NEW ORLEANS - The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selected a pair of Mid-American Conference quarterbacks for its annual Watch List on Monday. The Watch List is being announced by conference in conjunction with each league’s media days.
With the MAC Media Day being held on Tuesday, the Sugar Bowl announced that Alex Carder (Western Michigan) and Tyler Tettleton (Ohio) had been selected to this year’s Watch List.
The overall Watch List will include 25 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2012 season. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
Carder had an outstanding season in 2011, leading the Broncos to a Little Caesar’s Bowl appearance. He threw for a school record 3,873 yards with 31 touchdowns and a 145.3 efficiency rating. He also tied a school record with seven 300-yard passing games. He set a new school record for passing yards in a game with 479 against UConn. and bested that effort five games later with 548 against Toledo. Western Michigan opens its 2012 season on Sept. 1, playing on the road at Illinois.
Carder is also nominated for the 2012 Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.The preseason Watch List recognizes top quarterbacks in the nation based on previous collegiate performance, however, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible for the honor. Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Monday, Nov. 26. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its ninth winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. This past season’s honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins).