Three B1G snubs from CBS Sports' preseason All-America teams
I don’t mean for this to come off as nit-picky.
But like you, I have a natural reaction whenever I read a preseason All-America team. My mind immediately goes to the snubs. That’s what I did when the CBS Sports All-America teams came out on Wednesday.
To be clear, there weren’t any no-brainer omissions from CBS Sports’ teams. It’s not like they left off Trace McSorley or Nick Bosa. The vast majority of their teams would’ve been similar to mine.
But there were just a handful of B1G players who I thought deserved to make one of CBS Sports’ two teams.
1. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State RB
I’m not going to argue with the first-teamers. Bryce Love and Jonathan Taylor were slam-dunk picks for the first team. But to be honest, I’d probably take Dobbins over both of the second-team picks. That’s not a knock on Cam Akers or A.J. Dillon, both of whom are tremendous backs.
But Dobbins is a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate for a reason. That reason was because as a true freshman in a backfield that had an established starter, Dobbins wiggled his way to 1,403 yards on just 194 carries. Dobbins got 20-plus carries in a game in his debut and then never again.
Even if Mike Weber remains a fixture, which I expect he will be, Dwayne Haskins isn’t running the ball 165 times like J.T. Barrett did. In other words, there’s going to be even more work for Dobbins.
It’s interesting because with the exact same amount of carries as Akers last year, Dobbins ran for just as many touchdowns and 378 more yards. And with 106 more carries, the bulldozing Dillon only ran for 186 more yards than Dobbins.
Is it a massive snub? No, but considering all 3 of those backs are entering their sophomore seasons, I was surprised to see Dobbins as the odd man out.
2. Chase Winovich, Michigan DL
Look. This is the year of the defensive lineman in college football. Earning a spot on the preseason All-America list is no small feat for a 2018 defensive lineman.
Winovich might not be the NFL prospect that guys like Rashan Gary or any of the Clemson defensive linemen are, but here’s an interesting thought about 2017 production among the nation’s top defensive linemen:
- 73 tackles
- 19 tackles for loss
- 8.5 sacks
- 66 tackles
- 18 tackles for loss
- 9.5 sacks
- 60 tackles
- 9 tackles for loss
- 5 sacks
- 33 tackles
- 2.5 sacks
- 2 tackles for loss
What if I told you that Winovich was Player A and Players B (Clelin Ferrell), C (Christian Wilkins) and D (Dexter Lawrence) were the Clemson All-Americans? I’m not hating on the Tigers, who might have the most talented defensive line in a long time. And obviously those aren’t the only three stats that matter.
But I think we have a tendency to automatically put projected first-round picks as preseason All-Americans, which all three of those Clemson defensive linemen are expected to be. That sometimes leads to overlooking players like Winovich.
I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest that Winovich has even better numbers in 2018. The senior is still being coached by Don Brown, which is a pretty good thing. And if the Michigan offense takes a step up as I expect it to with Shea Patterson, that’ll yield some nice benefits for an EDGE like Winovich.
The leader of one of the best defenses in the country wouldn’t be a bad All-America pick at all.
3. Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska WR
The drops. The drops. The drops. I know.
Morgan is by no means a perfect player yet. But despite those drops, he still managed 986 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 11 games last year. That was with the dumpster fire that the Huskers were last year. Now, he’s in position to become one of the most prolific receivers ever at Nebraska, which isn’t to say he deserves All-America honors for that.
But you mean to tell me Morgan isn’t going to take another step forward with Scott Frost calling the shots instead of Mike Riley? I find that hard to believe.
The Huskers are going to play with more tempo, which means there should be more opportunities for Morgan. With a first-year starting quarterback throwing to him, Morgan is going to be a first read plenty of times in that offense.
If not for the drops issues, Morgan already has a 1,000-yard season and he’s probably a preseason All-American. But don’t be surprised if those All-America honors come when it counts.