Spring sports are over, and football draws ever-closer. This means an endless supply of pieces to garner web clicks from thirsty college football fans. Maligned as they are, you'll continue to get ever-growing lists of pre-season rankings, pre-season All-American teams, and similar pieces all across the interwebs becase, as evidenced by page views, you all simply love the stuff.
With that said, SB Nation is releasing their own Pre-Season All-American Team and, being the astute college football blogger that I am, am privileged enough to have a vote for the squad. In the interest of full disclosure, I will post and defend my ballot here.
QB - Braxton Miller - Ohio St.
Duck fans will inevitably give me grief for not putting Marcus Mariota in this spot, but I think Mariota will suffer the same problem from a stats standpoint that he did last year--save Stanford, Oregon should blast everybody they play, and most of their games will be over by halftime. Meanwhile, Miller has a similar ability to go undefeated in a relatively weak Big Ten, but will likely play more due to closer games, and therefore have more of a chance to showcase himself in big moments and put up bigger stats. In what is a close race between the two quarterbacks, that tips my vote in favor of MIller. Given what I've heard from Johnny Manziel in the off-season, combined with A&M's personnel losses, I expect somewhat of a drop-off for Johnny Football.
RB - Ka'Deem Carey - Arizona
RB - TJ Yeldon - Alabama
Carey led the nation in rushing last year, and should do so again as the star of a run-happy Rich Rodriguez offense. Meanwhile, Yeldon is the next great Alabama running back. Watch for some kid named DeAnthony later in the piece.
WR - Marqise Lee - USC
WR - Sammy Watkins - Clemson
WR - Brandin Cooks - Oregon St.
Lee and Watkins need no explanation, but many people will be surprised by my inclusion of Cooks. While I am an admitted Pac-12 homer, Cooks hauled in over a thousand yards last year as OSU's secondary option. He's an absolute speed demon who will have a big year as the primary target in the Beaver offense.
C - Gabe Ikard - Oklahoma
G - David Yankey - Stanford
G - Spencer Long - Nebraska
T - Cyrus Kouandijo - Alabama
T - Jake Matthews - Texas A&M
I'm far from an offensive line expert. These picks were made with a lot of reading and talking to people far smarter than I on the subject.
DE - Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina
DT - Will Sutton - Arizona St.
DT - Louis Nix - Notre Dame
DE - Stephon Tuitt - Notre Dame
The Clowney pick should be unanamous. Sutton was the most productive defensive tackle in the nation last season. Nix and Tuitt were responsible for making Manti Te'o look so good (expect against Alabama).
OLB - Anthony Barr - UCLA
MLB - CJ Mosely - Alabama
OLB - Trent Murphy - Stanford
All of these are pretty non-controversial. If I had a fourth spot, it would have been a battle between Ohio State's Ryan Shazier and Stanford's Shayne Skov.
CB - Terrance Mitchell - Oregon
CB - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Oregon
OMG bias bias rabble rabble rabble. Here's the thing -- look at the various All-American rankings and NFL draft boards. Ifo is EVERYWHERE. And he's everywhere because he absolutely shoved last season. But don't forget, the reason that Ifo was able to put up eye-popping stats was because other teams were deathly afraid of throwing to Terrance Mitchell, who had a breakout season two years ago very similar to the one Ifo put up last year.
S - Haha Clinton-Dix - Alabama
S - Ty Zimmerman - Kansas St.
Two more obvious choices.
K - Chris Santos - Tulane
P- Kyle Christy - Florida
KR - Dri Archer - Kent St.
AP - DeAnthony Thomas - Oregon
I put DeAnthony at all-purpose instead of running back because I'm still not convinced he'll be used exclusively at RB next season.
OC - Chad Morris - Clemson
DC - Kirby Smart - Alabama
HC - Nick Saban - Alabama
Because, let's face it, Alabama will win the national title. The rest of us are just playing for number two.
Let me know what I got right, what I got wrong, and how stupid and uneducated I am about your favorite player in the comment section.