The 2020 college football season is in the books, and with bowl games already underway, much of the focus is on the College Football Playoff. While Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame will be competing for the national championship, only one of those teams is represented here among our 2020 CBS Sports/247Sports college football award winners.
The wildest and strangest season in the sport's history saw dozens of unexpected storylines emerge, including a Sun Belt program playing just its 17th year of football -- and fifth at the FBS level -- becoming a national darling with an undefeated campaign and a wide receiver emerging from incredible quarterbacking season as the favorite for the Heisman Trophy.
Let's take a look at the best and brightest from the sport in 2020 as voted on by our panel of CBS Sports and 247Sports college football experts. Be sure to check out the 2020 CBS Sports/247Sports All-America team for more honorees.
Coach of the Year: Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
What a ride. In 2017, Chadwell as Coastal's offensive coordinator was named interim coach while Joe Moglia dealt with an asthma issue. Moglia then returned in 2018 before permanently turning the program to Chadwell, who had won almost two-thirds of his games in Division II and FCS. That's how you work your way up.
In his second full season as coach, it all came together for the former East Tennessee State quarterback. The Chanticleers went undefeated in the program's 18th season overall and fourth at the FBS level. Coastal Carolina is a complete program led by redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall and the Sun Belt's best scoring defense. All of it earned Chadwell a long-term extension when other schools showed interest.
"As a coach, you believe in yourself and you believe in what you're doing," Chadwell said. "Now, did I think it would lead to this opportunity? No, not at all. But, that's a God thing."
Chadwell becomes our third CBS Sports Coach of the Year choice in four years from the Sun Belt.
Player of the Year: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
If he never catches another pass, the Alabama senior will never had to pay for another meal in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is the thing of legend status for the Crimson Tide. Remember: Smith was the one who caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa to beat Georgia for the 2017 national championship.
After the injury to Jaylen Waddle this season, Smith was asked to step up. The Louisiana native not only stepped up, he dominated. Smith blew the top off secondaries catching 98 passes, 17 of them for touchdowns, for 1,511 yards. Smith also scored a touchdown rushing the ball and had eight punt returns for 199 yards and another score.
All that speed and all that work ethic make Smith one of the best players in the country and the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, but he was a clear choice as our CBS Sports Player of the Year.
Freshman of the Year: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
There have been few Oklahoma quarterbacks who arrived with more hype than the five-star Arizona product. Rattler then threw five interceptions in his first four games as a starter. The three-pick performance against Kansas State kept the Sooners out of the College Football Playoff conversation.
But once he settled down, Oklahoma took off. In his final six games, Rattler simply made better decisions throwing 12 touchdowns with only two interceptions as he led the Sooners to a sixth straight Big 12 title. He was no Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray in their first seasons as OU starters, but he's also still developing. Oklahoma had loads of talent coming back, including a seasoned Rattler, in 2021.