Offensive Player of the Year: Fresno State junior quarterback Derek Carr has been nothing short of masterful in directing the Bulldogs' newly-installed spread offense, ranking No. 2 (tied with West Virginia's Geno Smith) nationally in the category of touchdown passes (26), No. 5 in passing yards (2,766) and No. 7 in completions per game (27.9). Carr, who has completed 68.4 percent of his passes against just five interceptions (367 attempts), has posted two 400-yard games thus far, tying the MW record for most 400-yard games in a season. He has five games in which he has thrown three or more touchdown passes and has two of the four longest completions in the NCAA this season. His 97-yard scoring pass against Colorado on Sept. 15 is the longest in the FBS in 2012, while his 89-yard touchdown pass against New Mexico last week ranks fourth-longest.
Also considered: Nevada RB Stefphon Jefferson; New Mexico RB Kasey Carrier; AF RB Cody Getz
Defensive Player of the Year: One of 15 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's top defensive player, Fresno State senior safety Phillip Thomas leads the FBS in interceptions (seven) and total takeaways (eight). Thomas, who missed the 2011 season after suffering a severe leg injury, has returned three of his seven interceptions for touchdowns. His interception total, which ties the MW single-season record, is two more than any player in the FBS and the most by a Fresno State player in 27 years. He has also recovered a fumble, forced three fumbles, recorded seven tackles for loss and posted three sacks. His 56 tackles rank third among the Thorpe Award's 15 semifinalists and he is first in the categories of tackles for loss and sacks.
Also considered: Colorado State DE Lanston Tanyi; San Diego State CB Leon McFadden; Wyoming LB Ghaali Muhammad
Freshman of the Year: Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams, who leads the MW in receptions per game (7.2) and receiving yards per game (90.4), is on the verge of becoming the first freshman in Bulldog history to amass 1,000 receiving yards in a season. With 814 yards heading into Week 10, Adams has already set a Fresno State freshman record with nine total touchdowns and has caught a touchdown pass in four straight games. He needs one touchdown to become just the seventh receiver in school history to catch 10 or more scoring passes in a season.
Also considered: Colorado State LB Cory James; UNLV DE Lenny Jones and QB Nick Sherry
Special Teams Player of the Year: Colorado State punter Pete Kontodiakos, a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, presented annually to the nation's top punter, ranks first in the MW and fourth in the nation with an average of 47.4 yards. In the Rams' win over Hawai'i last week, Kontodiakos eclipsed the MW single-game record by averaging 61.8 yards per punt on four attempts, tops in the nation this season by a punter with at least three attempts in a game. He recorded punts of 72, 60, 59 and 56 yards, breaking the previous MW single-game record of 58.0, set by BYU's Matt Payne against San Diego State in 2002. Kontodiakos is on pace to break Colorado State's all-time single-season record of 46.1, established by Mike Deutsch in 1976. His 73-yard punt at Air Force earlier this season is tied for fourth-longest in the nation in 2012 and he has produced four of the five longest punts in the league this season (73, 72, 72 and 69 yards).
Also considered: KR Mike Edwards, Hawai‘i; PK Nolan Kohorst, UNLV
Coach of the Year: First-year New Mexico coach Bob Davie, who inherited a team that had won just three of its previous 40 games, has led the Lobos to a mark of 4-5 heading into their Week 10 meeting with UNLV. Despite being presented with a roster that featured fewer than 60 scholarship players in spring drills, Davie's accomplishments to date include ending the Lobos' 24-game road losing streak (18 of them coming against MW opponents); guiding the team to multiple home wins for the first time since 2008; leading the Lobos to their first winning streak since 2008 and first road winning streak since 2007; and surpassing former UNM coaches Rocky Long (San Diego State) and Dennis Franchione (Texas State) for wins by a Lobo coach in his first season.
Also considered: Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State.