The Allstate Sugar Bowl announced the 2016 Watch List for the Manning Award including Temple senior quarterback Phillip Walker
. Walker is joined by 29 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2016 season. The winner will be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
Walker, from Elizabeth, N.J., is entering his fourth season as a starter for the Owls. He is already the school's all-time leader in touchdown passes (52), completions (601) and total offense (8,237), and is within striking distance of every major TU passing record. This is the fourth Watch List he has been named to this season – the others are the Maxwell Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and the CFPA National Performer of the Year.
Inclusion on the Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Midseason additions to the Watch List will be announced on Wednesday, October 12. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Wednesday, November 30. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 11.
In addition to the Manning Award's yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week. Fifty-six players from 53 different schools were honored during the 2015 season.
This year's Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The Big 12 leads the way with five selections, followed by the Big Ten and ACC with four each. There are 15 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has three.
"We have had the opportunity to recognize 11 outstanding quarterbacks with the Manning Award," said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO. "It is truly a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor this award and we wish the best of luck to every quarterback and team in the country for another great year of college football."
In its first 12 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 11 different schools and from four different conferences. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with four Manning Award winners (Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell, Tim Tebow), while Texas is the only school with two winners (Colt McCoy and Vince Young). Deshaun Watson was the third winner from the Atlantic Coast Conference, joining Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007) and Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013).
Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Nine of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Robert Griffin III, Marcus Mariota, Ryan, Watson and Winston. On the other hand, Watson, Young, Manziel and Newton were all 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.
Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Seven of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons – Mariota tallied a Manning Award-best 58 touchdowns during his winning campaign in 2014.
One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes into account the quarterbacks bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Eleven of the 12 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor; the lone loss was by McCoy in the 2010 BCS Championship game when he suffered an early injury.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.