Lost in the Indiana State Fair tragedy is Sugarland's pretty good year. They headlined another tour and seemed headed towards making another album before the stage collapsed. The duo handled it with grace and dignity, while still making industry appearances. Jennifer Nettles hosted the CMA Christmas special on television for a second straight year. No other artist in this category gathered that much exposure.

They will win if: Voters don't punish them for last August's tragedy. There is nothing to indicate that the industry believes they acted unprofessionally during or after the accident, but if there is some deep-buried sentiment, they''ll be left off the stage.