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All-MAC selections named

November 30, 2011

First off, congratulations to Ron English, who was named the MAC Coach of the Year. The only past winners at EMU were Ed Chlebek (1977) and Jim Harkema (1987).

Congratulations also to EMU’s five All-MAC athletes. Senior defensive lineman Brad Ohrman was named to the second team, while junior tight end Garrett Hoskins, junior outside linebacker Justin Cudworth, senior safety Latarrius Thomas, and sophomore cornerback Marlon Pollard were named to the third team. This is the most All-MAC honorees EMU has had in 15 years, and all are well-deserved.

That said, I think several Eagles were snubbed.

First, and this is my smallest complaint, I think Cudworth’s performance for the season was probably worth a spot on the second team, not the third. Like I said, that’s a relatively minor quibble. He’ll be back next year, and will hopefully turn in a first-team performance!

My bigger complaint is that no one from EMU’s offensive line was recognized. This offensive line did a stellar job run-blocking, powering the Eagles to the #16 ground game in the nation. If you want proof, consider that EMU got eight 100+ yard rushing performances this year…spread among four different ball carriers. The one constant in that was the offensive line, and for none of them to even get a third-team designation is, to put it bluntly, insulting. Personally, I would have put Bridger Buche on the first team, and Korey Neal and/or Andrew Sorgatz on the third team. Buche is a senior, so his omission stings a little more; the rest of the line will have at least one more year to try for recognition.

On a team level, EMU was the only school in the MAC with no first-teamers. Hustle Belt rated the teams, awarding three points for first-teamers, two points for second, and one point each for third, and then calculated All-MAC points per team win. Twelve MAC teams fell between 2.00 and 3.00 points per win, indicating a general correlation between recognized talent and on-field results. The one exception was EMU, with 1.00 (six points, six wins). This indicates either that EMU has a fair bit of overlooked talent (a 6-win team should have 12 to 18 points), that EMU has a whole bunch of moderately talented athletes who perhaps just missed third-team, or that EMU significantly overperformed this year.

My hope is that, while celebrating the players who received the honor this year, the snubs become a motivating factor in the offseason as the Eagles prepare for 2012. Six teams had eight or more honorees, and I see no reason why EMU couldn’t manage that next year.

For the full list, here’s the MAC press release.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. aaron permalink
    November 30, 2011 7:12 pm

    as usual, great writeup.

  2. November 30, 2011 7:49 pm

    Thanks Aaron!

    I had one more thought worth adding, because I’ve seen a few people suggest that one of EMU’s running backs should have made at least third-team All-MAC. Collectively the running backs were great, but individually, no one put up the kind of numbers needed to really get considered. Gillett led EMU ball carriers with 736 yards, which is 11th in the MAC. Greene was 13th with 667, White was 15th with 596, and Sherrer was 16th with 572. If Sherrer had gotten a starter’s carries all season, he probably would have been second-team All-MAC (in the MAC he was fifth in yards per game and fourth of regular carriers in yards per carry, but one of the players ahead of him was Harnish), but only playing six games pretty much took him out of consideration.

    But every argument against including a running back from EMU is also an argument in favor of including some offensive linemen.

  3. BLN permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:10 am

    Agree with Aaron – nice writeup.

    I think each of your points has merit and would add two other factors to the snub discussion. First, we didn’t have a definitive best player on eith side of the ball, IMO. If all of your readers gave their Offensive and Defensive MVPs, you’d probably have 5-10 guys mentioned (Buche, Sorgatz, Gillette, Greene, Hoskins; Cudworth, LT Thomas, Ohrman, etc.). It goes to your point about a bunch of moderate talents. Star talents get feature stories written, TV spotlights, game note blurbs and post-season first-teams. We don’t really have any that fit that bill.

    The second addition would be that some of EMU’s stats (especially rushing) could be written off by those objecting to the schedule. While we know that EMU ran well against Michigan and Penn St., voters might write off the 100-yard games against Howard, ASU and Akron.

    Finally, a friend said yesterday that the biggest indictment of EMU’s historical crappiness is that RE won COY this year. We beat two I-AAs, three terrible MAC teams and WMU. Not typical COY material, unless you do it at EMU!

  4. Kenneth Barna permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:47 am

    Dear cmadler,
    Have to agree on all of your points. You covered every possible scenario, and did it objectively. That, I truly appreciate.

    Dear BLN,
    Your friend must then have a similar argument about U-M. Of the Big Ten teams they played, only three ended with winning records, and U-M lost two of the three to those teams. Same logic about rushing yardage (for U-M) against mediocre teams.
    As far as star talents go, much of that is what someone did one year, and then expecting them to do it the next year. If they don’t quite come up to expectations, they are still lauded by what they did the year before. That’s my biggest complaint about all league teams. Lastly, who picks these teams? Coaches, MAC officials, sports writers, win-loss records of the teams, etc?

    • December 1, 2011 11:53 am

      I believe the All-MAC football teams are voted on by sportswriters, probably the same people who do the pre-season team rankings.

    • BLN permalink
      December 1, 2011 9:07 pm

      Good comparison between UM and EMU, Kenneth. UM definitely benefitted from a favorable Big Ten schedule, just as EMU benefitted from a favorable MAC schedule. Frankly, I wouldn’t expect many UM offensive players (except Robinson) to be named first- or second-team all-Big Ten, similar to the EMU/all-MAC situation.

      And you’re absolutely right about the accolades for players based on past years’ performances. It’s annoying and unfair!


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