Boy when I captioned a post "The Sporting News: still crazy after all these years" two days ago, I didn't realize how close to reality I was. Well the Sporting News has named its college football All-American first and second teams and things aren't too peachy for the Nittany Lions.
QB Sam Bradford, Soph., Oklahoma
RB Shonn Greene, Jr., Iowa
RB Donald Brown, Jr., Connecticut
WR Michael Crabtree, Soph., Texas Tech
WR Dez Bryant, Soph., Oklahoma State
TE Jermaine Gresham, Jr., Oklahoma
T Michael Oher, Sr., Mississippi
G Duke Robinson, Sr., Oklahoma
C Antoine Caldwell, Sr., Alabama
G Brandon Carter, Jr., Texas Tech
T Andre Smith, Jr., Alabama
K Louie Sakoda, Sr., Utah
KR Michael Ray Garvin, Sr., Florida State
DT Terrence Cody, Jr., Alabama
DT Gerald McCoy, Soph., Oklahoma
DE Jerry Hughes, Jr., TCU
LB Brandon Spikes, Jr., Florida
LB Rey Maualuga, Sr., USC
LB James Laurinaitis, Sr., Ohio State
CB D.J. Moore, Jr., Vanderbilt
CB Victor Harris, Sr., Virginia Tech
S Eric Berry, Soph., Tennessee
S Taylor Mays, Jr., USC
P T.J. Conley, Sr., Idaho
PR Brandon James, Jr., Florida
QB Kellen Moore, Boise State
RB Darren Evans, Virginia Tech
RB Bryce Beall, Houston
WR DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
WR Taylor Embree, UCLA
OT Jeff Allen, Illinois
OT Matt Reynolds, BYU
G Joel Foreman, Michigan State
G Kyle Hill, Duke
C Ben Jones, Georgia
K James Aho, New Mexico
KR Leonard Johnson, Iowa State
DE Frank Alexander, Oklahoma
DE Vince Browne, Northwestern
DT Marcus Forston, Miami
DT Mike Martin, Michigan
LB Sean Spence, Miami
LB Don't'a Hightower, Alabama
LB Brandon Maye, Clemson
CB Rashaad Reid, Georgia Tech
CB Emanuel Davis, East Carolina
S George Iloka, Boise State
S Travis Bradshaw, Rice
P Chris Hagerup, Indiana
PR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Notice the total absence of any Penn State players. At first glance I thought "ok, it's probably the typical sexual man-crush that the press have on the SEC" but at closer inspection I don't think that's entirely true. Their second team DE pick is freshman Vince Browne from Northwestern which made me do a:
More on him later but let's start with center shall we. First team pick Antoine Caldwell is arguably the best center in college football I don't have a lot of beef there; after all he did end up a finalist for the Rimington Trophy award (given to the nation's best center), a list coincidently void of the name of Second Team pick Ben Jones. And oh by the way, the Rimington Trophy was won by a guy named A.Q. Shipley. But don't let that sway you SN it's just a trophy and while we're at it don't let the First Team All-Big Ten and Big Ten offensive lineman of the year influence you either or the Football Writers Association of America First Team All-America selection. Oh, and don't let your colleagues in the AP affect your decisions either because they also named Shipley a First Team All-American. Just go your own way guys.
Now back to defensive end. Show of hands: who knows who Vince Browne is? Ok, probably this guy but not your average Big Ten fan. Browne's numbers don't exactly jump out at you: 22 tackles, 7 TFL and 4 sacks. That's worthy of All-American honors? How about 45 tackles, 20 TFL, and 12 sacks? Those would be Aaron Maybin's numbers. Granted Browne missed the last three games but if you take out Maybin's numbers in the last three games you still have 35 tackles, 26 TFL, and 11 sacks. I just don't get it.
More wackiness: a kick returner from Iowa State?!?! Sure Johnson has a freakish amount of returns because Iowa State sucks and they were receiving a lot of kickoffs thanks to a shitty defense but there are 13 guys with better return averages AND with at least one return for a touchdown, Johnson had no return TD's on the year. There are 5 guys ahead of him with multiple touchdowns.
In naming T.J. Conley the best punter in the land SN says this about the position: "No position is more about numbers, and Conley's 47.4 yards per punt is ridiculous." Ok, given the "numbers" criteria what the Hell is Chris Hagerup doing on your Second Team? Overlord of the Universe and part-time punter Zoltan Mesko has a better average than Hagerup and he did so in an eye-popping 80* attempts, 19 more than Hagerup. In fact no one in the top 20 (as far as average is concerned) is even close to Mesko's attempts.
I'm not sure if the writers for Sporting News just didn't watch much Big Ten football but it's difficult to understand their selections. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things but is it just a case of sloppy journalism or is there really an anti-Penn State bias? I know SN writer Matt Hayes picked against Penn State in every big game this season and was, not so coincidentally, WRONG every time. Apparently the other "experts" at SN feel the same way as Hayes.
*was Michigan's offense really that bad this year?
Update: apparently an overworked temp had the Sporting News All-American Second Team mixed up with the All-Freshman team, here’s the real list.
QB Tim Tebow, Florida, Jr.
RB Javon Ringer, Michigan State, Sr.
RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, So.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri, So.
WR Austin Collie, BYU, Jr.
TE Chase Coffman, Missouri
OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia, Sr.
OT Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma, Sr.
G Seth Olsen, Iowa, Sr.
G Herman Johnson, LSU, Sr.
C Alex Mack, California, Sr.
K Graham Gano, Florida State, Sr.
KR Derrick Williams, Penn State, Sr.
DE Aaron Maybin, Penn State, So.
DE Nick Reed, Oregon, Sr.
DT Peria Jerry, Mississippi, Sr.
DT Fili Moala, USC, Sr.
LB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh, Sr.
LB Brian Cushing, USC, Sr.
LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest, Sr.
CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State, Sr.
CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest, Sr.
S Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech, So.
S Rashad Johnson, Alabama, Sr.
P Kevin Huber, Cincinnati, Sr.
PR Kyle Wilson, Boise State, Jr.
So yeah, Maybin and Williams made the cut. Order is restored, forget this post ever happened and let’s just move on. Friends SN?