Tuesday, December 9, 2008

News flash! D.J. Moore makes first team All-SEC — will he bolt for the NFL?

Big surprise here. D.J. Moore has been named to the AP All-SEC first team. The other cornerback is Trevard Lindley, the guy D.J. burned for one of his two touchdown catches against Kentucky.

Which raises the question: Will D.J. go pro? He stands to make more money if he leaves this season because of changes to the NFL rookie pay structure that go into effect in 2010. And could his stock really be any higher? But on the other hand, Earl Bennett left early last year and he's struggled to crack into the active roster for the Bears.

Also, Patrick Benoist was named to the second team. I don't know if he has the physical gifts to play at the next level, but he's a heck of a tough guy, playing most of the season with a cast on his hand and leading the Commodores in tackles by a long shot.

Here's how all the SEC teams fared:

1. Florida: 14 players (4 first team/4 second team/6 honorable mention)
2. Alabama: 9 (6/3/0)
3. Georgia: 8 (3/5/0)
3. LSU: 8 (3/5/0)
3. Ole Miss: 8 (3/2/3)
6. Kentucky: 6 (2/2/2)
7. Arkansas: 5 (1/4/0)
7. South Carolina: 5 (2/2/2)
9. Tennessee: 3 (1/2/0)
10. Vanderbilt: 2 (1/1/0)
10. Auburn: 2 (1/0/1)
12. Miss State: 0

Now compare this to how the teams actually fared on the field in the SEC:

1. Florida: 8-1
2. Alabama: 8-1
3. Georgia: 6-2
4. Ole Miss: 5-3
5. Vanderbilt: 4-4
5. South Carolina: 4-4
7. LSU: 3-5
7. Tennessee: 3-5
12. Kentucky: 2-6
12. Arkansas: 2-6
12. Auburn: 2-6
12. Miss State: 2-6

So Vanderbilt ranks next-to-last in all-star players but finishes No. 5 in the standings that count. Which says one of two things:
• Vanderbilt has just as much talent as other teams but gets ripped off when it comes to these all-star teams.
• Vanderbilt ranks at the bottom of the league in talent but has out-performed more talented teams this season through coaching, hard work and desire.

I'll go with the latter, and I think just about everybody else who knows anything about college football would do the same.

That said, I think the three other starters in the secondary could have warranted an honorable mention — especially Reshard Langford.

Also, you should see Chris Marve pop up on every all-freshman team.

Some other notes:
• Vanderbilt had two players on the team and Kentucky had six? Are you kidding? Those six Wildcats — four on defense — likely have been written in ink on voters' ballots since Oct. 4, when Kentucky took Alabama to the wire on CBS.

• Georgia's A.J. Green made first team at wide receiver. Alabama's Julio Jones made second team at wide receiver. So the SEC freshman of the year is... Julio Jones. Huh?

• Vanderbilt had no offensive players on the team. Makes sense. In fact, Bobby Johnson only nominated two players, running back Jared Hawkins and tackle Thomas Welch.

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