Clemson's C.J. Spiller Should Have Been ACC's First-Team Running Back

Chad HensleyCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 21:  C.J. Spiller #28 of the Clemson Tigers watches on the sidelines during a 34-21 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers at Memorial Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With all due respect to Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer and Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams, Clemson's C.J. Spiller was robbed.

Dwyer and Williams were named as the ACC's All-Conference First Team running backs, getting 67 and 63 votes respectively.

Spiller was First Team specialist (76 votes), but only managed to get Second Team running back with 62 votes.

Spiller as Second Team running back is absolutely ridiculous, especially in the case of Dwyer getting the nod over Spiller.

Spiller doesn't have the rushing yardage (912) that Dwyer (1236) has, but he also doesn't have the offensive line and scheme that Georgia Tech has.

And please don't give me the "Dwyer is a better pure running back" garbage.

Dwyer is a better running back in between the tackles, mostly because of his size.  But Dwyer doesn't have the speed, vision, moves, or the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield that Spiller has.

Catching the ball out of the backfield is part of being a complete running back (I think NFL scouts will agree with this assessment).

Spiller has 440 yards receiving and four TDs. Dwyer has 11 yards receiving.

We can also compare what Spiller and Dwyer did against like opponents. I think the numbers speak for themselves. 

Miami Hurricanes

  • Spiller: 14 rushes/81 yards, 6 catches/104 yards, 1 TD
  • Dwyer: 5 rushes/7 yards

Florida St. Seminoles

  • Spiller: 22 rushes/165 yards, 3 catches/67 yards, 2 TDs
  • Dwyer: 14 rushes/102 yards,  1 catch/11 yards, 2 TDs

Virginia Cavaliers

  • Spiller: 19 rushes/58 yards, 5 catches/39 rushes, 1 TD
  • Dwyer: 25 rushes/125 yards
Wake Forest
  • Spiller: 9 rushes/106 yards, 2 catches/6 yards, 2 TD
  • Dwyer: 23 rushes/189 yards, 1 TD

Head to Head?

  • Spiller: 20 rushes/87 yards, 4 catches/69, 1 TD
  • Dwyer: 18 rushes/66 yards

Oh, and all of Spiller's yardage was gained on turf toe.  Spiller has played at about 90 percent since the first game of the season.

Now Spiller didn't miss the cut by much, but should it have even been close?

The only thing I can think of is that voters may have felt the need to give Dwyer the vote since they were already voting for C.J. as First Team specialist. 

It is like he was deprived of this accolade because he was such a great all-around player.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Let's hope the voters don't make the same mistake in the ACC Player of the Year award.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.