will always be in contention to bring home the coveted prize.
Joel Selwood is an outstanding talent, and is still young, with a long and successful career ahead of him. He had a stellar 2010 season, playing second fiddle to Gary Ablett jnr, and with Ablett now up north, look for Selwood to skyrocket in value, as the cats will depend on his leadership in the middle.
Selwood has always been 'up there' in terms of vote getting, but Gary Ablett often stole votes from him in previous years. Selwood is as good a chance to win the Brownlow in 2011 as he will ever be.
Goddard has become a superstar and is considered the game’s No. one utility player. This was highlighted by his stellar performance in the 2010 drawn grand final.
He led the St Kilda in contested marks and handballs, was second for disposals and inside 50s, and third for rebound 50s.
Goddard was rewarded for an outstanding year with a second consecutive All-Australian selection after averaging more than 28 touches a game.
Look for Goddard to have fire in his belly after losing a second consecutive grand final last year. This will lead to him playing inspired football, which is bound to win him some Brownlow Votes.
Dane Swan won every individual honor up for grabs in the 2010 season (excluding the Brownlow Medal). What more motivation does he need?
Almost every AFL follower was shocked to hear about Dane Swan missing out on winning the Brownlow. This sparked criticism of umpires, which may result in a few extra votes heading Swan's way this season.
Swan is a prolific ball winner—he led the competition in disposals, but what was even more impressive was his ability to handle a tag.
With Collingwood playing with confidence after winning the flag last season, it's hard to knock Swan's chances of finally bringing home the Brownlow Medal.