Alabama, Georgia lead this year's All-Bowl team

Another bowl season is in the books, and it has a familiar ending: Alabama is once again national champion.

The Crimson Tide won their fifth national title in nine seasons by defeating Georgia 26-23 in overtime in Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T.

The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide also headline the 2017-18 ESPN All-Bowl team, with three selections each. Here are the best performers of the bowl season:


Quarterback: Quinton Flowers, South Florida
Flowers put the finishing touches on his record-setting career by leading the Bulls on a winning 80-yard touchdown drive in the final moments of a 38-34 victory over Texas Tech in the Birmingham Bowl. He accounted for all 80 yards on the drive, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tyre McCants with 16 seconds to play. Flowers completed 17 of 34 passes for 311 yards with four touchdowns and ran for 106 yards and another score.

Running back: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Penny ran 81 yards for a touchdown on his first carry against Army in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, and the Black Knights didn't have much success stopping him the rest of the game, either. Penny ran 14 times for 221 yards with four touchdowns in a 42-35 loss to Army. He became only the fourth FBS player with five straight games of at least 200 rushing yards and finished the season with a school-record 2,248 rushing yards, breaking the mark set last season by Donnel Pumphrey.

Running back: Sony Michel, Georgia
It's always Sony in Pasadena -- and Atlanta. Georgia's star backfield of Michel and Nick Chubb combined for 326 rushing yards with five touchdowns on 26 carries in the Rose Bowl victory over Oklahoma. Michel had 98 rushing yards on 14 carries in Monday's loss to Alabama. No other running back duo in FBS history finished with more combined career rushing yards than their 8,407 during the past four seasons.

Wide receiver: Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
Wilson had been an inspiration for the Broncos all season, and he motivated his teammates once again in his final college game. Despite rolling both of his ankles and limping off the field in the first half of the Las Vegas Bowl, Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards with a touchdown in a 38-28 victory over Oregon. It was the second-most receptions by a Boise State player in a bowl game, and he also set a BSU single-season record with 1,511 receiving yards.

Wide receiver: Gregory Phillips, Purdue
Phillips, one of Purdue's senior captains, struggled with drops this season and even lost his starting job in the final six regular-season games. But he saved his best for his last college game, hauling in 14 passes for 149 yards with two touchdowns in a 38-35 win over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl. It was the most catches by a Purdue player in a bowl game.

Tight end: Cam Serigne, Wake Forest
Serigne caught nine passes for 112 yards with one touchdown, helping the Demon Deacons cap their bounce-back season with a wild 55-52 victory over Texas A&M in the Belk Bowl. With his 21st touchdown catch, Serigne broke the ACC career record for tight ends.

Tackle: Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
Deiter and the rest of Wisconsin's celebrated offensive line gave Capital One Orange Bowl MVP Alex Hornibrook plenty of time to throw in a 34-24 victory over Miami. The Badgers allowed only one sack against the Hurricanes, who led the FBS in sacks during the regular season, and Hornibrook completed 24 of 34 passes for 258 yards with four touchdowns.

Guard: David Forney, Navy
Forney led the Midshipmen with 13 knockdown blocks in a 49-7 rout of Virginia in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. Navy set a Military Bowl record with 452 rushing yards on 76 carries -- it attempted only one pass in the game -- and held the ball for 42 minutes.

Center: Bryce Holland, Army
The Black Knights ran for 440 yards and had 91 offensive plays to San Diego State's 30 in a 42-35 victory in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The interior line did a lot of damage in the ground attack, with four fullbacks combining to run 45 times.

Guard: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Notre Dame's 330-pound bulldozer hadn't allowed a sack in 819 snaps before playing LSU in the Citrus Bowl presented by Overton's. According to Pro Football Focus, the Irish produced 84 rushing yards through his gaps on six carries, and he allowed only one quarterback pressure on 30 pass-blocking snaps in the Citrus Bowl.

Tackle: Nick Kaltmayer, Kansas State
Starting in place of injured left tackle Dalton Risner, Kaltmayer helped the Wildcats run for 344 yards in a 35-17 win over UCLA in the Cactus Bowl. Quarterback Alex Delton set a KSU bowl record with 158 rushing yards, and tailback Alex Barnes added 117 yards on 12 carries. They're the first duo with 100 yards rushing in a bowl game in Kansas State history.


Defensive line: Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
Hubbard was a one-man wrecking crew in Ohio State's 24-7 win over USC in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. He had 2½ of the Buckeyes' eight sacks, which were the most the Trojans had surrendered in 20 years. Hubbard, who announced he was entering the NFL draft, also had four tackles and 3½ tackles for loss.

