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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–Indiana University football coach Tom Allen is one of 24 head coaches named to the 2020 American Heart Association Paul “Bear” Bryant Award Watch List.

The Paul “Bear” Bryant award is given every year to NCAA’s college football coach of the year. It is the only college coaching honor selected after all postseason bowl games and the National Championship.

IU is ranked in the Top 10 in both national polls for the second-straight week and is ranked for the fourth consecutive week, coming in at #9 in the Associated Press Top 25 and #10 in the Amway Coaches Poll presented by USA Today Sports.

It’s the second straight week that IU is ranked in the Top 10. That is the first time that has happened since 1967. Allen said the watch list is nice, but he has spent much of the week crediting his players beginning with the defense. IU is coming off a 24-0 win against Michigan State Saturday.

“From the very beginning, our defense played so hard. They created takeaways once again. They got four more. They’re just game-changers. I’m really proud of our defense and coaches on that side of the ball. They really came through and did an awesome job,” said Allen in a conference call Tuesday.

IU plays 3rd ranked Ohio State this upcoming Saturday.

“These players have done a great job and put is in a position to be 4-0. We’re playing the team that is the defending conference champions. It’s also the biggest game of the season because it’s the next one,” said Allen.

Allen also said his players have been diligent in preparation all week.

“As I was explaining what my expectations are for this week, I stopped myself and I said, ‘Fellas, does that sound any different than what we’ve said the last four weeks?’ They were like, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Exactly right.’ There’s a process you have to go through to play at a high-level. It comes down to high-level execution, but there’s no magic thing you do in the preparation process,” said Allen.

The winner of the award will be announced live on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, during a virtual awards ceremony that benefits the American Heart Association. Each year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards honor Bryant’s legacy by recognizing coaching excellence while raising money for research to fight cardiovascular disease through event sponsorships, an auction, and donations.

During his 25-year tenure as Alabama’s head coach, Bryant won six national championships (tied for the most in modern college football history) and thirteen conference championships.

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