Last week, we asked a series of non-AQ poll questions. Today, I am here to discuss the results. First, we begin with the questions that dealt with the players. The most popular question was: "Who is the toughest player to replace?"
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton led the way with 58 percent of the more than 6,400 votes. Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick was a distant second with 22 percent of the vote. I understand why fans voted this way because Dalton has meant so much to the Horned Frogs. TCU went to its first two BCS games under Dalton and won a Rose Bowl. But my choice was Kaepernick because TCU has built a national program and likes to think it reloads, rather than rebuilds. Nevada had a special season and it is going to be hard to top what happened in 2010 unless Tyler Lantrip can put together another storybook season.
BYU quarterback Jake Heaps topped two categories: Most improved player and biggest impact player. The candidates I selected under impact player came under scrutiny from some fans. Perhaps the question was a bit nebulous because the word "impact" can mean so many different things.
My definition: Which player has the biggest impact on his team. Some wondered why I had Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore on the list because he is expected to be just as good as always in 2011. My reasoning is because he has the biggest impact on that team no matter how good he has been in the past. Take Kellen Moore away, and Boise State is not a preseason top-10 team. That is why Houston quarterback Case Keenum is on the list. Houston went 5-7 and missed a bowl game without him last season.
Moore did top the offensive player of the year voting, while TCU linebacker Tank Carder won the vote for defensive player of the year. No surprise there, although some Boise State fans were upset I did not include Broncos defensive tackle Billy Winn among the candidates. Even if I had, I still think Carder would have won the vote.