20 Hottest Female Athletes of 2014

By Tyler

ESPY Awards: Major Award Predictions

ESPY Awards
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The 2015 ESPY Awards are almost two weeks away, but it's never too early to predict who will come home with the hardware. Here are my predictions for the winners of each major category.

Best Breakthrough Athlete

Mo'ne Davis
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Best Breakthrough Athlete

Mo'ne Davis
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Winner: Mo'ne Davis

Other Nominees: Jordan Spieth, Cardale Jones, Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL players usually win this award (six of the last eight), but Davis absolutely shook up the sports world in the 2014 Little League World Series. She became the first American female to participate in the LLWS since 2004 and the first female to pitch a winning LLWS game.

Best Championship Performance

American Pharoah
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Best Championship Performance

American Pharoah
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Winner: American Pharoah

Other Nominees: Madison Bumgarner, LeBron James, Lauren Haeger

Bumgarner and LeBron had excellent performances in their respective championship series, but American Pharoah became the first racehorse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. He won the Triple Crown in a wire-to-wire victory at the Belmont Stakes with his time being the second-fastest for a Triple Crown winner.

Best Coach

Urban Meyer Ohio State Buckeyes
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Best Coach

Urban Meyer Ohio State Buckeyes
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Winner: Urban Meyer

Other Nominees: Geno Auriemma, Bill Belichick, Mike Krzyzewski, Steve Kerr

What Meyer did this season was one of the best in any sport in recent memory. Meyer beat both Oregon and Alabama with a third-string QB and overcame the suicide of backup defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge to win a national championship.

Best Comeback Athlete

Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees
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Best Comeback Athlete

Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees
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Winner: Alex Rodriguez

Other Nominees: Rob Gronkowski, Derrick Rose, Lindsey Vonn

Most think A-Rod is a jerk, liar or some another similar word, but what he's done with the Yankees this season is remarkable. A-Rod just recorded his 3,000th hit off a home run, and is sticking to the Yankees after they tried and tried to get out of his massive contract.

Best Female Athlete

Ronda Rousey
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Best Female Athlete

Ronda Rousey
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Winner: Ronda Rousey

Other Nominees: Serena Williams, Breanna Stewart, Lindsey Vonn

At UFC 175, Rousey defended her UFC bantamweight title by defeating Alexis Davis in 16 seconds, making her the baddest woman on the planet.

Best Female College Athlete

Breanna Stewart UConn Huskies
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Best Female College Athlete

Breanna Stewart UConn Huskies
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Winner: Breanna Stewart

Other Nominees: Taylor Cummings, Missy Franklin, Lauren Haeger, Micha Hancock

Stewart racked up all the accolades this past season in Women's College Basketball. She was the Associated Press Player of the Year, Naismith Trophy Winner, John R. Wooden Award Winner, a Unanimous First Team All-American, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Performer of the 2015 Final Four.

Best Game

Super Bowl XLIX
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Best Game

Super Bowl XLIX
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Winner: Super Bowl XLIX

Other Nominees: Spurs vs. Clippers Game 7, A's vs. Royals MLB Wild Card Game

No offense to the others, but Super Bowl XLIX was the best game of perhaps the last five years. The Patriots came back from a 10-point second-half deficit to take the lead, but the Seahawks were one-yard away from a repeat. Then, Malcolm Butler shocked the world by intercepting Russell Wilson at the goal line.

Best Male Golfer

Jordan Spieth
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Best Male Golfer

Jordan Spieth
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Winner: Jordan Spieth

Other Nominees: Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel

Spieth should run away with this award, and anybody who thinks differently is a moron. Spieth dominated the Masters and just recently won the U.S. Open, setting himself up for a potential Grand Slam.

Best Male Athlete

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
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Best Male Athlete

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
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Winner: Stephen Curry

Other Nominees: LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt

Perhaps the greatest shooter ever, Stephen Curry cemented his legacy as one of the game's greats after winning the NBA MVP award and leading his Golden State Warriors to the NBA championship over LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers. At only 27 years old, Curry has plenty of time to collect some more hardware.

