Arizona Wildcats Lack Of Respect Showed In All Pac-10 Teams

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans is sacked by Earl Mitchell #49 and Brooks Reed #42 of the Arizona Wildcats during the fourth quarter of the NCAA college football game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on December 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Arizona finished second in the Pac-10. They had the conference leader in sacks. One of their cornerbacks was tied for second in interceptions. They had one of the most impressive seasons in their history.

Despite all of that, Arizona did not have one player put on the All Pac-10 first team.

The All Pac-10 teams show that it is all about hype and not about actual player performance.

Case in point: Arizona's Ricky Elmore had 10.5 sacks in a breakout season. ASU's Dexter Davis had 3.5. Davis made the first team, while Elmore earned honorable mention.

What is wrong with the system. Too much of it is based on preseason hype.

Voters are not able to track everything through the season and sometimes make their vote based on names they remember, not on names that perform.

All it shows is how the Wildcats are looked at in the Pac-10.

People still look at them as the team from a couple seasons ago. The teams that underachieved with big stars.

Maybe this is a good thing for the Cats. All year they have been under the radar.

A no-name defense that ranked second in the conference. Relying heavily on their third running back. Replacing their quarterback the fourth week of the season.

These were things that defined Arizona's season and what made it so successful. The rag tag bunch of players came together as a team and overcame adversity and fluke plays to finish second.

The players realize accolades are not as important as wins.

So while fans may be upset by the lack of respect and recognition for their players. It is exactly what the season has been for Arizona.

The Cats did put six players on the second team. The most surprising of which was linebacker Xavier Kelley who quietly put together a fantastic season. Not many were expecting Kelley to get the recognition that he so rightful deserved.

The other Cats to get second team honors were center Colin Baxter, right tackle Adam Grant, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, cornerback Trevin Wade and safety Cam Nelson.

Four other Wildcats received honorable mention; quarterback Nick Foles, cornerback Devin Ross, linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka, and Elmore.