WTF??!?! I mean, really...DUBYA TEE EFF??! I'm sure you've heard by now, but the Big East award winners were announced today and, much to the dismay of WVU fans and players, there were some significant snubs. First and foremost was the selection of Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead as the Offensive Player of the Year. Now, Pead is a great back, don't get me wrong. And he was largely responsible for Cincinnati's wins over Syracuse and UConn to end the season after QB Zach Collaros went down with a broken ankle. As a WVU fan, I'm grateful for that, as those wins helped send WVU to the Orange Bowl. But a look at the stats shows what a true head-scratcher (and absolute grudge-vote) the result was:
Geno Smith: 314/438 passing (65.0%) for 3978 yards, 25 TD, 7 INT
Isaiah Pead: 209 carries for 1110 yards (5.3 average), 11 TD, 36 catches for 304 yards (8.4 average), 3 TD
Look, I get that Geno didn't end up with a bazillion touchdowns like we had hoped and that he threw a couple interceptions against USF (including a bad pick-six). But...for real? To select a guy who was 39th in the country (and DID NOT EVEN LEAD THE CONFERENCE IN RUSHING!) and didn't even average 100 yards per game on the ground (and wasn't even the best player on his own team until Collaros's injury) over a quarterback who was 7th in passing (22nd in efficiency) in an offense that relied essentially solely on his arm is just...inexplicable. And it's not like Pead was any better in conference play, either. In fact, he was worse in conference play (barely) than in non-conference play. Again, WTF??!
To be fair, Geno handled the snub well. He was, after all, selected as the First Team All-Big East QB. And he gets to play in the Orange Bowl. And he (hopefully) gets to play in the Big XII next year. So he can't be too mad about his situation. And from what it looks like, he's not:
Personally, I'm glad Geno is handling the snub that way. I mean, I hope he takes it as motivation going into the Orange Bowl. But I also hope he stays focused on the most important thing, which is WINNING the Orange Bowl.
But that wasn't even the biggest snub.
The biggest snub was Stedman Bailey being left off the All-Big East first team altogether in favor of Tavon Austin and Mohamed Sanu. I can see Sanu, really. As I said previously this week, Sanu had a great year. He caught a ton of balls, got into the end zone, and did so without a ton of help from the rest of his team. And with horrendous quarterback play. I'm fine with Sanu. And I'm fine with Austin, too. He's explosive and does a lot of things for WVU.
What I'm not fine with, though, is the exclusion of Stedman Bailey. I'm not going to re-hash my argument from the other day, but I am going to quote it:
Bailey - Bailey hauled in 8 passes for 115 yards and a TD against LSU, but was limited to 2 catches for 51 yards and a TD against Rutgers (albeit in the snow), 3 against Pitt and 4 against Bowling Green. He went only three games in which he did not find the end zone - Norfolk State, BG, and USF. That definitely says something for his consistency. Additionally, SteadyB had 7 100-yard games, and only 2 games of fewer than 75 yards. That's impressive.
To me, Bailey is the guy who makes WVU's offense go. He can take the top off the defense with his big plays and he has the hops and hands to go up and get the ball in the air. He was huge in all three of WVU's losses, and got into the end zone far more than anyone on the list. Sanu had a few monster games, but did it against fairly solid teams, all things considered. He doesn't average many yards per catch, but he does get into the end zone, which is important for the Rutgers offense. My ranking? 1. Bailey, 2. Sanu, 3. Austin, 4. Lemon.
I'm just...appalled by this. Bailey averaged more than twenty yards per game more than any other receiver in conference play! And on fewer receptions than Sanu and Austin. Unbelievable. Well, at least I was right about Alec Lemon.
But at least Steady B is taking it well, apparently:
Geno agrees. And actually, would have voted for Stedman for Offensive POY. Actually, Geno might be onto something there. Just an incredible year by Stedman (who had more yards receiving than Pead did rushing, with the same number of touchdowns) that went totally unrewarded.
And last but not least, Julian Miller being left off the All-Conference teams entirely is simply galling. Overall, Miller had 55 tackles, 6.0 sacks, and 11.0 TFL. In conference play, Miller was tied for fifth in the league with 5.0 sacks and tied for 7th with 8.5 TFL. He essentially won the Pitt game for us, and played a huge role in clinching the conference title against USF, all whle playing on a bum ankle. He may not have had the best season statistically, but I would argue that no player meant more to his team down the stretch than Miller, who was at his best when WVU's backs were against the wall.
Perhaps the Miller snub wasn't as bad as Geno, and definitely not as troubling as Stedman. But they were all horrific. The only reason Tavon won Special Teams POY is because you simply can't deny that type of honor to a guy who is 2nd in the nation in all-purpose yardage, leads the league in punt return yardage, and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. If you ask me, the Big East coaches are dranking the Big East kool-aid, with a heaping spoonful of jealousy thrown in to sweeten the pot.