Nov 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies holds up a sign for Northern Illinois Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch (not pictured) in the fourth quarter of the 2012 MAC Championship against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2012 Detmer Award: Jordan Lynch Runs Away With It

There were obvious front runners to win the inaugural Detmer Award when it conceived before the 2011 season. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was coming off a Heisman finalist campaign, and Houston was welcoming back prolific passer Case Keenum from injury. Keenum went on to win the inaugural edition of the Detmer Award.

The 2012 season opened with no such initial favorite. The air of mystery added an exciting element to each week’s vote, as various performers stepped up into the role of front runner. Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton commanded early attention, before UL-Monore’s Kolton Browning emerged. Fresno State’s dynamic duo of Derek Carr and Robbie Rouse each had a moment in the spotlight, as did Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson.

But as the season concluded, it became clear that the second installment of the Detmer Award was destined for one player, and one player only. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch accrued statistics on par with those of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. His dual threat ability resulted in 24 passing touchdowns and 19 on the ground, the exact same outputs as Manziel. With 2962 yards in the air and 1771 rushing, Lynch surpassed Manziel’s total yardage.

Lynch led the Huskies on a 12-game win streak, a feat only Ohio State and Notre Dame matched on the season. He powered the Huskies to their third straight season of 11-plus wins, and a third consecutive MAC championship. NIU is also headed to the first BCS bowl appearance ever for a MAC program, paired with ACC champion Florida State in the orange Bowl.

Not bad for a team with offensive uncertainty entering the season.

Northern Illinois lost 2011 Detmer Award contender and four-year starter Chandler Harnish to graduation. His absence should have left a tremendous void in the Huskie offense — and in the team’s only loss on Week 1, it did. But after the opener, Lynch morphed into more than an adequate replacement for Harnish. Lynch became transcendent.

His staggering statistical accumulation and its place in the Huskies’ Orange Bowl run have already cemented Lynch’s place among MAC standouts. That’s an illustrious crowd that includes such noteworthy names as Byron Leftwich, Michael Turner, Charlie Frye, Omar Jacobs and Ben Roethlisberger. If Lynch can lead the Huskies over Florida State, he’ll etch a new place in the annals of not only MAC, but college football lore.

Lynch’s season is the very reason the Detmer Award was conceived. He absolutely had one of the five best seasons among all players, but failed to gain the national attention of his BCS conference counterparts.

Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron finished second in final voting. Cameron led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record, the nation’s highest scoring average (over 51 points per game) and didn’t throw an interception until Nov. 17. His streak of 444 straight attempts without a turnover set an NCAA record.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr finished third. Carr hurled 36 touchdowns to just five interceptions and surpassed 3700 yards on 68 percent completions. His efforts helped Fresno State to a share of the Mountain West Conference championship in its first season since joining.

Kolton Browning and UL-Monroe were the talk of college football in September after upsetting Arkansas and taking other BCS opponents Baylor and Auburn to the brink. A late season injury slowed Browning, who led the Detmer Award overall vote until late October, but he still finished No. 4 in the final voting. Browning threw 27 touchdown passes and rushed for another seven to lead the Warhawks to their first bowl appearance.

Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson rounds out the 2012 Detmer Award top five. Jefferson surpassed 1700 yards rushing and scored 22 touchdowns for the Wolf Pack. Only Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey averaged more yards per game this season than Jefferson.

Zach Bloxham,

1. Jordan Lynch
2. Derek Carr
3. Colby Cameron
4. Kolton Browning
5. Stefphon Jefferson

Pat Johnston, One-Handed Grab

1. Jordan Lynch, NIU
2. Colby Cameron, LA Tech
3. Kolton Browning, ULM
4. Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada
5. Derek Carr, Fresno State

Kevin McGuire,

1. Jordan Lynch, NIU
2. Colby Cameron, La Tech
3. Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada
4. Kolton Browning, UL Monroe
5. Derek Carr, Fresno State

#1 Jordan Lynch, QB, NIU- led NIU to a 12-1 record and a BCS bowl berth. Lynch finished the year leading the FBS in total yardage with 4733 yards (364 yards per game).

#2 Derek Carr,QB, Fresno State- finished 8th in the FBS with 3742 yards passing and 36 TDs against 5 INT. Helped turn Fresno State around from 4-9 last season to 9-3 this season.

#3 Colby Cameron,QB, La. Tech- Finished the season with 4324 yards of total offense which ranked fourth in the FBS and finished second in passing yards with 4147 yards passing and 31 TD against 5 INT. Helped lead Louisiana Tech to a 9-3 record.

#4 Kolton Browning,QB, UL Monroe- Helped lead ULM to an 8-4 record and a victory over Arkansas to start off the year. They also came within a TD of beating Auburn and Baylor. Browning finished the year with 27 TD vs 7 INT

#5 Stefphon Jefferson,RB, Nevada- finished 4th in the FBS with 1703 rushing yards and finished second with 22 rushing TD.

Tyler Cantrell,

1.) Jordan Lynch (BCS time for NIU)
2.) Kolton Browning (historic season for La-Monroe was made possible by this man
3.) Colby Cameron (only bad thing is we don’t get to see him play anymore)
4.) Derek Carr
5.) Stefphon Jefferson

Matt Hargleroad,

1. Jordan Lynch
2. Kolton Browning
3. Derek Carr
4. Colby Cameron
5. Stefphon Jefferson

Matt Elder,

1. Jordan Lynch, NIU
2. Colby Cameron, La. Tech
3. Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada
4. Derek Carr, Fresno State
5. Kolton Browning, UL Monroe

Kyle Kensing

1. Jordan Lynch

2. Colby Cameron

3. Derek Carr

4. Stefphon Jefferson

5. Kolton Browning

Tags: Detmer Award Football Fresno State Bulldogs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Northern Illinois Huskies

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