Thursday, July 5, 2012
Just missing the cut in the BCS era
By ESPN.com staff
As you might imagine, the feedback has been flowing in from our top 11 offensive players and top 11 defensive players of the BCS era.
We also selected an All-SEC team by position of the BCS era.
And, yes, I agree that many deserving players were left off. One error that I made is including Georgia’s Matt Stinchcomb on the All-SEC team. His last season was 1998, meaning he shouldn’t have been eligible under my rules that stipulated you had to have played at least two seasons in the SEC beginning in 1998.
So Stinchcomb fits in there with the likes of Florida’s Jevon Kearse, Georgia’s Champ Bailey, LSU’s Kevin Faulk, and Tennessee’s Al Wilson as great players who finished up their careers in 1998.
We’ll replace Stinchcomb on the offensive line with Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeil, who earned All-America honors in 2004 and 2005, and was a big part of the Tigers’ unbeaten 2004 SEC championship team.
As for those players who just missed the cut, we’ve come up with five. Thanks for the input. The truth is we could list 25 more players and still leave off deserving players.
It’s just the way it is in this league.
Going back to the top 22 we picked this week -- 11 on offense and 11 on defense -- Alabama led the way with five players, and Florida was second with four. Then it was Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee each with two. South Carolina had one.
Here are the five players who just missed making the list:
Alex Brown, DE, Florida: The first defensive lineman in school history to earn first-team All-America honors twice (1999 and 2001). Brown finished his career at Florida with a school-record 33 sacks.
Randall Cobb, WR/RS, Kentucky: The quintessential do-it-all player. Cobb is in the top 10 all-time in the SEC with an average of 129.8 all-purpose yards per game. He set the SEC single-season record in 2010 with 2,396 all-purpose yards.
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: Jones had everything -- size, speed and toughness. He played through an assortment of painful injuries, and finished his career as Alabama’s second all-time leading receiver with 2,653 yards.
LaRon Landry, S, LSU: Capped his stellar college career by earning All-America honors in 2006. Landry wound up making 48 consecutive starts, and left LSU ranked No. 2 in school history in passes broken up (40), and tied for third in interceptions (12).
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: One of the most explosive running backs ever in the SEC, Richardson also possessed incredible power. He won the Doak Walker Award as a junior in 2011 and scored 23 touchdowns, the second most in SEC history.