All-MAC selections named
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.