Friday, July 20, 2007

Coaches' All-SEC released

Yesterday, in advance of SEC Media Days, the SEC released its official Coaches' Pre-Season All-SEC teams. You can find it here. A brief rundown of LSU players on it:

First Team:
Will Arnold, OL
Early Doucet, WR
Glen Dorsey, DL
Ali Highsmith, LB
Chevis Jackson, DB

No team has more first team selections.

Second Team:
Brett Helms, C
Tyson Jackson, DL
Darry Beckwith, LB
Jonathan Zenon, DB

Third Team:
Ciron Black, OL
Herman Johnson, OL
Craig Steltz, DB

LSU tied with Arkansas for the most overall selections with 12. Arkansas's selections were of course led by Darren McFadden.

I don't have as big of a problem with pre-season All-conference teams as I have with pre-season team rankings. Firstly, they give me a lot of useful information about players I don't know anything about. For instance, I know now that Vandy probably will have a pretty good offensive line, considering they had two OL All-SEC selections, including one on the first team. Second, they do not have the same negative impact on the future of the football season. It's just a symbolic honor to be selected, not an entrenched attitude that will hurt competition, and that's fine with me.

This is not to say that I have to agree with everything though. There are some disagreements here:
  • No DJ Hall? Anywhere? With TWO Florida receivers getting 3rd team honors? I'll just say this. DJ Hall had more receiving yards in 2006 than 3rd teamers Andre Caldwell and Percy Harvin COMBINED.
  • BenJarvis Green-Ellis got first-team honors even though Ole Miss was a poor running team last year. Green-Elis got yards, but his YPC average was significantly less than DeShawn Wynn's was last year, and most people seem to forget Florida even had a running back. I think Felix Jones is better, as is Corey Boyd, LaMarcus Coker, Keiland Williams, Jacob Hester, Cason Jackson-Garrison, and probably others. Green-Ellis is just plain-old overrated.
  • Speaking of, where did Chris Nickson as 3rd team QB come from? Nickson got more than half of his passing yards by throwing to Earl Bennett. He was also the team's leading rusher, but to have him over the criminally underrated Blake Mitchell? Madness. And if you're going by upside and potential, how about Matthew Stafford? Or Tim Tebow?
  • Are there really 4 offensive linemen in the SEC who are better than Andre Smith? I won't say I have encyclopedic knowledge of offensive linemen, but I find that doubtful.
  • What has Wallace Gilberry done recently to merit 3rd team All-SEC selection? Nothing. After a surprisingly productive freshman season, he really hasn't done much in the last two years.
  • And for that matter, why is the All-SEC team based on a 3-defensive-linemen, 4-linebacker formation when few SEC teams actually run that defense?
  • I know Trindon Holliday wasn't used much until mid-season last year, but if there are 3 "return specialists" who accomplish more this year than Trindon, I'll be very surprised.
Otherwise, it really wasn't bad. They did not make the mistake of overrating John Parker Wilson. They didn't leave off many deserving people. I understand why Keiland Williams and Jacob Hester were left off, even though I think both are excellent running backs, (though I don't understand why Brad Lester would be picked if neither of those guys would). I could wish that Charles Alexander would have made it, but it's not that big of a deal. It was a solid, respectable effort and is actually helpful to understanding where we are right now.

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