Best Male College Athlete

Marcus Mariota Oregon
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Best Male College Athlete

Marcus Mariota Oregon
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Winner: Marcus Mariota

Other Nominees: Frank Kaminsky, Jack Eichel, Logan Stieber, Dansby Swanson

Mariota will win this award, and it won't even be close. As the Heisman Trophy winner, he helped Oregon get back to the National Championship Game by thrashing the reigning champion Florida State Seminoles 59-20 in the Rose Bowl.

Best MLB Player

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
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Best MLB Player

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
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Winner: Madison Bumgarner

Other Nominees: Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Giancarlo Stanton

Bumgarner had one of the greatest postseason runs in recent memory last season for the San Francisco Giants. In seven postseason games, Bumgarner pitched 52.2 innings, gave up just seven earned runs, struck out 45 and allowed only one run in three World Series games against the Kansas City Royals.

Best NBA Player

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
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Best NBA Player

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
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Winner: LeBron James

Other Nominees: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis

LeBron is the best basketball player in the world, and if you need to be convinced again, just re-watch the 2015 NBA Finals where he single-handedly won two games against the vastly superior Golden State Warriors, led by Curry.

Best NFL Player

J.J. Watt Houston Texans
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Best NFL Player

J.J. Watt Houston Texans
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Winner: J.J. Watt

Other Nominees: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, DeMarco Murray, Antonio Brown

Aaron Rodgers may have won the NFL MVP Award in 2015, and Tom Brady did win the Super Bowl, but J.J. Watt was the best player during the 2014 season. Watt was the first unanimous Defensive Player of the Year recipient after collecting 20.5 sacks, three defensive touchdowns and three offensive touchdowns.

Best NHL Player

Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
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Best NHL Player

Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
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Winner: Jonathan Toews

Other Nominees: Carey Price, Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares, Duncan Keith

Toews had a pedestrian 66 points in the 2014-15 regular season, but stepped it up once again in the postseason. In 23 postseason games, Toews had 21 points, including 10 goals, to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup Championship in six seasons.

Best Play

Odell Beckham Jr. Catch
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Best Play

Odell Beckham Jr. Catch
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Winner: Odell Beckham Jr.

Among the 16 plays that are up for the Best Play Award, Odell Beckham Jr.'s catch will be the undisputed winner. Against the Dallas Cowboys, Beckham Jr. made this catch despite a pass interference penalty called on Dallas' Brandon Carr while diving backwards with full extension of his right hand using only three fingers.

Best Record-Breaking Performance

Pyton Manning Denver Broncos
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Best Record-Breaking Performance

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
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Winner: Peyton Manning

Other Nominees: Lauren Chamberlain, Devin Hester, Stephen Curry

Peyton Manning's 2014 season wasn't nearly as good as his 2013 campaign, but he did break a major record in 2014. Against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning became the all-time leader in career touchdown passes, surpassing Brett Favre. Manning now has 530 career touchdown passes, a record that won't be broken anytime soon.

Best Team

2014-15 Golden State Warriors
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Best Team

2014-15 Golden State Warriors
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Winner: Golden State Warriors

Other Nominees: New England Patriots, Chicago Blackhawks, Duke Blue Devils, UConn Huskies, San Francisco Giants

Normally, the NFL team wins this category, but due to the Patriots' involvement in Deflategate, the Warriors will win the best team category. Golden State won 67 games under rookie coach Steve Kerr and defeated LeBron James and Co. in six games to win their first NBA Championship in 40 years.

Best Upset

R.J. Hunter Ron Hunter Georgia State
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Best Upset

R.J. Hunter Ron Hunter Georgia State
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Winner: Georgia State vs. Baylor

Other Nominees: Ole Miss vs. Alabama, Kansas City Royals win AL Pennant

Led by the father-son combo of Ron and R.J. Hunter, Georgia State, a 14-seed, shocked the basketball world by upsetting 3-seed Baylor. The indelible image of that game was Ron falling off his stool after R.J. hit a clutch three-pointer to give the Panthers a 57-56 upset.

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