Media and coaches release All-Big 12 teams; was OU quarterback Landry Jones snubbed?
media and coaches’ All-Big 12 football teams were unveiled Wednesday.
Three Oklahoma players — center Gabe Ikard, cornerback Aaron Colvin and safety Tony Jefferson — landed on the AP’s first team, and four, those three plus fullback Trey Millard, on the coaches’.
In the AP selections, Millard was the second-team tight end; the junior has been a jack-of-all-trades player for the Sooners, and the media teams didn’t have a fullback spot.
In fact, on the media’s first team, Oklahoma State junior Joseph Randle was the only running back selected, period.
The selections seemed to be, for the most part, accurate, but I was surprised by a few things:
* Landry Jones: The Oklahoma senior quarterback, who has broken virtually every school passing record there is — and owns a couple conference passing marks, too — finished tied with Geno Smith for second-team quarterback in the media’s selections, and was honorable mention behind first-teamer Collin Klein of Kansas State and Smith. Jones finishes behind Smith doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless, that is, voters looked purely at stats alone. Smith finished with 40 touchdown passes to Jones’ 29; threw four less interceptions and passed for 15 more yards (4,004 to 3,989). But Jones beat Smith in West Virginia, 50-49, which was the first of two last-minute fourth-quarter drives that ultimately led to OU wins. Jones’ team was the co-conference champion; Smith’s was 7-5. Stats aside, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Jones had the superior season,
* Jalen Saunders and/or Justin Brown: I understand these guys not landing on one the first or second teams at receiver, just because of the incredible numbers put up by so many wideouts in the league. But I have to believe one of those two would’ve been a better choice for Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year than Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk. Seastrunk had a nice season, and really came on strong at the end, but if we’re looking at overall body of work, Saunders and Brown had better numbers and, arguably, much bigger impacts on their team. Who knows how this season might’ve turned out without those two transferring in and gaining eligibility this year? Brown finished with 822 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season; Saunders had 585 yards and three touchdowns, and only played in seven games. Four of them were 100-yard performances. In fact, Saunders wasn’t even on either the media or coaches honorable-mention lists.
* The AP team’s inclusion of a tight end doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Travis Tannahill had a nice year, but why not take the tight-end position out and add a second running back? Kansas’ James Sims rushed for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns this season. The Jayhawks stunk, but Sims had a great individual season deserving of recognition. On the coaches’ team, which did have two running backs, Kansas State’s John Hubert was selected instead.
* The coaches’ team seemed to go a little overboard with defensive selections. Six defensive linemen were picked, along with five defensive backs. One of them was Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro. He’s had a dreadful season; I can’t understand why he would’ve been added, especially since there were already four DBs.
* The coaches’ offensive team had 13 players on it — not counting a return man and kicker — but I’m OK with that, because they’ve allowed for differing offensive systems and personnel groups with a tight end, three receivers, two running backs and a fullback. Let the first-team defense have four linemen, three linebackers and five DBs for the same reason, but six defensive linemen? That’s too many.
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