Wednesday, December 5, 2007

All-SEC Commies: Moore of the Same Old Hosing

Congratulations are in order to WR Earl Bennett and OT Chris Williams, who made the Coaches' First-Team All-SEC. Both of those guys are going to play at the next level and their accolades are well deserved.

Now, you knew it was coming, so I'll just come out with it: Once again this year's Coaches' Team is marred with anti-Vanderbilt bias on the defensive side. Surprise, surprise, I thought D.J. Moore and Jonathan Goff were deserving first-team candidates, and both were relegated to the second team.

Goff's selection is the more understandable of the two. Even though he was fourth in the conference in tackles and led all linebackers except Daniel Ellerbe in sacks, he faced stiff competition in another year of exceptional linebacker talent in the conference. Three of the four guys who made the first team ahead of him were the three who had more tackles, and the other first-teamer was LSU beast Ali Highsmith. Whatever.

D.J. Moore is another story altogether. He tied for FIRST in the SEC in interceptions, THIRD in passes defended, and was FOURTEENTH in tackles, and yet he didn't make the first team. To put that in perspective, consider that only ONE defensive back on the first team was ahead of him in tackles (LSU safety Craig Steltz), only ONE on the first team was ahead of him in passes defended (LSU's Chevis Jackson), and the player with whom he was tied for first in INTs (Alabama's Rashad Johnson) was selected for the first team also.

Clearly this is not an issue of whether you play on a great defense or not. Vanderbilt had the #4 defense in the conference. South Carolina had the #9 defense in the conference and put a DB on the first team who had numbers that pale in comparison to DJ's.

Anti-sophomore bias? Nope, South Carolina's Captain Munnerlyn is a sophomore and made the first team with worse numbers than Moore.

Anti-Vanderbilt bias? Frankly, I'm having a hard time seeing it any other way.

Not that anyone wants to keep talking about football, but I'd really appreciate someone helping me to understand this in some way other than my reflex reaction, which is, of course, to assume that Vanderbilt is somehow getting hosed.


Douglas James said...

I agree......somewhat. But I think it is more a pro winning bias than Anti-Vanderbilt. People (whether fans/coaches/media) vote for players on teams who win. Unless you are just a clearly dominant player, being on a team that doesn't finish .500 your going to have a much tougher time getting recognition.

Bobby O'Shea said...

This vote is nothing short of a hosing, and might be an opportune moment to re-introduce the Hoser of the Week award. Jonathan Goff and D.J. Moore were both impact players. Moore's omission in particular is striking. Not only was this guy a beast in the secondary, but he was a big time playmaker on special teams.

Congratulations coaches, "You are hookers."

Seamus O'Toole said...

I don't know, though, because every SEC team has at least two guys on the first team, even the losing teams. I'm thinking maybe it has more to do with preseason expectations. For example, everyone had Bennett and Williams on their radar before the season, but there was hardly any hype surrounding DJ Moore, at least in terms of national recognition.

In some ways this seems to be the overarching, pervasive problem in college football in general. For example, if Kansas had been preseason Top-15, would they be in the national championship right now?

On the other hand, if you do happen to play on a winning team, like Douglas James said, and you wind up having a big season after coming in as a virtual unknown in the national media, then it's much more likely for you to get the recognition. Two words: Knowshon Moreno.

Not sure if there's a right answer to this but basically my concern is that I'd like to see Vanderbilt players continue to get increased recognition so that recruits say, "If I go to Florida I might spend four years riding the bench but at Vanderbilt I can be a star right out of the gate." That's not to say recruits are sitting at home poring over who got what recognition from which teams, but you gotta believe a recruit who was thinking harder about looking at Vandy would take all those factors into consideration. Winning is obviously the most important thing, but we need every bit of help we can get on the recruiting trail.

Seamus O'Toole said...

The first part of my comment was addressed to Douglas James. I agree with Bobby. What a bunch of hosehounds.

Douglas James said...

I totally agree with pre-season expectations having a big part to do with it. For that reason I think they shouldn't have a top 25 until 3 or 4 weeks into the sched because teams like Kansas/Mizzu get put at such a disadvantage from the start (no need to do this in other sports because it a) more games to fairly rank teams b) THEY HAVE playoff SYSTEMS!!!

Stanimal said...

DJ Moore not getting the nod for first team All-SEC is definite BS.

But I think y'all are right that it has a lot to do with a lack of hype surrounding DJ in the pre-season, but it's probably compounded by Vanderbilt's lack of preseason hype and their disappointing season (at least in our minds). South Carolina got up to #6 and had some hype in the early part of the year. That might have made a difference in them taking Captain over DJ. I don't know, these things are hard to tell.

In any case it's a pretty huge hosing and it should be hoser of the week. (Bryan Hahnfeldt my nomination for hoser of the year)

Seamus O'Toole said...