With the college football regular season in the rearview mirror, it’s now officially awards season around the nation. The Home Depot College Football Awards Show is set to take place Thursday night with the Heisman Trophy presentation following Saturday.
Another award that will soon be given out is the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Eight finalists have been announced and the award will be given out Dec. 14.
Here are the eight coaches named as Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Finalists per the official release:
UAB’s Bill Clark: After the school’s two-year hiatus from football, Clark’s Blazers posted an 8-4 record during the 2017 regular season. Clark has built a roster from scratch and has recorded the most FBS victories in a UAB season. The Blazers beat four bowl-eligible teams, placed second in C-USA’s West Division at 6-2, and earned only the second bowl bid in program history, when they’ll take on Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl.
UCF’s Scott Frost: UCF (12-0) has its longest winning streak in program history heading into its Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl meeting against Auburn. The American Athletic Conference champions lead the nation in scoring (49.4 ppg) and are the only unbeaten team remaining in the FBS. Frost has accepted a job at his alma mater to coach the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but will coach UCF in Atlanta.
FAU’s Lane Kiffin: In his first season at the school, the well-traveled Kiffin led the Owls (10-3) to a win in the Conference USA Championship Game, as FAU became only the league’s second team to finish the regular season undefeated and win the title game. Kiffin led one of the best turnarounds in the FBS, as FAU was 3-9 year ago. The Owls, who have won nine straight games after a 1-3 start, will play Akron in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.
Army’s Jeff Monken: Army stands at 8-3 before its meeting against Navy on Saturday in Philadelphia. The Black Knights, the nation’s top rushing team (368.1 ypg), will meet San Diego State in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. A year ago, the Black Knights broke a 14-game losing streak against Navy and have fed off that momentum in 2017. They were unbeaten at home (6-0) for the first time since 1996. The Black Knights lost two road games by a total of seven points.
Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley: In his first season as a head coach, the nation’s youngest FBS head coach (34) has taken the Sooners to a 12-1 record and a berth in the College Football Playoff. With a Heisman Trophy finalist in quarterback in Baker Mayfield, the Sooners have one of college football’s most prolific offenses. The Sooners, No. 2 in the CFP’s final rankings, defeated TCU a second time this season in the Big 12 Championship and will face Georgia in the Rose Bowl.
Georgia’s Kirby Smart: The Southeastern Conference champion Bulldogs (12-1) were ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time in school history – and stayed there for two weeks before finishing at No. 3, following their win over Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. The Bulldogs captured the SEC Eastern Division, including a perfect 6-0 in the division for the first time since the league split into divisions in 1992. Smart is in the second year as head coach at his alma mater.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney: Coach of the defending national champions, Swinney has the Tigers in the College Football Playoff for the third straight year. The Atlantic Coast Conference champions (12-1) and top seed in the playoff will meet Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, a rematch of the last two national championship games. Swinney was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award in 2011 and ‘15.
Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford: In his first season at his alma mater, Tedford helped record the best turnaround in the FBS, as the Bulldogs finished 9-3 in the regular season after a 1-11 record in 2016. Fresno State won its division at 7-1 before falling to Boise State in the Mountain West Championship Game. Two of the Bulldogs’ three losses were to Alabama and Washington early in the season. Fresno State will meet Houston in the Hawaii Bowl.