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Predicting the college football awards

We'll have to wait until Jan. 12 to find out which team will the inaugural College Football Playoff.

On Saturday night, we'll learn if Oregon's Marcus Mariota will become the latest quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, college football's most revered individual award.

On Thursday night, we'll find out the winners of college football's other top individual honors at the Home Depot College Football Awards (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Here's a look at the hardware that's up for grabs, the finalists for each and who should win:

Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year)

Finalists: Vic Beasley, Clemson; Joey Bosa, Ohio State; Scooby Wright III, Arizona

Who should win: Wright
Who will win: Wright

Talk about Scooby snacks. Wright, who has already won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the country's top defensive player, ranks in the top five among FBS players with 153 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. He's trying to become the first FBS player since 1999 to finish in the top five in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks.

Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver)

Finalists: Amari Cooper, Alabama; Rashard Higgins, Colorado State; Kevin White, West Virginia

Who should win: Cooper
Who will win: Cooper

Cooper set an SEC single-record with 115 catches for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns for the No. 1 Crimson Tide. He had 10 catches for more in five games and more than 200 receiving yards in three contests.

Lou Groza Place-Kicker Award (nation's outstanding place-kicker)

Finalists: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State; Brad Craddock, Maryland; Josh Lambert, West Virginia

Who should win: Aguayo
Who will win: Aguayo

Aguayo will try to join former FSU kicker Sebastian Janikowski as the only players to win two Lou Groza Awards. He made 25 of 27 field goals this season and 46 of 49 over the past two seasons. He hasn't missed an extra point during his college career. You can certainly argue that Aguayo has been more valuable this season than last because defending national champion FSU has been involved in so many close games.

Ray Guy Award (punter of the year)

Finalists: Tom Hackett, Utah; JK Scott, Alabama; Austin Rehkow, Idaho

Who should win: Scott
Who will win: Scott

Scott, a freshman from Denver, has been a field-position weapon during his first season with the Crimson Tide. He ranks third among FBS players in punting (47.0 average) and has put 26 of his 48 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line, which is the highest average (54.1 percent) among FBS players. Scott had 18 punts of 50 yards or more, including a long of 70. Alabama is No. 2 in net punting among FBS teams (43.3 yards) and has allowed only 73 punt return yards.

Maxwell Award (Player of the Year)

Finalists: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin; Marcus Mariota, Oregon; Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

Who should win: Mariota
Who will win: Mariota

The Heisman Trophy favorite has been the country's most consistent quarterback on one of the sport's best teams. Mariota is the nation's top-rated passer (186.3) and has thrown for 3,783 yards with 38 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also has run for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Pac-12 champions.

Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award (nation's best quarterback)

Finalists: Trevone Boykin, TCU; Marcus Mariota, Oregon; Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

Who should win: Mariota
Who will win: Mariota

Boykin and Prescott had fantastic seasons, but no other quarterback was close to Mariota in terms of efficiency and production. In addition to the statistics cited above, he set a Pac-12 record with 53 total touchdowns this season and had four or more scores in 10 games, most by an FBS player in 2014. On Saturday night, he might become the 13th quarterback in the past 14 years to win the Heisman Trophy.

Outland Trophy (nation's most outstanding interior lineman)

Finalists: Malcom Brown, Texas; Reese Dismukes, Auburn; Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Who should win: Brown
Who will win: Scherff

A finalist for the Nagurski Award and the Outland Trophy, Brown led the Longhorns with 14 tackles for loss and six sacks. His stats weren't overwhelming, but he was nearly impossible to slow down without a double-team block. Brown, a junior who is married and has two children, is expected to enter the 2015 NFL draft.

Rimington Award (outstanding center)

Finalists: Jack Allen, Michigan State; David Andrews, Georgia; BJ Finney, Kansas State; Andy Gallik, Boston College; Hroniss Grasu, Oregon

Who should win: Finney
Who will win: Grasu

It's a really tough call on this one, as any of the five candidates might end up winning. Grasu is probably the favorite, but he hasn't played in the Ducks' past three games because of a lower leg injury. Dismukes is just as deserving, but he had the bungled snap at the end of Auburn's loss to Texas A&M. Finney is a three-time candidate for the Rimington Award and has started at Kansas State all four seasons. He is a three-time All-Big 12 selection.

Jim Thorpe Award (nation's best defensive back)

Finalists: Landon Collins, Alabama; Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon; Gerod Holliman, Louisville

Who should win: Holliman
Who will win: Holliman

Holliman has thrived in new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's system, tying a 46-year-old NCAA single-season record with a whopping 14 interceptions this season. Holliman also has 37 tackles and returned the interceptions for 245 yards with one touchdown. With Holliman manning the back end of its defense, Louisville ranks No. 6 nationally in total defense, allowing only 293.3 yards per game.

Doak Walker Award (nation's best running back)

Finalists: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska; Tevin Coleman, Indiana; Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

Who should win: Gordon
Who will win: Gordon

Gordon leads the country with 2,336 rushing yards and 179.7 yards per game. He broke the single-game Football Bowl Subdivision rushing record with 408 yards against Nebraska, a record that stood for only a week. He needs 293 rushing yards in the Badgers' bowl game to break Barry Sanders' NCAA single-season record of 2,628, set at Oklahoma State in 1988.