War Eagle, everybody. The post-season All-SEC teams are out now, and there aren't too many surprises. It looks like some reporters and sports information directors simply copied their preseason list over again. I guess they DID pay enough attention that Jevan Snead didn't get any votes.
I'd say the biggest surprise of the All-SEC voting was the complete absence of Auburn wide receiver Darvin Adams in the voting. The media voters select 5 wide receivers. Statistically, Darvin Adams was 5th in receptions, 4th in receiving yards per game, 3rd in receiving yards, 2nd in yards per catch, and tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns. In fact, there's not a single statistical category that Adams WASN'T in the top five. Somehow, Joe Adams of Arkansas made it in ahead of Adams, despite catching TWENTY fewer balls! Adams also finished behind Florida's Riley Cooper, despite having more catches, more yards per catch, and more touchdowns. A similar argument could be made against LSU's Brandon LaFell: fewer yards, and fewer yards per catch. Even compared to the starting All-SEC unit, Darvin Adams had a better yards per catch stat and more touchdowns than Shay Hodge of Ole Miss. When comparing Adams to Georgia's A. J. Green, Adams had more yards, more catches, a better yards per catch average, and more touchdowns. HOW does Adams not get AT LEAST honorable mention notice?
On the season, Darvin Adams finished with 48 catches for 855 yards and 10 touchdowns. War Eagle, Darvin Adams!
In another predictable but irritating snub, kicker Wes Byrum was left out of the all-star balloting. Byrum hit on 14 of 15 field goal attempts, and made all 49 of his extra point attempts. Byrum connected on 93.3 percent of his field goals. The selected All-SEC starter Leigh Tiffin was only good on 87.9 percent of his field goals, and missed THREE extra points. Second-team selection Blair Walsh only hit 90.5 percent of his field goals. What makes Byrum's snub easier to take is that he essentially lost because Auburn was scoring touchdowns in the red zone, rather than settling for 3. The Tigers converted 76% of their red-zone appearances into touchdowns, and got points 94% of the time overall.
There isn't an official offensive lineman stat page on the SEC website. But I'd take Auburn's Lee Ziemba over most of the 2nd team offensive linemen, and a couple of the starters. Ziemba finished in the "honorable mention" category, surely a result of false starts. The sad fact is that Ziemba earned his reputation for jumping off in previous years. This year, he's actually been penalized less than you think! On false starts, Lee had 1 against La Tech, 1 against WVa, 1 against Furman, 1 against Georgia, and one against Alabama. That's a total of 5 false starts in a 12 game season, which is not many for a starting left tackle. Ziemba had no holding calls against him, all year. And the only other penalty was on his ineligible catch in the Georgia game. How many sacks did Ziemba give up? I don't remember but one, and it was when Ziemba was trying to get over on a corner blitz that was probably not even his responsibility. All in all, Lee Ziemba was the best lineman on a pretty tough Auburn unit.
Let's hear it for the left-out Tigers that led our team! War Eagle!
Other Musings from Championship Week, after the jump.
Once again, we see the need in the Football Bowl Subdivision for a post-season playoff. The argument against undefeated TCU and Boise State for playing in weak, non-BCS leagues is somewhat legit. Big East Champ Cincinnati plays in a BCS conference, went undefeated, and got left out. Rather than play for a national title, Cincy will be taking on a frustrated Gator group. Coach Brian Kelly appears to be headed for Notre Dame, and the Bearcats will be facing a fired up Gator group without their leader. It's a bitter end to a great Cincy season.
As to the Texas Longhorns, has there ever been a more disrespected number two team in the national title game? Oh, yes! I remember about 17 years ago the national press was moaning over a team that had a whole schedule full of single-digit wins, that would NEVER be able to challenge the top-ranked Hurricanes. I think we all remember how that 1993 Sugar Bowl turned out, with the Tide stomping Miami into goo. I'd suggest that the Tide not take Texas lightly. The book on the Longhorns is to contain McCoy and cover Shipley. However, the overlooked part of the 'horn team is their run defense. Alabama will have a tough time replicating their SEC Championship Game effort on offense, I think.
Fellow track'em writer War Eagle Atlanta posted an excellent question earlier this week: Will Auburn fans cheer for the Tide, or the Longhorns? If Alabama loses, I'll snicker and try to get glimpses of Nick Saban's face on the sideline. But there is no hairy way I really want the SEC to lose the BCS title game. We'll never hear the end of it, from the national media, if the SEC loses that game. Yes, I want Alabama to win. No, I absolutely will NOT be screaming "Roll Tide" at my TV that night. Hopefully, I'll be sitting quietly in my chair with a Klondike and a stinger, enjoying a good football game.
It's a difficult time to be a Florida Gator. One of the prices for success is that your assistant coaches become hot commodities. Florida's loss of Tim Tebow pales compared to the amount of talent and experience that has left the Florida coaching staff in the past two seasons. How Urban Meyer rebuilds his staff will be key. It could be a tough transition period ahead.
What a difference a year makes! This time last season, we were jeering the Auburn coaching search. This year, we're cheering a promising foundation, and lauding Jay Jacobs' pitch to the Outback Bowl. Well done, sir, well done!