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The 2006 College Football Blogger Awards: The Best Community Award

Is it halftime already? Did somebody change the clock rules or something?

Yesterday, Team Cabal appeared a bit discombobulated, as MGoBlog drew a flag for a false start even before the first snap at 8:00. Just before noon, EDSBS, due to the crowd noise, had to call a timeout with the play clock winding down and just barely avoided a delay of game penalty. MGoBlog was carted off the field with his fingers in an air cast and missed the rest of the half, but at least Comcast, Brian's internet service provider (or, in this case, not provider) was hit with a 15-yard personal foul call.

In the locker room last night, we made a few adjustments, and we're confident that the team is going to fight like heck to make big plays in the second half.

Yeah, okay. So here's the tentative schedule for today:

8:00: The Best Community Award, at Rocky Top Talk
9:00: The Tyrone Prothro and His Amazing Catch Award (Best Post), at MGoBlog
10:00: Best ACC Blog, at Burnt Orange Nation
11:00: Best Big East/Notre Dame Blog, at Dawg Sports
12:00: Best Big Ten Blog, at Every Day Should Be Saturday
1:00: Best Big 12 Blog, at Rocky Top Talk
2:00: Best Pac-10 Blog, at MGoBlog
3:00: Best SEC Blog, at Burnt Orange Nation
4:00: Best Non-BCS Blog, at Dawg Sports
5:00: Best National Blog, at Every Day Should Be Saturday
6:00: The Mythical National Champion Blog, at Rocky Top Talk

Emphasis on the word tentative. That's the current plan, but there's no telling when we might decide to get all Boise State on you and break out the Statue of Liberty or something.

You can find a list of all of the winners and runners up over at the Trophy Case.

And now, time to announce this year's winner for the Best Community Award. The nominees are:

The Best Community Interaction Award

FOR: The blog with the best community interaction.

CRITERIA: A regular solicitation of input from readers and utilization of reader-produced content.

CFB Award Nominee: Best Community

The envelope please . . .

Burnt Orange Nation

Peter Bean, along with co-hort Andrew Wiggins, founded Burnt Orange Nation, the progeny of All Things Longhorn, on November 12, 2005. Much like the team it covers, Peter and Andrew took full advantage of a certain stellar alignment -- a pair of fantastic bloggers doing what they do with consistently passionate insight, a blogging platform that by design encourages widespread fan participation, and an historical run to the national championship by the team it covers -- and rode the wave of momentum to perfection. From day one, Peter was posting furiously, cajoling his readers into action, and accurately discerning when to fuel the fire and when to apply the brakes.

Much like the goal in retirement is to get to a point where it is your money that makes your money, one measure of a blog's success is the degree to which its readers create its content, and judging from the community currently burning up the series of tubes on the internets on a daily basis at Burnt Orange Nation, Peter has effectively set the standard. It all started, of course, with the excellent content produced by BON's two primary authors, but a careful forensic analysis (me trolling through the BON archives) reveals that flint met steel on January 13, 2006, when BON's proprietors shined the spotlight on reader TBone Stallone's Mad Rose Bowl Adventure, promoting the story to the front page, thereby encouraging more posts from more readers. Conflagration ensued.

BON readers stormed the site in droves. At the time I'm writing this, Burnt Orange Nation has over 1,400 registered users, 1,281 reader-contributed posts (or "diaries," in Sports Blogs Nation nomenclature), 750,000 visits, and 2.3 million page views, all in little over a year. Some bona fide stars have emerged out of this hyperactive herd, including "patienthornsfan" and the incomparable 54b. Patienthornsfan, whom Peter has told me privately is "THE ultimate Longhorn fan," has, at the time of this writing, posted 177 diaries and 1,453 comments on whatever's on his mind, whether it's football, basketball, women's basketball, volleyball, or softball. And then there is the inimitable 54b, a former Texas football walk-on who has his own blog, but posts some of his best material at BON. His latest -- What Kind of BON'er are you? -- is an instant classic and was immediately bumped to the front page.

THE BASIC BONER or THE PETER (HornsFan): This contributor always brings insightful, thought provoking content to the site. His contribution is often timely and well-researched, usually makes a valid point or argument, and most importantly and notably, shows a mutual respect for his fellow reader/contributor. Without these type of commentators, there would be no BON. One might even be so bold as to call them the "backBON" of the site. But I digress. (BTW, about 85% of BON contributors fall into this category.)

THE BIZARRO BONER or THE ANTI-PETER (Dvehabovic): The stream of conscious commentator. He gets a thought in his head and time can't stand still long enough for him to post it. These guys are easy to spot by their blatant disregard for the English language and depravity of oxygen to the brain while posting. It's like they're typing without breathing. They don't even have time to buy a vowel when entering their screen name. In fact, they give new meaning to the phrase "haste makes waste," as their non sequitur-style postings almost never make a point and almost always confuse or offend. On the upside, though, they can be quite entertaining and normally generate an abundance of responses.

Those are only two of the ten species in the BON genus. Follow the link for the others.

And finally, I have to mention that BON's intern (yes, they have an intern!), aorist9, was yet another brilliant addition to the BON community. Proof: On December 6, 2006, Aorist9 posted what I believe is the world's first video-Fisking:

So there you have it. Congratulations to Peter and the collective over at Burnt Orange Nation, this year's winner of the 2006 Best Community Award.

RUNNER UP: Every Day Should Be Saturday. On November 29, 2005, Orson Swindle devoted 35 minutes of his day listing 52 Reasons ESPN/ABC/Disney Sucks. Fourteen months later, it's still generating comments, including No. 1,237 posted January 28, 2007 at 3:56 p.m. That's reason enough, right there, but really, EDSBS attracts bright and funny readers and commenters, which means the comment threads are often almost as entertaining as the posts themselves. Which is saying something.

UP NEXT: Presentation of the Best Post Award at 9:00 EST, by Brian at MGoBlog, who has ripped his aircast off with his teeth and jogged onto the field against the advice of his trainers. Cue the crowd noise. He's back.