It says something about the high standard Austin Seferian-Jenkins has already set that the fact he was named to the CBSSports.com All-American third team today seemed to be greeted by a few of you as a disappointment.
At least, that was the vibe I got when I tweeted out that link a little while ago and most of the response I received in return was that ASJ was robbed.
While UW fans understandably want ASJ to get the highest ranking he can on these things, it’s worth remembering that being a third-team All-American isn’t all that bad. According to the UW media guide, the only player to get any All-American honors in the last 10 years is Mason Foster in 2010 — he was named to the first team by Scout.com and Rivals.com and to the third team by the Associated Press. Otherwise, you have to go back to Reggie Williams in 2002 — Williams was a first-team AP All-American among numerous honors.
For the record, finishing ahead of ASJ today were Zach Ertz of Stanford and Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame.
Those are also the other two players who were named finalists for the John Mackey Award, honoring the best tight end in the country, which will be announced on Thursday.
Given that Eifert is a senior who turned down the NFL to come back and is playing in the national title game, and Ertz is a junior heading to the Rose Bowl, while ASJ is a sophomore, don’t be surprised to see those who vote for the Mackey award an upper classmen.
But for argument’s sake, let’s look at the seasons each had. Here are their baseline receiving numbers:
— Seferian-Jenkins: 63 receptions, 791 yards, six touchdowns.
— Ertz, 66 receptions, 837 yards, six touchdowns.
— Eifert 44 receptions, 624 yards, four touchdowns.
Ertz played one more game than ASJ, but basically their numbers are comparable. You can argue that Stanford uses its tight end more, etc. But ultimately, those numbers are close enough that it’s hard to really differentiate a lot statistically. Ertz would also be helped among the Mackey voters by his 11-catch game in the upset of Oregon, including the TD at the end that stands as one of the pivotal plays of the college football season.
Eifert’s numbers obviously aren’t to the level of ASJ’s and Ertz’s but he is regarded as a good blocker and also had some big games late (22 catches in the last four games, all of which obviously were played under a pretty big spotlight considering what was on the line for Notre Dame).
So cases can, and will, be made for each, not only for the Mackey but for various other All-American teams, which will begin tricking out now over the next week or so.
UW fans understandably will make their case for ASJ and it’s hard to say they are wrong. It’s also hard to say whoever wins the Mackey (or is named to other AA teams) isn’t worthy. And in maybe the best news for UW fans, if ASJ doesn’t win, you can be certain he’ll try to make sure that doesn’t happen next year.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Bud Withers examines the controversy over Northern Illinois’ BCS bid.
— The Pac-12 web site has some brief scouting reports on all of the bowl games involving conference teams.
— CBSSports.com also has UW No. 8 in its Pac-12 rankings this week.
— The Idaho Statesman has some thoughts on the Las Vegas Bowl from the Boise State side of things.
— The Idaho Press has some audio of that same interview.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller breaks down how Pac-12 coaches voted in the Coaches Poll, including Steve Sarkisian.
— The San Jose Mercury News says Sonny Dykes of Louisiana Tech remains atop Cal’s wish list and that something could happen soon.
— The Boulder Daily Camera says Cincy’s Butch Jones has been offered the Colorado job.
— Interesting read on whether this is the time for Bronco Mendenhall to leave BYU.
— Ken Goe with a good read on the plight of former Montana coach Robin Pflugrad.
— FootballOutsiders with a good review of the college football weekend.
— The Oregonian’s Pac-12 Roundup has lots of links around the conference.