The coaches All Big 12 team was released earlier this week and the Big 12 coaches slapped Nebraskas' Ndamukong ( Dam-u-kong) Suh in the face by voting him to the second team. The 6' 4" 305 lb Suh, a native of Portland, OR. was a dominant force throughout the year and his play was deserving of first team recognition.
His play spoke for itself and he shouldn't be second to any of the four defensive line players voted to the first team ahead of him. A simple statistical comparison between those players voted to the first team defensive line reveals this:
Oklahoma DE Gerald McCoy 25 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, three qb hurries, two pass break ups.
Missouri DT Ziggy Hood 51 total tackles, 4.0 sacks, six tackles for loss
Texas DT Roy Miller 46 tackle 4.5 sacks, 10 TFL's
Texas DE Brian Orakpo 40 tackles 10.5 sacks , 18 TFL's
DT Ndamukong Suh 68 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 15 TFL's, two PBU's and two interception returns for tds.
Suh lead all Big 12 defensive lineman in tackles and had 43 MORE tackles than Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy and one less sack. Who do you think had more of an impact on outcomes of games, McCoy or Suh?
Those 68 total tackles led Nebraska in tackles. I will say that again...Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh lead the Nebraska defense in tackles.
Defensive tackles are not supposed to lead any defense in tackles. The primary focus of a defensive tackle is to occupy offensive lineman and keep them off of the linebackers and safety's.
I won't question the placement of Texas DE Brian Orakpo on the first team, as he is also a stud defensive lineman and deserving of the recognition. But, the other three are extremely questionable to be placed in front of Suh.
What's even more impressive about Suh is that at his size, he is a sideline to sideline force that exhibited remarkable quickness and nimble feet for a man of his size. He didn't collect all those tackles on fullback traps.
He was such a force all year for Nebraska that opposing offensive lines were forced to adjust their blocking schemes to contain him. Suh battled double and triple teams much of the year and yet he was still a big factor in all games
Clearly, this isn't just about who has the best statistics.
It certainly helps any player to play for a very good and high profile team, all the better to get noticed. But, it's still Nebraska, although a pretty average team by past Nebraska standards, and it's a shame that he wasn't recognized for the fantastic effort that he displayed this year.
Maybe, the media writers will give Suh his just place on the All Big 12 team. Doubtful though, that if the coaches didn't see fit, that the writers of the Big 12 will vote differently.
Well, guess what? The AP sportswriters poll just came out and Suh is first team All Big 12 defense. The only interior defensive lineman listed among the AP All Big 12 defensive line.
OU's McCoy and UT's Miller were second team and Missouri's Ziggy Hood was honorable mention. How is it that one all conference list has Ziggy Hood as a first teamer and another as honorable mention? Something seems a bit a skew there. Should probably be some where in between.
I have to give it to the media members who voted for the All Big 12 team. I generally put more credence in the coaches poll and ballots because they are the experts.
It just blows me away that the guys that have to game plan against Suh every game didn't see fit to vote him All Big 12.
Well, kudos to the AP sportswriters. They got it right and the coaches missed big time on this one.