Kelvin Taylor has been named to the 2014 Doak Walker Award watch list, released Thursday.
The award is given to the nation's best running back. Taylor is one of 53 running backs named to the award's preseason watch list this year, and is joined by eight other SEC running backs — including, amusingly, Alex Collins of Arkansas, Mike Davis of South Carolina, and Derrick Henry of Alabama, all of whom considered (or, in Davis's case, committed to) Florida during their respective recruiting processes.
Not only has Florida never had a player win the Doak Walker Award, it's never even had a semifinalist for it. Part of the reasoning for that is timing: The award was first handed out in 1990, one season after Emmitt Smith departed for the NFL.
College football award watch lists are stupid. They are beholden to confirmation and recency biases, and, while designed to be comprehensive to the point of absurdity, often fail to capture the breadth of talent in the sport.
More than zero college football awards last year went to guys not on preseason watch lists, which is why preseason watch lists are pointless— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) July 7, 2014
None of the watch lists mean anything: The number of players on those lists means that the quality of player on any given list varies from good to extraordinary, with little demarcation possible, and players who currently lack the notoriety to appear on a watch list but demonstrate the skills to contend for an award in the fall will be judged no less competent for not appearing on these list.
And yet, it's the middle of summer, and we're all "starved" for college football content, so these tidbits are "worth" "noting." This note will appear at the bottom of all "Florida Gators on 2014 college football award watch list" posts. Get used to seeing it.