Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My All-Big East Team


Quarterback: Geno Smith, West Virginia, Jr.-  This one wasn' even close.  His numbers are obviously inflated by his system, but in any system he's by far the best quarterback in the league.  Threw for 3,978 yards, 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, while completing 65.0% of his passes.

Running Back:  Ray Graham, Pittsburgh, Jr.-  Would have been the runaway player of the year in the league and possibly an All-American if he didn't blow out his knee two carries into his eight game.  Despite missing virtually the last five games, he still was the fourth leading rusher in the league with 958 yards, a 5.8 average, 9 touchdowns, and 30 receptions.

Running Back:  Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati, Sr.-  Beats out UConn's Lynn McCombs thanks to 1,110 yards, a 5.3 average, and 11 touchdowns, plus 36 receptions and 3 more touchdowns through the air.

Wide Receiver:  Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers, Jr.-  He was pretty much all Rutgers had on offense yet still managed 109 catches for 1,144 yards (10.5 avg.), and 7 touchdowns.

Wide Receiver: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia, Jr.-  Teammate Tavon Austin had 22 more catches but Bailey was the best big play receiver in the league with 67 catches for 1,197 yards (17.9 avg.), and 11 touchdowns.

Tight End:  Nick Provo, Syracuse, Sr.-  Easy choice considering he led all tight ends with 51 catches, 537 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

Offensive Tackle:  Mike Ryan, UConn, Sr.-  He's started for the Huskies for almost three straight years and was a first teamer last season, too.

Offensive Tackle:  Justin Pugh, Syracuse, So.- One of the rising stars in the Big

Offensive Guard:  Jeremiah Warren, South Florida, Sr.-  Because he's better than the others I guess.

Offensive Guard:  Jeff Braun, West Virginia, Jr.-  Good player who deserves more credit.

Center:  Moe Petrus, UConn, Sr.-  One of the better centers in the country.


Defensive End:  Trevardo Williams, UConn, Jr.-  His 12.5 sacks lead the league.

Defensive End:  Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh, Sr.- As of a week ago, I had West Virginia's Bruce Irvin here, but Lindsey catapulted over him at the end of the season thanks to 8.5 sacks, 8 hurries, 11 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception.

Defensive Tackle:  Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, Sr.-  His 19.5 tackles for loss are best in the league and No. 6 in the nation.  He also had 9.5 sacks, 6 hurries, and 2 forced fumbles.  His 64 tackles are the most for any interior lineman in the league.

Defensive Tackle:  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh, So.-  He didn't even start for the first half of the season but still ended up with 10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 11 hurries, and 4 pass breakups.

Linebacker:  Khaseem Greene, Rutgers, Jr.-  His 127 tackles are tops in the league and No.12 in the country.  He also had 3 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.

Linebacker: J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati, Sr.-  Excellent all-around player with 105 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 6 pass breakups.

Linebacker:  Sio Moore, UConn, Jr.-  Did a little but of everything with 86 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.

Cornerback:  Phillip Thomas, Syracuse, Jr.- Missed two games and still led the league with 6 interceptions to go with 9 pass breakups and 82 tackles.

Cornerback:  K'Waun Williams, Pittsburgh, So.-  Neck and neck battle with WVU's Keith Tandy and Tandy plays for the No.1 team in the league so he'll probably get the call, but Williams has more tackles, more tackles for loss, and his 3 forced fumbles are second in the league.

Safety:  Hakeem Smith, Louisville, So.- He was very good as a freshman but even better in his second year with 81 tackles, 9 pass breakups, and 3 forced fumbles.

Safety:  Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh, Jr.-  Good all-around season with 64 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and an interception.


Kicker:  Dave Teggert, UConn, Sr.-  One of the better kickers in league history, this season he made 22 of 28 including 4 for 4 from 50+.

Punter:  Pat O'Donnell, Cincinnati, So.-  Led the league and was No. 17 in the country with a 43.9 average.

Return Specialist:  Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Jr.-  All-American caliber return man whose 14.1 punt return average was No. 5 nationally and his 26.5 kick return average was No. 18 nationally.  He also returned two kicks for touchdowns.


Offensive Player of the Year:  Geno Smith, West Virginia-  Graham was the runaway winner at one point but now this has to go to this strong armed junior.

Defensive Player of the Year:  Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati-  Officially this may go to Khaseem Greene but Wolfe has been so dominant at times that he may have played himself into being an early round NFL draft pick.

Freshman of the Year:  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville-  Good news!!  A true freshman can excel at quarterback!!  The Florida native threw for 1,855 yards, completed 66.0% of his passes, and had 12 touchdowns against 9 interceptions.

Coach of the Year:  Greg Schiano, Rutgers-  Not only were the Scarlet Knights expected to be last in the league this season, they were expected to be last by a mile.  Instead, they finished 8-4 behind the No. 13 defense in the country.


  1. Defensive End: Brandon Lindsey, West Virginia, Sr...... No wonder WVU beat Pitt! One of their best players was a west virginia spy!

  2. Shouldn't there be a special award for Tino Sunseri, akin to Miss Congeniality, for being so nice at helping opponent's defenses? Taking sacks at the worst possible times, throwing wounded ducks equally to their CBs as our WRs, failure to listen to his coach no matter what language he tried to speak, and so on.

    Maybe they're saving all that for a lifetime achievement award.

  3. A little off the subject, but on Madden's show yesterday, he claims to have heard a rumor about a fight breaking out between the coaches. Any truth to that?

  4. Chris, any insight on what the Big East expansion announcement means A) for Pitt and Cuse getting to the ACC early and B) for the BE's automatic qualifier bid?

  5. I've always thought that Pitt would not have to play two more seasons in the BE and I think this expansion helps even more. Even though common sense is not something the Big East is known for, it should tell them that it's best to move on, now more than ever.

    As for automatic qualifier status I don't see any reason why it would change.

  6. Good choices all, however it pains me that there is just no room for a real "gamer" like Chas Alexih who has done more, with less talent than almost any young man I can think of at Pitt.
    As for a quicker exit from the BE, as long as Pitt, WVU and 'Cuse pay the piper, why in the world would these new teams vote to force them to stay and have to share what little revenue BE football generates with extra teams. If the loss of Pitt and 'Cuse cause the BE revenue from football to drop, then the BE has even bigger problems. We've been told, its all about football, so the loss of the basketball teams should not even factor into the equation.

  7. I'd love to have Alecxih on there but unfortunately for him two of the five best players in the league also play DT.

  8. Is Schiano in the running for the Penn State job?

  9. I can't see any coach with real options wanting to be the Penn State coach right now.