Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is the Associated Press college football player of the year, becoming the first non-Heisman Trophy winner to earn the honor in six years.
McCaffrey was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy to Derrick Henry, but received 29 of 60 votes from the AP Top 25 media panel to edge the Alabama running back.
Henry received 16 votes and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was third with 11. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield each received two votes.
The last time the AP player of the year was not the Heisman winner was 2009. That season Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was the AP voter’s choice while the Heisman went to Alabama running back Mark Ingram. It is the fifth time overall that the Heisman winner and AP player of the year went to different players.
McCaffrey is the first Stanford player to win the award since it was first handed out in 1998 and first running back to win it since Southern California’s Reggie Bush in 2005
“This award is a testament to all the efforts and support of my teammates, coaches, staff and the entire Stanford football program,” McCaffrey said.
The 200-pound sophomore ran for 1,847 yards (second most in the nation behind Henry) and eight touchdowns, caught a team-best 41 passes for 540 yards and four scores and averaged 28.9 yards per kickoff return with another score. He also threw two touchdown passes.
Famous Potato Bowl
Robert Stein made three field goals and Jatavis Brown led a smothering defense as Akron earned its first victory in a bowl, a 23-21 over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Stein, who became the school’s career scoring leader with 268 points, connected from 29, 33 and 46 yards, and was selected the game’s MVP. His longest kick gave the Zips a 23-14 with 8:15 remaining.
Akron (8-5) finished with eight wins for the first time since moving up to FBS in 1987. The record came four years to the day after the school hired coach Terry Bowden.
Miami has sent two defensive players home from the Sun Bowl, one for a conduct issue and the other because he was ruled academically ineligible.
Safety Jamal Carter was sent back Tuesday morning, less than one day after the team arrived. Interim Miami coach Larry Scott said Carter violated a team policy, without divulging specifics.
Later Tuesday, defensive tackle Courtel Jenkins was declared ineligible and also was removed from the team’s bowl activities.
Miami (8-4) plays Washington State (8-4) on Saturday.
Texas State’s Dennis Franchione retired after a 30-year career as a head coach with stops in New Mexico, TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M.
The 64-year-old had a 213-135-2 career record. He led his teams to nine conference championships, nine bowl games, four NAIA playoff games and one NCAA Division II playoff.
• Ball State coach Pete Lembo is leaving the Cardinals to join Maryland as assistant head coach and special teams coordinator.
Lembo is the third recent head coach to join Maryland as an assistant since 37-year-old D.J. Durkin took over the Terrapins earlier this month. The former Michigan defensive coordinator has also added former Virginia coach Mike London and former Syracuse coach Scott Shafer to his staff.