Blind inclusions, glaring omissions highlight voting for AP’s All-SEC Team

The Associated Press released its choices for first- and second-team All-SEC on Monday. As usual, I had a few gripes with the list.

Keep in mind that there were only 13 voters involved in the process, so that’s not much of a sample size. For what it’s worth, the AP has 61 voters taking part in its weekly Top 25. Why so few are included with the All-SEC teams is a mystery.

Additionally, most of the voters are beat writers who cover a single program in the conference on a day-to-day basis. While they certainly know their own clubs inside and out — they’re always the best sources for boots-on-the-ground info — they don’t necessarily have intimate knowledge of the 13 other schools in the league.

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For example, an Alabama beat writer might not see much of Kentucky since the Crimson Tide and Wildcats didn’t play each other this season.

More often than not, voters do a fine job making picks on the offensive side of the football at the skill positions. Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends have recognizable statistics accumulated over the course of the year.

However, along the offensive and defensive lines, voting tends to be very erratic. Too often voters lean on team success and name recognition — if you were voted preseason All-SEC back in July, your odds of making the team after the year skyrocket — plus there aren’t always digestable stats to separate great players from the merely good.

Alabama’s Cam Robinson won the Outland Trophy in 2016. Many experts told me that he wasn’t even the top O-lineman in Tuscaloosa.

The first-team offensive line for the AP includes tackles Isaiah Wynn of Georgia and Jonah Williams of Alabama, guards Ross Pierschbacher of Alabama and Braden Smith of Auburn and centers Bradley Bozeman of Alabama and Will Clapp of LSU.

An Alabama beat writer might not see much of Kentucky since the Crimson Tide and Wildcats didn’t play each other this season.

Reviewing preseason picks for SEC East

Had he been 100-percent healthy, Key could’ve put up 15.0 sacks and 25.0 tackles for loss. He wasn’t, though. His offseason shoulder surgery and absence from Baton Rouge for the entirety of spring practice was evident at times.

Skai Moore of South Carolina was a second-teamer, which validates his return to the Gamecocks after missing all of last year with a neck injury. That being said, he should’ve received more votes than Key — they’re different kinds of players, no question about it, but they’re both listed at linebacker. Moore liberally filled up so many box scores.

Most voters never played offensive or defensive line, but Cubelic did. There’s no shame in asking experts like him for their thoughts before filling out a ballot.

Source: Saturday Down South

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