SBNation recently asked us to submit our thoughts on some pre-season national awards and an All-American team and since there are a lot of Pac-12 players included in our ballot (And because we are in the heat of the summer dregs), we are sharing our ballot and reasoning.
Always a very tough award to predict, we were asked to submit our top three votes for who we think will win the award.
#1 Johnny Manziel So. QB Texas A&M
Okay, repeating as Heisman winner is nearly impossible, but I think you have to give the vote to the defending winner until proven otherwise at this point. Also, I think Manziel is unstoppable in the Aggies' offense and that they will be a serious national title contender.
#2 Braxton Miller Jr. QB Ohio State
I don't think Miller is the second-best player in the country, but I think Ohio State will run the table in the regular season, Miller will put up big numbers and plays for a marquee program which is a solid recipe for Heisman consideration.
#3 Marcus Mariota So. QB Oregon
I think there is also a very good chance that Oregon runs in the table in 2013 and that Mariota will at least match his stats from 2012 which were Heisman worthy and will get more attention now that more people around the country know who he is.
Coach of the Year
Urban Meyer Ohio State
If Meyer can take Ohio State to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons like I think he will, it will be pretty much impossible not to give him the award.
Offensive Coordinator of the Year
Scott Frost Oregon
I think Oregon's offense is going to keep going on at just the same pace it did under Chip Kelly and the Ducks could go undefeated. If both of those happens, Frost will deserve loads of praise for not only keeping the Duck offense firing on all cylinders, but maybe even turning it up a little bit.
Defensive Coordinator of the Year
Derek Mason Stanford
Another Pac-12 choice. Stanford's defense is as loaded as I can ever remember a Pac-12 defense being and I think that they will shut down pretty much every offense they face in 2013, including maybe Oregon's.
Quarterback: Johnny Manziel So. Texas A&M
Running Back: Ka'Deem Carey Jr. Arizona
Carey led the nation in rushing and nearly in rushing touchdowns last year, he plays in a legit conference and there's no reason to think that he won't match his production from 2012. He may not be a surefire first round draft pick or the flashiest running back in the nation, but he is the best.
Running Back: T.J. Yeldon So. Alabama
There are other guys who may have put up better stats in 2012, but Yeldon is now Alabama's lead feature back, fits their mold perfectly and we can all agree that Alabama produces All-American running backs, right?
Wide Receiver: Marqise Lee Jr. USC
Lee had one of the best seasons I have ever seen a college receiver have in 2012 and as long as the Trojans have a quarterback that can get the ball out to him, he should have an equally stellar 2013.
Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins So. Clemson
Watkins has all the ability in the world if he can keep it together and he's the only receiver in the country that I would put up there anywhere near Lee.
Tight End: Austin Seferian-Jenkins Jr. Washington
Seferian-Jenkins arguably put up the best stats of any tight end in the country last season and was only a sophomore.
Tackle: Taylor Lewan Sr. Michigan
Lewan was a guaranteed Top 10 pick had he declared last year and easily could be the top pick of the 2014 draft. He's the best Michigan lineman to come along since Jake Long.
Tackle: Jake Matthews Sr. Texas A&M
Like Lewan, Matthews could have been a very high draft pick in this year's draft, but came back to be one of the best linemen in the country.
Guard: David Yankey Sr. Stanford
Another All-American lineman produced by the Cardinal. Yankey is one of the best run blockers in the country and excels in Stanford's smashmouth system.
Guard: Cyril Richardson Sr. Baylor
Richardson is massive and a road grater that will assuredly blast open a ton of holes for Lache Seastrunk in Baylor's high-powered offense this season.
Center: Gabe Ikard Sr. Oklahoma
Almost considered putting Oregon's Hroniss Grasu here, but Ikard is a little bit more experienced.
All-Purpose: De'Anthony Thomas Jr. Oregon
I honestly consider Thomas a straight up running back who also just happens to be a really good receiver, but since they offered this position on the ballot, I'll put him here. If not, I would heavily consider putting him in the running back spot I gave Yeldon.
Defensive End: Jadeveon Clowney Jr. South Carolina
The only way he wasn't making it in this spot is if he decided to sit 2013 out.
Defensive End: Stephon Tuitt Sr. Notre Dame
An incredible athlete for how big he is, Tuitt is as good against the run and the pass as any player in the country.
Defensive Tackle: Will Sutton Sr. Arizona State
2012's Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year is the easy choice here and if it weren't for Clowney, he would probably be the best defensive lineman in the country. Anyone who has seen Sutton play knows that he is versatile, athletic and can make plays all over the line.
Defensive Tackle: Louis Nix Sr. Notre Dame
Nix is the best nose guard, big, run stuffing style defensive tackle in the country and is a big part of why the Irish defense was so tough in 2012.
Outside Linebacker: C.J. Mosley Sr. Alabama
Another no-brainer, Alabama produces All-American linebackers and Mosley is the next one.
Outside Linebacker: Anthony Barr Sr. UCLA
I think Barr is the best pure athlete of any defensive player in the country this season except maybe Clowney and his combination of size, speed and tenacity make him one of the most fun players to watch in the country.
Inside Linebacker: Chris Borland Sr. Wisconsin
I would prefer to not have to specifically pick an inside linebacker as opposed to just picking three linebackers and would have put BYU's Kyle Van Noy or Stanford's Trent Murphy here if I could, but regardless, I really like Borland. He isn't a future Top 10 draft pick or anything but is simply a really good, no-nonsense college linebacker.
Cornerback: Bradley Roby Jr. Ohio State
Kind of a weak year for cornerbacks and defensive backs national this year in general, but Roby is the best of the bunch and was a first team All-American by some publications last season.
Cornerback: Jason Verrett Sr. TCU
Another corner that made some All-American teams last year, Verrett grabbed six interceptions in 2012 and is also a really good tackler.
Safety: Craig Loston Sr. LSU
A lot of players at safety that are about the same that you could choose here, but I think Loston has the best potential of any of them and should have the best season.
Safety: Hakeem Smith Sr. Louisville
Smith gets overlooked a bit because he plays in an abysmal conference, but he is a rangy style safety that is balanced and plays for a team that I think will force the country to take notice because of their record. Tempted to put Stanford's Ed Reynolds here, but I think too much of his clout has come from interceptions and it will be hard to match his output in that department in 2013.
Kicker: Cairo Santos Sr. Tulane
I'm gonna be honest and admit that I don't follow kicking much, but Santos made first team All-American as a junior last season.
Punter: Kyle Christy So. Florida
Once again, not something I really follow but Christy has one of the best returning punting averages in the country on a good team.
Returner: De'Anthony Thomas Jr. Oregon
Hands down, the most feared guy in the return game that no one wants to kick to or punt to.