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5 Finalists For College Football's Assistant Coach Of The Year

Steve Sarkisian as an Alabama assistant.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 13: Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian looks on during the team's A-Day Spring Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It's award season in college football. That means it's time to honor some of the sport's best before the year is out.

On Tuesday, the finalists for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation's top assistant, came out on Tuesday afternoon. The list featured three Power Five candidates in addition to two upstarts from smaller programs.

Let's take a look at the top-five assistant coaches in the country in 2020,

Finalists for Broyles Award, honoring nation’s top assistant:

Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian
BYU OC Jeff Grimes
Cincinnati DC Marcus Freeman
Indiana DC Kane Wommack
Northwestern DC Mike Hankwitz

— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 22, 2020

">courtesy of Stadium's Brett McMurphy: Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian BYU OC Jeff Grimes Cincinnati DC Marcus Freeman Indiana DC Kane Wommack Northwestern DC Mike Hankwitz

Sarkisian looks to be the favorite to win the award after the undefeated Crimson Tide put on an offensive display in 2020. Alabama boasts at least two Heisman Trophy finalists in QB Mac Jones and WR DeVonta Smith, while RB Najee Harris remains right on the cusp. Sarkisian proved to be the mastermind behind the high-octane offense even after the Crimson Tide lost Jaylen Waddle. Even so, this marks the first time the long-time OC has been named a Broyles Award finalist.

The only other OC on the list is BYU coordinator Jeff Grimes. The third-year assistant for the Cougars developed a strong air raid offense led by senior quarterback Zach Wilson. BYU went 10-1 in the regular season and earned a berth to play UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Cincinnati assistant Marcus Freeman led a trio of defensive coordinators to make the finalist pool. The Bearcats DC led the AAC champs to a 9-0 record behind a stingy defense. Cincinnati only allowed more than 30 points once in 2020 and forced 19 turnovers in their nine games.

Kane Wommack, the Indiana defensive coordinator also earned his first Broyles Award finalist nomination. The Hoosiers assistant helped lead the team to a second-place finish in the Big Ten East. Indiana became known for a stout secondary that nearly led an upset over Ohio State.

Northwestern DC Mike Hankwitz rounded out the group of five finalists. In his 50th and final year coaching, the Wildcats assistant formed another impressive defense that carried the team to a Big Ten West title. Northwestern even kept pace with Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game thanks to an incredible defensive effort.

The Broyles Award winner will be named on Dec. 28 during a virtual ceremony.