TWO TIGERS MAKE COACHES’ FIRST TEAM … BUT DID THEY DESERVE IT?
There’s no question that Clemson University quarterback Tajh Boyd was the best player in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year – which is why we have no problem with him being named the 2012 ACC Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns – while only being intercepted 13 times. He also rushed for 492 yards and another nine touchdowns. Those are sensational numbers … but consider Boyd’s opponents. He racked up those stats against the likes of Boston College, Wake Forest, Duke, Maryland and N.C. State.
Meanwhile Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns – while only being intercepted eight times. “Johnny Football” also rushed for 1,181 yards and another 19 scores. Those are better numbers … and Manziel put them up against the likes of Alabama, Florida, LSU and Mississippi State.
As a freshman …
That’s why we’re surprised to learn that Boyd, not Manziel, was named first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) – one of five All-America squads sanctioned by the NCAA.
Also making the AFCA first team? Dalton Freeman, the Tigers’ 6-foot-5, 285-pound center.
Again … don’t get us wrong. We’re not disputing the fact that Freeman is the best center in the Atlantic Coast Conference – and we have no doubt that he’s also among the best centers in the nation. But is he really better than Alabama’s Barrett Jones? Or LSU’s P.J. Lonergan?
We think not …
Given the weakness of the ACC (which was on full display last weekend), it’s frankly embarrassing that any All-American team would include Boyd over Manziel and Freeman over either Jones or Lonergan.
Let’s hope the teams unveiled by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation rectify this injustice.