The CFPA awards recipients exclusively using objective scientific rankings based upon meta-algorithms derived from differential equations, statistics, and probability.
Based on an extensive review of data, the CFPA determined that Irving was responsible for more overall success in 2010 than any other linebacker in Division I FBS football.
I'm not really sure what they mean by "responsible for more overall success," and their website doesn't offer a whole lot of insight. I guess their methodology is top secret. (Not top secret: they boast "the world's largest crystal football trophy." Check out that differential equation, ladies.) Which is just as well because the math would probably fly right over my head. Here's what they do say:
The Offensive & Defensive Awards systems annually recognize FBS & FCS performers based upon the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. A performer x is an Offensive or Defensive Awards recipient if and only if x contributes the most to team success of any performer in Division I FBS college football, when controlling for strength of schedule.
Sounds like a wins above replacement type deal.