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College Football Blog Award Nominees: Keith Jackson Writing Award

Burnt Orange Nation is beginning to select its nominations for the first annual College Football Blog Awards. BON's nominees for each award will be laid out in a separate post.

Readers note: nominating blogs is open to everyone.  To nominate blogs for any of the categories, simply go to the Nomination Page and nominate blogs of your choice.

CATEGORY: The Keith Jackson Circa 1995 Award

FOR: The blog with the most consistently expressive and excellent writing.

CRITERIA: Mechanical competency, yes, but the ability to turn a devastatingly funny phrase or write something compelling is probably more important. This isn't an award for copy editing; it's an award for kickin' prose.


Ronald Bellamy's Underachieving All Stars Reading Johnny's Michigan commentary, I often wonder what his background is. Journalism major? English? Maybe philosophy? Whatever the background, someone, somewhere, taught the man how to write. You could read any of Johnny's posts and immediately find yourself lost in his superior writing, but I always think back to his post about Vince Young in the aftermath of the Wonderlic concerns.

So that's why when I hear how this Wonderlic test is changing the way people think of Vince I get a bit nervous, nervous that it might change the way I think of him too. Because you see, there's only one way I want to know Vince: Crushed kettle corn beneath my feet, uncle shouting incredulously in my ear, and not one in 93 thousand who have any idea if "impossible" even exists.

I've written tens of thousands of words on Vince Young, and failed to turn as devastatingly great a phrase as the one Johnny closes his piece with. And this is par for Johnny's course. I'm a huge fan.

SMQ Another category I can't, in good conscience, pass over SMQ. The wonderful thing about SMQ is that his prose and stories have something for every kind of fan. The content is consistently interesting for the casual reader. The popular culture and comedic value are there for the bloggy types. And the analysis - and manner in which its presented - is academic enough for the wonkier among us. That's a near-impossible trifecta to pull off. Some bloggers manage to pull of some of each in spurts, but no one - that I know of, at least - does so with such laudable consistency.

And that's a function of SMQ's tremendous writing capabilities. The only possible knock on SMQ is his wordiness, but for us prose lovers, that's a bonus, not a drawback. SMQ has the ability to, from time to time, make the rest of us just look like a pack of wannabe bloggers.

DawgSports Kyle's writing is not for everybody. He links a lot. He's exceedingly thorough. His treatises almost universally reflect his legal acumen. And while those facets of Kyle's writing may make his content too dense for some to sort through, to me, they make the content that much richer and, more importantly, stronger. Kyle's writing winds up making his opinions sound like statements of fact. Like every good lawyer, he can be unbelievably convincing, even when the reader is in stark disagreement with the opinion being posited. That's the sign of not just a good thinker, but a good writer.

One last word on Kyle's writing: he's not just thoughtful, he has a warmness with his words that serve to, ultimately, further strengthen his voice. There can be, at times, a bit of a culture of "one-upsmanship" in the blogosphere. Kyle always resists that temptation, writing consistently with a measured respect. Just one more feather in Kyle's very full cap.