Defensive line: Da'Ron Payne, Alabama
Payne, a 308-pound senior, displayed his athleticism and brute strength in Alabama's two victories in the CFP. He had two tackles and one interception, which he returned 21 yards, in the Tide's 24-6 win over Clemson in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. He also caught a 1-yard touchdown against the Tigers after lining up as a fullback. Payne had six tackles in Alabama's victory over Georgia.

Defensive line: Carl Granderson, Wyoming
Granderson had a 58-yard scoop and score on a fumble recovery and recorded five tackles and a sack in Wyoming's 37-14 rout of Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Granderson, who arrived at Wyoming three years ago as a 6-foot-5, 180-pound defensive end, was named All-Mountain West Conference and finished the season with 77 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 9½ sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and a safety.

Linebacker: Shaquem Griffin, Central Florida
Griffin, who had his left hand amputated due to a birth condition when he was 4, was named Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Defensive MVP after totaling 12 tackles, 1½ sacks and 3½ tackles for loss in the Knights' 34-27 win over Auburn. The victory helped the Knights finish 13-0, making them the only undefeated team in the FBS.

Linebacker: T.J. Brunson, South Carolina
Brunson had 13 tackles -- including nine solos -- with two sacks on third down in the Gamecocks' 26-19 victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. The Gamecocks forced five turnovers, the most in Outback Bowl history, and limited the Wolverines to only 13 points on six red zone trips, which enabled them to come back from a 16-point deficit.

Linebacker: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Smith, the Butkus Award winner as the best linebacker in the FBS, piled up 24 tackles, 3½ tackles for loss and one sack in two CFP games. He had 11 tackles, one for a loss, in the Rose Bowl, including key stops in each of the overtimes. He had 13 tackles, one sack and 2½ tackles for loss against Alabama in the CFP National Championship.

Linebacker: Mack Wilson, Alabama
Wilson had a dominant performance against Georgia in Anfernee Jennings' absence, finishing with a career-high 12 tackles, including seven solo stops, and two tackles for loss. He was a big reason the Bulldogs had only 142 yards of offense and scored only 10 points after halftime. He had six tackles and scored on an 18-yard interception return against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

Cornerback: Julian Blackmon, Utah
The Utes' homegrown sophomore had two interceptions and was named MVP in a 30-14 victory over West Virginia in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl. Utah limited the Mountaineers, who were missing quarterback Will Grier and tailback Justin Crawford, to only 153 yards of offense. The win improved Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's bowl record to 11-1; his .917 winning percentage is the best by any FBS coach with 10 bowl appearances or more.

Cornerback: Anthony Averett, Alabama
Averett wasn't particularly great in pass coverage against Georgia in the CFP National Championship, but his physical play set the tone early. He sacked Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm for a 10-yard loss on a cornerback blitz in the first half and then made an ankle-grabbing tackle of Chubb for an 8-yard loss. Averett finished with six tackles.

Safety: Damon Webb, Ohio State
With All-American cornerback Denzel Ward sitting out the Cotton Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft, Webb was the star in Ohio State's secondary. On the third play of the game, Webb scooped up a fumble and returned it 20 yards to set up a touchdown. Early in the second quarter, he picked off a pass and returned it 23 yards for a 17-0 lead.

Safety: Mark McLaurin, Mississippi State
McLaurin picked off 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson three times and had 11 tackles, helping interim coach Greg Knox guide the Bulldogs to a 31-27 victory over Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl. McLaurin's third interception with 2:31 remaining sealed the victory.

Special teams

Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
Blankenship, who is known as much for his goggle-like glasses as his strong leg, kicked a 55-yard field goal, the longest in Rose Bowl history, to help the Bulldogs rally from a 17-point deficit against Oklahoma. In the CFP National Championship, he kicked a 51-yard field goal in overtime to give the Bulldogs a brief lead.

Punter: Michael Dickson, Texas
Dickson, who won the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the FBS, was also named MVP of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Dickson averaged 41.1 yards on 11 punts in the Longhorns' 33-16 win over Missouri. Ten of his 11 punts pinned the Tigers inside their 15-yard line, including one at the 4, two at the 3 and another at the 2. Dickson is only the second punter to be named MVP of a bowl game; Florida State's Graham Gano was MVP of the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl.

Kick returner: Jason Huntley, New Mexico State
Huntley returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown -- one play after Utah State's Savon Scarver returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score -- in New Mexico State's 26-20 win in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. It was New Mexico State's first bowl victory in 57 years.

All-purpose: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Barkley had 137 rushing yards with two touchdowns and caught a team-high seven passes for 38 yards in the Nittany Lions' 35-28 win over Washington in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. His 92-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the longest in Fiesta Bowl history and Penn State history.